House and Home

7 Delightful Ways to Host a Summer Soiree Like a Pro

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 (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Don’t be like Lana Del Rey and suffer from summertime sadness — celebrate the sizzling season in style with a grand celebration.

Hosting a summer party can sound pretty daunting, especially if your idea of enjoying the steamy months means being a beach bum and doing absolutely nothing while baking under the sun. However, it’s also the perfect time to savor mouthwatering grub and delicious drinks, all while catching up with your family and friends right from the comfort of home. Whether you're looking to show off your BBQ skills or introduce the neighborhood to that swanky new pool of yours, creating a delightful soiree is easy with a few tips and tricks from the entertaining professionals.

Sisters Danielle and Jodie Snyder of high-end accessories brand Dannijo recently teamed up with French citrus spirit brand Cointreau to showcase their creativity in curating the perfect summer party. We caught up with the ladies to get the inside scoop on easy ways we can get inspired — and tricks for becoming the hostess with the mostess.

Read on for seven of their essential summer entertaining tips:

Give Your Party a Personal Touch

 
When planning your summer soiree, think about the overall tone you want to set. Are you looking to create a casual get-together with family and friends over BBQ or keep things intimate with loved ones and a light menu? Or, do you want to go all out with a major celebration and a buffet of all your favorite grilled dishes?
 
Simply saying you want to celebrate isn’t enough; you need to establish a mood. Don’t be afraid to get creative, but plan carefully to keep things organized and minimize stress. "There is truly a fine art to entertaining and each host should put their own personal touch on a soirée they are throwing," say the Snyder sisters. "The most memorable ones are enhanced by an artful twist on the cuisine, environment, good friends, great conversations and delicious cocktails."
 

Don’t Forget Your Lighting

Lighting is essential for any event, and it will instantly create the overall mood of the day or night. "Use lighting to set the tone of your soirée," say the girls. "We love the look of an event lit by candlelight, so the more candles the better.  You can also create interesting candle vignettes with melted wax for high impact mood."

Skip Musical Chairs

Avoid making your guests feel awkward over where they should sit by planning the seating arrangements — but don't make things too predictable. Instead, encourage your loved ones to catch up with familiar faces and new friends alike, so they can get to know all the important people in your life. "When it comes to seating arrangements, mix it up," suggest the Snyder sisters. "For dinner parties, we like to help foster conversations by seating each person by someone they know and someone they don't. This way everyone feels comfortable and has the opportunity to connect with interesting people they don't know."

Keep the Drinks Flowing

No party is ever complete without cocktails, but that doesn’t mean you have to play host and bartender, or even hire a too-expensive mixologist. 

"Sometimes we even set up make-your-own cocktails stations," say the girls, who sugest you encourage your guests to get hands-on with their drinks by providing fresh fruits, herbs, and spirits so they can create their own festive cocktails. You can also whip up a generous batch of boozy punch before your guests arrive so they can serve themselves while you mingle with everyone. And finally, don’t forget to stock up on seltzer, Ginger Ale, or other non-alcoholic beverages for those who are unable to indulge in alcohol.

And most importantly? "Always have enough cocktails on hand so the party doesn't end earlier than expected!" the sisters warn.

Ice, Ice Baby

Sure, you could chill your cocktails with mere bland ice cubes, but if you truly want to dress up those drinks, we suggest freezing seasonal berries or even edible flowers into the ice for a refreshing, delicious, and downright gorgeous addition to any libation. They'll also add extra flavor without pouring on extra simple syrup for sweetness.

Be Mindful of Your Menu

"Choose food wisely — simple, mouthwatering food paired with great cocktails brings a soiree to life," say the ladies. "Like good cocktails, you can never have too much food. During the summer, we love to have a mixture of bite-sized hor d’oeuvres, cocktail-infused popsicles, and fresh fruit-inspired desserts." Also, look out for ingredients that are in season, which help bring the tantalizing flavors of the season to any plate.

Say It With Flowers      

Remember, it’s summer: Don’t be afraid to jazz up your table with flowers. “Beautiful flowers add charm to your soiree," say the Snyder sisters. "Try bringing the outdoors in — from flowers or topiaries on display to freezing ice cubes with flowers to garnish your cocktail." Best of all? It’s an effortless way to punch up your décor, giving you more time to plan ahead and enjoy yourself all night long.