With summer and sunshine around the corner I’m sharing some helpful tips gleaned from an indoor/outdoor cocktail party I recently designed with an island theme.
Let me start off by saying that no matter how fabulous or expensive a party is no one will really have fun if the host isn’t having fun. To keep yourself in a good mood and ensure you can enjoy the event along with your guests, I recommend sticking with your own strengths and hiring professionals to do the rest. If you’re a great cook, then by all means make some of your favorite dishes. But if the thought of cooking is stressful, then hire a caterer. Time and again clients tell me they wish they had hired professionals for their events once they realize it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, and it allows you the freedom to enjoy your own celebration.
With that advice in mind… let’s move on to the fun stuff! I’ll share seven tips for creating a hip and easy summer cocktail party – three this week and the remaining tips later this month.
Theme: Pick a theme and work it into the whole event wherever it feels right, but don’t feel like you have to go crazy and add it everywhere. This can be something as simple as a summery icon like popsicles pictured on the invites or napkins and served at the party! Incorporate a favorite city into your anniversary party such as where you spent your honeymoon, or mimic an era (a 1920′s Gatsby theme is trendy right now).
Color: This is the season to go bright and bold or go home! Don’t be afraid to mix and match unexpected colors in your invites, linens, flowers, and the actual food. Have fun mixing bold colors like hot pink, tangerine orange, and lemon yellow! A big inspiration for me is stopping by a local Indian Fabric Store to look at all the beautiful saris. Adding a coordinating pop of color to your decor is also a nice touch such as a bright throw on the sofa or some festive pillow covers.
Great Food: It’s better to have only a few fantastic appetizers or dishes rather than dozens of choices that don’t meet the mark. Don’t be afraid to use spicy, tangy, and sour flavors especially when it’s hot out and you have refreshing drinks to cool your palate.
P. Szeto Photography (Copyright 2013)
For the party pictured here, I was tasked with creating a menu to accommodate a majority of vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free guests. I went with a Mediterranean-themed Appetizer Buffet with spicy falafels (served warm with a great crispy outside and soft inside) with all of the fixings, tabbouleh salad (with bright lemon, mint, and parsley flavors), dolmas (with earthy sour notes), baba ganoush dip (the smoky eggplant version of Hummus), and tons of wonderful sweets, nuts, and fruit.
Stay tuned for my remaining summer party tips!
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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