Planning a party this summer? Today I’m sharing some tips to help you throw a successful party.
Besides hosting an awesome party, I have two goals:
- Keep preparations simple so you’re not exhausted before the guests even arrive.
- Design the party to minimize your time is needed during party prepping, cooking and running activities, so you can enjoy your guests. This may involve using a live band for hire for example, to minimise how much involvement you need in the party music.
I recently redecorated my backyard patio (reveal coming to the blog soon…) and hosting my first party of the summer this weekend. Today I’m sharing my BEST tips for preparing for your party along with my experience with Lawnly.
Tip #1: Decide on a party theme. Selecting a theme makes it extra special for your guests – it doesn’t need to be anything extravagant and over the top. Picking something that is doable within your party planning skills and budget. Picking a theme not only can make your party better, it also makes it easy to decide about food, decorations, and activities.
Being that its summer and I’m hosting a pool party I decided to go with a Hawaiian theme. Bright colors, leis, fruit, shells, tiki. I always pick a theme AND a color scheme (which often go together) – having a color scheme makes it easy to decorate. You don’t need to buy a lot of theme specific decorations but just pulling together a few things in a color scheme can add the extra touch. ‘Shop your house’ and pull together items you can use for centerpieces, serving trays, etc. A glass bowl full of shells, sarongs draped across a table or hung on the wall, or some bright colored beach balls floating in the pool.
I like to add something to the door that is party related – right away your guests feel welcome and will notice you put extra thought into party planning. I usually make a sign for the door or a themed wreath. I made a super simple welcome sign in Word with some Tiki clip art and a themed font – simple and budget friendly. I also printed out a Tiki Bar sign and a few masks. Quick, low cost and fun.
Tip #2: Hire a Lawn Service. Summer parties mean outside entertaining. Is your lawn in tip top shape? Always good to trim before your event. But with a million things to do to get ready, this is one task that is great to delegate by hiring a service. Lawnly is the perfect solution. Lawnly is an on demand lawn service recently launched in Phoenix. If you regularly maintain your lawn, Lawnly makes it simple to hire someone as needed – for those times you don’t have the time or just don’t feel like doing it yourself. So awesome to delegate and have one less thing to worry about.
Tip #3: Simplify food preparation. It’s a summer party – this isn’t the time for a formal multicourse meal. Keep it casual. Do as much as you can ahead of time so you’re not busy cooking during the party while everyone else is having fun. My two favorite entertaining tips when it comes to food: potluck or food bar.
Potluck is a great solution for a casual party especially when it’s a group of friends that regularly get together. The party I’m hosting this weekend is for a group of families that get together monthly and we always go the potluck route. One person isn’t burdened with all the food prep and its great to have such a variety of dishes. This is also where having a theme is great so everyone has an idea of what type of food to bring.
When entertaining I love to create a food bar – a build your own with lots of variety. Lots of choices for everyone’s tastes, new combinations to try, and always well received by my guests. Some of my favorite themes – hot dog bar, build your own sandwich, and make your own sundae. And because guests assemble their meal, less work for you as the host during the party as most of the food can be prepared ahead of time.
Tip #4: Create a signature drink Create a few signature mocktails and cocktails. This is such a great extra special touch when entertaining. Also, it saves you from needing a fully stocked bar and a variety of drink choices. Write out the recipes so you don’t need to bartend and guests can help themselves. Use a chalkboard or print them out and display on a small easel or photo frame. Often a guest will step up and have fun playing bartender. Have fun with it and create memorable names for your drinks.
Tip #5: Delegate someone to pick up ice. If someone asks “how can I help?”, take them up on their offer and ask them to pick up ice on the way to your party. This is one task I always regret doing – last minute party prep, trying to get myself ready and looking good for the party, and wanting to be home when the guests show up, the last thing I want to do is run to the store to pick up ice. Summer parties always need lots of ice – it’s great to fill up a few coolers especially because guests often show up with additional drinks to share.
Tip #6: Set up several trash cans inside AND outside. Make it easy for your guests to clean up after themselves so that there’s less party cleanup after everyone is gone. Always good to have a few extra trash bags available nearby in case a can fills up.
Tip #7: Start setting up a few days ahead of time. Do as much as you can at least a day in advance. This will leave you less stressed and worn out before the party even starts. No one wants to be running around right before the guests arrive. Pull out all your drink dispensers, trays, serving platters and coolers. Use post-it notes to label what goes where. Have plates, cups, napkins, and utensils stocked and out on the serving table. Have extras easily accessible on the counter so that guests can help refill as needed – no need to be ruffling through closets during the party to find the backup plates.
Just launched in Phoenix, Lawnly is an on demand lawn service. The Uber of lawn service. No contracts and have your lawn mowed in 3 days or less. Already in Texas, Arkansas, Utah, Florida and now Arizona with more states coming soon. They recently launched their new website which is super simple to use.
A few days before my party, I created an account with Lawnly and requested service. The first step is to create an account and have your property virtually mapped so your service rate can be determined. They use Google Maps to map your property – so cool. Once your account is created, you ‘create a job’ – there’s just a few simple questions to answer and then everything is set.
As soon as someone accepts the job, you receive an email telling you what day they will be out to service your lawn. That’s it, super simple.
Why use Lawnly?
- Hosting a party and want one more way to simplify your party prep
- Just TOO hot!
- Your spouse usually takes care of lawn maintenance but is traveling
- On vacation and don’t want your house to turn into a jungle while you’re away?
- House is for sale and you want to keep the lawn looking its best
- Equipment malfunction and you just want to throw in the towel
What else do I love about Lawnly? Services are requested online and payment information is entered, so you don’t even have to be home when they arrive to do the work. When the work is complete, they send you an email with photos and follow up that your card was charged. No need to run to the bank to get cash. How great is that??
disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Lawnly. Content and opinions expressed are my own.