How to Impress Your Patio Party Guests This Summer

Hosting family and friends for parties is a great way to enjoy the warm, beautiful days and cool breezy nights of summer. From casual barbeques to elegant dinner parties, here are some suggestions for creating memorable, personalized events this summer.

Select a Unique Holiday or Theme for your Event
Searching for theme ideas? Patriotic Memorial Day or 4th of July celebrations are classic, but consider a unique holiday to spice things up, and give you direction as you plan decorations and menus. The summer calendar is littered with fun national appreciation days to help get you started, such as National Cheesecake Day, S’mores Day, Hammock Day, and International Picnic Day. An added perk is that guests are less likely to have other commitments on non-traditional holidays, and are able to kick back and relax if they don’t have another party to get to.

Experiment with Beverages
Whether you’re a top-notch chef or a champion at defrosting frozen appetizers, personalized cocktails or mock-tails are a quick and easy way to step up your menu.


For novice bartenders, lemonades are a great medium for experimentation. Whip up your own homemade batch or simply combine fresh ingredients with a preferred store brand. Add your favorite fruits, such as strawberries, peaches, or blueberries, and fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or mint for a sophisticated flavor.

If you are unsure about the alcohol preferences of your guests, you can always stock a small bar with easy mixers on ice. Champagne, rum, and vodka can easily be blended with any of the cocktails featured above. Break away from storing your carefully crafted cocktails in a cooler full of ice stashed in the corner by incorporating an outdoor wicker bar onto your patio. A simple bar counter can fit into almost any sized patio and offer a sophisticated setup for guests to gather and pour their drinks

If space is truly limited, incorporate serving stations into essential furniture with elegant coffee tables and ice chests.

For other great, summer-themed, non-alcoholic beverage inspirations, check out the creative cocktails here.

Set the Scene
Guests will mingle and congregate as your set-up dictates. So carefully consider the atmosphere that you want to create and use your space thoughtfully. For an open, social atmosphere, a large circular setup encourages everyone to get to know each other.

For groups that are too large for one big circle, or to create a more intimate environment, clusters of wicker patio furniture, blankets spread on the lawn with comfortable pillows, or cocktail tables encourage guests to socialize in smaller groups with wicker chat sets.

Wicker Chat Set

If many of your guests will be meeting for the first time, provide entertainment for them to enjoy in smaller groups. Board games on tables and lawn games in the yard are a great way for guests to break up awkward silences. Additionally, it is important to consider the personal needs of your guests when planning for seating. An older crowd, or parents of infants, might require cushioned, comfortable furniture on a firm surface, while a younger crowd can more easily gather on benches or blankets.

Plan for Kids
It can be difficult for guests to relax when they’re checking in with the babysitter, so consider including children in your invite and planning for their enjoyment as well. For more intimate parties, consider hiring a qualified babysitter to take kids into the house for a movie, or organize outdoor crafts and games while adults relax. A sturdy wicker coffee table can be easily converted into a craft table with a colorful cloth covering and by providing construction paper, beads, or the materials and directions for a planned project. If your goal is to allow the adults to relax, set the area off to the side, and surround it with balloons and ribbons to attract younger ones and keep them content. Let parents know in advance that you will be setting aside a special area, and ask for craft recommendations to ensure that kids will be entertained.

If older kids or a babysitter are present, consider allowing kids to work on a presentation or play that ties in the theme for the party. For National S’mores Day, encourage the children to come up with a fun, whimsical performance detailing the discovery of the first s’mores. Allow them to gather and plan in their own space during the first half of the party, then pull comfortable furniture, picnic blankets, and pillows into the lawn and allow them to use the patio as a stage to bring the event to a close.

Make a Manageable Menu
Entertaining should be enjoyable for the host as well, so evaluate your budget, personal skills, and needs as you plan your event. Catering is a great way to remove the stress of menu planning completely, and can meet any price point. For example, taco bars and carryout BBQ are affordable, easy options to consider if you don’t want to worry about cooking for a crowd.


However, for summer, there is nothing more classic than firing up the grill, and there is plenty of room for creativity outside of traditional burgers and hot dogs. Let guests create their own skewers with a buffet consisting of a variety of meat, fruit, vegetable, and marinade options.

For more delicate cuisines, such as seafood, infuse smoky flavors by grilling in foil. To serve food buffet-style, a long, outdoor dining table can be pushed against a wall in a smaller space, or set to the side in a larger space.

Whatever the menu, feel free to show it off as much creativity and culinary expertise as you desire, but remember to plan a menu that allows you to prepare as much ahead of time as possible so that you can enjoy time relaxing with your guests.

Karen Styles is passionate about home improvement and interior design. She is a key team member at Pergolas of Distinction, one of South Australia’s largest home improvement companies. In her spare time she enjoys tackling DIY home improvement projects around the house and garden and, of course, entertaining family and friends outside in the Aussie summer.

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4 Tips for Throwing a Garden Party

Wicker Patio Furniture

If you’re planning to celebrate a wedding anniversary, birthday, graduation, bridal shower and a lot more, throwing a garden party is a great idea. Garden parties provide your guests with the opportunity to appreciate nature as they enjoy the special moment.

Here are some tips that will help you spruce things up and throw a successful garden party.

Choose a Theme for Your Garden Party
When organizing a garden party, you need to set a theme that will match the reason for your celebration. Colors set the tone of the party. For you to be able to bring out your theme, make sure that the color you have selected doesn’t seem amateurish. Avoid using too much color since it might give your garden party too much of a carnival look (unless your theme is carnival, then decorate away!). It’s best to have at least 2-3 colors which complement one another. Make sure that the color you will use is bright and the other set is light. To achieve a better look, you can incorporate it in flower arrangements. Just make sure that flowers have a good scent to establish a garden haven.

Prepare the Lawn
If your garden has a lawn, you can alter things to provide a better look. If there’s a pathway through the lawn, you can try placing things a little different by utilizing lanterns or holiday lights. These can be placed on both sides of the pathway. For example, you place a lawn sign that welcomes the guests at the entrance to your garden. With a welcome sign, you’re creating an inviting atmosphere particularly when people are strolling around and chatting.

Establish Your Garden Party Menu
Being a party organizer, you have to understand the various types of delicacies which will surely cheer up everyo

ne. You can work with several options to meet all your guests’ unique taste. If you do not know how to cook, you may hire a catering service that will provide you with great services and cuisine. You can also obtain referrals from friend if they know someone who is reputable when it comes to catering garden parties. When it comes to drinks, as much as possible, you need to have a good stock of drinks that caters to all types of guest. Don’t forget to have extra cases as you will not want to be running to the store in the middle of your garden party.

Garden Party Set-Up
This refers to the arrangement of tables and chairs in an organized and fascinating way. Choose comfortable, airy furniture, such as wicker patio furniture. Make sure that everything needed is in proper place such as interaction, food, fun zones and a lot more. Adding music can lighten up the party, making guests comfortable and positive.

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5 Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Serve at your 4th of July Party


For homeowners who will be entertaining guests on the 4th of July, it would be nice to offer them some non-alcoholic 4th of July drinks to make them feel welcome, festive, and comfortable. If you’re planning to host a 4th of July backyard party where kids are also invited, you have to make sure that drinks are safe for their consumption. Also, if you’re inviting pregnant women or guests with allergy, we have included several alternative 4th of July drinks that you can consider for your backyard party.

The Yankee Doodle
The majority of people have heard about the Shirley Temple, which was the basis for this festive drink and is one of the most popular mocktails. The Yankee Doodle is a drink made up of Sprite, 7up, or ginger ale and grenadine garnished with maraschino cherry. For that extra 4th of July fun, add a splash of blue Kool-Aid for the kids.

The Afterglow
This type of drink is easy to prepare. Just mix one part Grenadine with four parts pineapple juice and orange juice. Just add some ice and your guests will get glowing even before the fireworks start going off.

The Virgin Piña Colada
This classic hot day standby pineapple tastes good even without booze. Just blend 7 oz of pineapple juice with 2 oz coconut cream at high speed with one cup of crushed ice.

Independence Party Punch
Place this in a large glass bowl and let your guests serve themselves. Simply mix three large oranges, two lemons, one can of frozen concentrated lemonade, one liter club soda, two bottles of


sparkling apple cider, two trays of ice cubes and one tablespoon of white sugar. Add thinly sliced oranges and lemons in a big punch-bowl and pour in thawed lemonade. Slowly add the apple cider and club soda, sugar and ice.

Lady Luck
This cute fake cocktail can be made by combining one oz grenadine, two oz white grape juice, one tbsp vanilla syrup, and one tbsp lemon juice, and garnishing it with sliced lime. Serve in a colorful cup with a red, white, or blue curly straw.

This 4th of July, be sure to have delicious non-alcoholic beverages at the ready for even your littlest backyard party guests. It’s sure to be a great time.

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How to Invite Neighbors to a Backyard Party

Outdoor Umbrella

A backyard barbecue party is the perfect way to spend a warm summer night with family, friends, and even your neighbors. It also gives you the opportunity to get familiar with neighbors new and old. Inviting your neighbors to your backyard party is a nice gesture to make everyone feel welcomed. If you are new to the area yourself, you can throw a housewarming party in your backyard and invite everybody as a way to make a good first impression and get to know your new community.

The first stage of hosting a backyard party begins with the all-important invitation. There are several ways you can send the invite to your potential guests. Here are just a few ways to get your neighbors on the guest list.

Make a Personal Visit
The personal invitation to your backyard party is the best tool to show your warm gesture of welcoming for the party. Even if the guest doesn’t turn up to the party, then stopping by their house and personally extending them an invitation is enough to build a relationship showing your courteousness and friendliness.

Send a Handmade or Digital Card
This is very sweet and welcoming way to send invitations. Handmade cards reflect the care and eagerness to get everyone to the party. You can also design a beautiful digital card based on the theme of your backyard party and request that it be sent to the neighbors via your homeowners association or building management. Don’t forget to mention the date, time and venue of the backyard party.

Post Flyers Around the Neighborhood
These are also an acceptable way to give out invitations to your neighbors. You can post them in approved posting spots, drop them directly onto your neighbors’ doorstep, wrap in their newspaper early morning, or slip it under the door.

Make a Phone Call

Backyard Party Invitation

If you are well-acquainted with all the neighbors and are short of time then you can invite by calling them. A phone call is also a personalized way to invite everybody.

Leave a Gift with a Personal Message
Take little gifts and attach a message over it for invitation. This gift can be a small pair of earrings or a cupcake with an invitation message tag attached to the box. Something themed to the party will be memorable and help your neighbors remember to RSVP.

Don’t forget, when inviting your neighbors to your backyard party, you can also mention on the invitation to bring a side dish to share. This way you can send a unique and customized invitation for your neighbors and motivate them to be a part of entertaining and lovely party organized by you.

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