Guest Post: (Part 2) Seven Tips for A Fabulous Summer Fête

P. Szeto Photography (Copyright 2013)

Last week I brought you my first three tips for creating a hip and easy summer cocktail party: selecting a fun yet simple theme, incorporating bright and bold colors, and selecting a few fantastic appetizers.

Here are four more tips to creating a memorable summer party.

Festive Drinks: Just like the food, I recommend a few great options that easily mix and match, but not too many options that can overwhelm guests and can be too time consuming to serve. Another important note is that the non-alcoholic drinks are just as important as the alcoholic ones! Just because a guest can’t or doesn’t want to drink doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have fun too!

P. Szeto Photography (Copyright 2013)

For this party we split the bar in two with Pomelo Italian Sodas, Cantaloupe Agua Fresca, and Sparking Peach Cider on one side. On the other side, we served White Peach Sangria, chilled Prosecco (a great alternative to Champagne that can be mixed easily with the different juices to make “Cantamosas” or “Pomosas”!), and a few local micro-brew beers. Don’t forget to include great condiments like fresh basil, unusual citrus, or lavender syrup!

Entertainment: For this event we took the budget that would normally be spent on more costly “meat-centric” foods and used it to hire a flamenco guitarist. Anyone can play some recorded music at a party and I always recommend having some sort of fun music playing, but there is nothing more pleasant than the real thing.

P. Szeto Photography (Copyright 2013); guitarist Ryan Kelly Garcia

Try to think outside of the box and perhaps a friend or colleague of yours has a talented child who is looking for some real-life experience. I’ve hired various musicians and performers I found during my daily life, such as an accordion player I met at the local farmer’s market to play at a circus-themed party.

Toasts: Nobody wants a boring speech that drags on too long, but a simple and thoughtful toast is a gracious way to thank your guests and honor a special occasion. When it comes to making a toast I feel it is so important not to assume your guests know how much you appreciate and care for them, so take a little time beforehand to think about what you would like to say and then speak from the heart. Take a note from those infamous Oscar speeches where the winner forgets to thank their spouse or parent and be sure to acknowledge the special people who helped make the party possible!

P. Szeto Photography (Copyright 2013)

Party Favors: Call me crazy but this is what I love to do for a living and I think it’s fun to have a party favor for any occasion! This is another place where the thought counts more than the cost. One thing I like to do is have a big bunch of cut flowers in the entry of an event that doubles as decoration and a party favor where the host can give a flower to each guest. You could also print up cute recipe cards of the food and drinks served at the party for guests to take with them, or at this event we had festive island necklaces (purchased while I was traveling in Asia) with little bells on them that each guest received upon arrival. Everyone was so amused to hear the bells jingle as guests danced and mingled!

I hope you have enjoyed these tips and find them helpful for your next party!

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Jesse Dimond is a proud SF Bay Area native and business owner with over 25 years of experience in the design field. His company, Jesse Dimond Design/Complete Beautification Services, is coveted for its uniquely fabulous events, elegant staging, gorgeous flowers, and eclectic home decoration. Jesse is also committed to operating an environmentally friendly company, and to being of service to charities like CCFA, ASPCA, and The National AIDS Memorial Grove.

Jesse Dimond Design is thrilled whenever we have the opportunity to work with Kennedy Events and their amazing, proficient, and friendly team! We have decorated several bespoke events for their esteemed clients such as “The California Wine Classic” at The Palace Hotel and “The Mayfield Fund Annual Celebration” at The Sharon Heights Country Club.

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