6 Steps to Planning a Summer Cocktail Party

summer entertaining tips

It may only be Wednesday, but I’m ready for a cocktail! Anyone with me?

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the cocktails are flowing because it’s summertime people and in the summer everyday is a Friday.

I’m sure my work would disagree, but when looking at my summer calendar the other day and all the rooftop cocktail parties we are currently planning, I thought to myself “everyone loves a good cocktail party” and after having planned over 100 myself, I may just have a few tips on how to plan one of your own this summer!

I’m sharing my 6 simple steps to planning your next cocktail party so you can focus on the cocktail and not the stress;)

summer entertaining tips1.Create Your Concept.

To get things started you’ll want to figure out your concept of the event. Is it a seated dinner or a cocktail hour? Are you having 15 people or 50? Is there a theme or particular reason for the celebration? Will it be in your home or will you be renting a space? Figuring out these details will help pave the road for the rest of the planning.

2. Save the Date and Create Your Guest List.

After nailing down the concept, you’ll want to get started on your Save the Dates, Invites and curating your guest list. Will these invites be digitally sent out or hand mailed? One of my favorite sites to create invites on is Paperless Post they have both printed and digital options, plus you can manage your RSVPs directly on their site!

summer entertaining tips

3. Plan the Food.

Ok, so you’ve got the people now you need the food. Whether you’re making all the food yourself or having food catered in, it’s important to plan out your menu. Will you be needing a vegetarian option, maybe a gluten-free one? Are you serving light bites or a four-course meal? Once you have the menu in place, you’ll want to think about how it will be served or displayed. Will you need to rent serving trays or servers?

4. Create a Signature Cocktail.

After all it is a cocktail party, right? One of my favorite parts about summer cocktail parties is all the fun and creative cocktail combinations you can serve up for your guests using fresh fruit. Maybe it’s a strawberry-raspberry margarita or a pineapple martini, create some fun and creative cocktail that your guests will be sure to enjoy! And if you’re famous for last minute planning like myself,  then be sure to check out Drizly a company that will deliver the alcohol straight to your front door while you’re busy prepping your food.

summer entertaining tips

5. Decorate.

Everyone’s favorite step! Get out the tassel garlands or the pineapple sunglasses for those photo booth props and set the scene with some fun and festive summer decor. If you’re planning a seated dinner, be sure to think about some florals for the table as well as your table settings.

6. Setup and Let the Party Begin!

Last but certainly not least, a few days before the big event create a list of everything that needs to be done for setup including clean the house, set the serving trays out, pick up the food, mix the cocktails, put the flowers in vases, etc. and write everything on paper in order of priority so the day of and the day before you will know exactly what needs to be done and will be party ready before your guests arrive.

summer entertaining tips

Any fun summer parties in the works? What’s your favorite summer cocktail?

Location: DL Loft

Photography by: Jeena Studios

Cocktail Styling by: Lauren Kelp

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