Summer Entertaining To-Do List

It’s time for outdoor summer soirees that begin by the pool and end at a campfire. While we love the thought of no-fuss barefoot nights, there’s still a bit of planning required when it comes to outdoor parties. Keep reading for our best summer outdoor entertaining tips!

Make Batched Drinks
Instead of slaving away creating custom cocktails throughout your celebration, pre-mix drinks and place them in large beverage servers for serving. Stock plenty of glasses, ice and garnishes so guests can help themselves.

Keep Bugs At Bay
For starters, place a few bottles of insect repellant, like Skin-So-Soft, throughout the space so it's easily accessible. To keep your guests from turning into an all-you-can-eat buffet, invest in a quality mosquito net and drape it over your table umbrella for dreamy, functional decor. You can also place a citronella candle underneath your tables 

Summer-ize Tables
Think coral, driftwood, sunflowers, fresh herbs or troughs of hardy succulents that will withstand the summer heat. Japanese eggplants or artichokes are colorful options too (today's centerpieces are tomorrow's lunch, right?) Bright patterned table cloths or vibrant cloth napkins are also incredibly chic and will add a ton of color to your decor.

Prep Your Outdoor Space
Spray your outdoor space two to three days prior to your event to prevent bugs from crashing your party. There are a ton of natural foggers on the market that are great for patios and smaller spaces.

Grow Fresh Herbs
If you’re still terrified mosquitos will be feasting on your guests, use basil. It's a natural mosquito repellent and the aromas are amazing for an outdoor summer celebration. Plant seeds in advance and you'll have delicious herbs all summer long.

Purchase Functional Decor
Invest in tiki torches infused with citronella oil and place them throughout your outdoor space. When combined with citronella candles, this tropical inspired décor will definitely heat up cool summer nights. 

Keep It Cool
If your outdoor celebration begins under the sun, be sure to have sunscreen, aloe and shady areas for your guests to keep cool.

Take A Seat
While the idea of dining on lounge chairs is glamorous, it can be tough to maneuver when you're nursing rosé and appetizers. Create fun lounge areas with coffee tables or set up picnic benches throughout the space for rustic-chic decor.

Think Mini
Warmer weather means smaller clothes and even smaller appetites. Serve your guests bite-sized appetizers so they can have a little or a lot, whichever they prefer.

Have a Plan
A smart host is one with a plan and a backup plan. If the skies open up for a summer storm or your strategic attempts to ward off swarms of mosquitos are futile, have an outdoor tent ready or a space indoors that can accommodate your guests. If neither of these things are possible, you may want to consider a rain date.

--Keely-Shea Smith

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