Summer is almost in full swing. Graduations have come, teachers are off, and I bet you are planning a BBQ or two sometime this month. As I’m sure you all know, I love to entertain. Here’s some ideas that I used to use at the Manor and still use for friends and family.

SUMMER PARTY IDEAS

Use tablecloths or buy larger unfinished swaths of cloth to cover tables. Often you need to bring a folding table or something from inside out to accommodate your party. By unifying with tablecloths, it will elevate the setting by bringing uniformity.

Consider placing tables lengthwise so you have one long table. If you break up the setting into groups, it’s more likely to segregate the party. A seating chart is way too formal for a summer party, but the faux-banquet table will allow for more interaction.

You might already have this in your yard. But even if you don’t, string some lights. Even the simplest strand of one will add elegance.

Pick flowers from your yard or neighborhood and place in inexpensive mason jars. Your guests will think you had an event planner!

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Get a large bucket, old planter (clean that is), or any large tub and put out the drinks in ice. You’ll be amazed at how many great conversations will happen around a drink station. If you have to go inside to pour the rose, or grab a IPA, you’ll put a damper on the conversation. Think “ice-cooler conversations” at work!

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Don’t forget the finger food and appetizers. This is so much more important than the burgers. People like to nosh, and they’ll spend more time grazing than grubbing down on the main course.

Here’s some more party ideas and even some appetizers at Food & Wine.

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