3 Ways to Embrace Summer Entertaining
All right, it's high time we kicked off outdoor-party season. Days in the sun will invariably flow into nights of fun, planned and unplanned, but right now we're talking well-thought-out gatherings that are celebratory and memorable. And when you're looking to host a party for the ages, you'll likely need to do more than just light the grill and buy a few six-packs.
We're sharing tips to help upgrade your outdoor soirées. But just because they are elevated doesn't mean they all need to be budget busters. In fact, we've got insights that span bank balances and none skimp on the outcome. Whichever way you go, we're sure your shindig is about to become an annually anticipated event.
Big Budget? Ball Out.
Go big and go home: Catering isn't just for weddings and funerals. Lighten your load by planning a custom menu with a local caterer or your favorite restaurant. Have them on-site with a flock of staff, or just get your fully prepped food delivered and hire a mixologist to serve a signature cocktail (theme party, anyone?). For the cherry on top, book a photo booth, complete with props and photo frames commemorating the evening. Yes, it's a high-key way to recognize a promotion or birthday—but also a baller way to ring in outdoor-party season with your crew.
Lower on Dough? Impress With Your Skills.
If you're a DIY guy with the talent to back up your ambition, go all out with a showstopping dinner and interactive activity for this night of fun. We're thinking a clambake or DIY taco bar—something that'll wow your friends and force them to get their hands dirty. Load up your table with coastal-themed plates and napkins, plus crackers (both the edible kind and the seafood-splitting tool), seasonings (Old Bay is a classic), upgraded versions of nostalgic sides (truffle mashed potatoes or lobster mac and cheese), and tons of melted butter. Round out the night by getting everyone on their feet and singing karaoke, tangled on a Twister mat, or tossing cornhole bags on the lawn.
Tight Purse Strings? Tap the Crew.
When you want to host but you don't have the budget for it all, it's time to delegate. Our recommendation? Throw a potluck. If your friends are good at planning ahead, you can let them pick what they want to contribute; if they need a bit more structure, strategically assign each person a dish or party supply. Your most reliable buddy can bring a main course or dessert, and your flakier friends should handle the napkins. You can count on guests showing up with beer and wine, so craft a cost-efficient big-batch cocktail that will impress your friends with its deliciousness. And don't forget the ice!
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