At this point in the summer y’all have probably thrown your fair share of outdoor parties! We’ve been to a few this year and it got me thinking about what makes an outdoor party great! Here are a few things I observed:

1) A charcuterie plate never disappoints!

Whether your entire party is centered around a giant charcuterie board or you just serve it as the starter, cheese and meat never disappoint! There’s so much inspiration on Pinterest, but I love buying the ingredients I love and letting the creative process take over as I lay everything out! Adding nuts, fruit and even flowers/herbs for contrast is a fun way to dress a charcuterie board up, too! 

2) A specialty cocktail takes the party to a whole new level!

I’m usually pretty simple when it comes to happy hour - I love a glass of wine in the summer. Simple and yummy, however, the parties I’ve been to that have something a little special on the drink menu definitely stand out! One of my good friends serves Ruby’s when she has patio parties…look them up if you have a chance, such a perfect summer entertaining cocktail! 

3) Shade shade shade, always!

This may seem silly, but every amazing outdoor party I’ve been to this summer had some semblance of shade. That may have been natural shade (i.e. a tree in the yard) or shade that was added via a deck umbrella, awning or pop up tent. Either way, it was one of the most important aspects of the party!! Make sure you can provide even a small bit of shade so that your guests can cool off if they need to. 

4) Keep your decor simple.

When you’re having an outdoor party, let nature speak for itself! Keep it simple! But here are few easy decorating ideas that have big impact: string lights, a few florals / candles around table, or depending on the party - balloon garland can be really fun! The key is to focus on just enhancing the beauty that’s already around your deck or patio! 

There ya have it! Cheers to gathering again and living life to the fullest with the people you love! I hope these tips help make your next outdoor party a hit!