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Summer Party Planning Advice from Amy Kimball of

Invitations:  What, When, Where and Wear

Invitations are the first time you talk to your guests. If you have a theme, here is where you start, even if it is just a color. The invitation sets the tone. Be sure to include all of the facts, including one of the most important (for the women) attire. Summer chic, casual, pool attire, etc., provide great guidance. Check out for great invitations!



Choosing décor makes the planning process fun. Even if it’s not your forte, there are so many ways to give yourself direction. Maybe it’s an actual “theme” like a beach, pool, sunglasses, or 70s party; or you could just run with a color theme.


Pick your inspiration and have fun with it! Take your theme to the next level by customizing; printed labels for water bottles, flags for your paper straws, cocktail napkins, plates. It can go on and on! Etsy has endless unique supplies.

 French WeddingCitrus


Café strung lights ALWAYS look good for an evening party. If you want to add color and dimension, paper lantern lights look great in the summer too. These are easy lighting tricks to take your party to the next level.

GOrge tree

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Make it easy on yourself. You can mix specialty drinks in advance and place in self-serve decanters with cute signs.


Place your beer, wine, and soft drinks in an over-sized, galvanized bucket for guests to easily just grab and go! Amazon has some great options too! 



Make sure you have something for everyone. On the same hand, be careful not to over cater. Just make sure you’re covered; always have options. Cheese stations, crudité, chips, and dips are great with casual cocktails.


If you are serving dinner or having a barbecue, make sure you have a veggie option, even if it’s a great salad. You want to make sure all of your guests know you’ve thought of them.

lobster Food

And then there’s always dessert, which can make-up for any possible missteps with the entrée.



The biggest part of serving food is prepping it all in advance. You should never be dicing and slicing during your party.


If you don’t have enough seating for the number of guests, it’s easy to rent those items. In the Boston area, two great rental companies are Rentals Unlimited and Be Our Guest Party Rental.  They also have great table linens to go with your rental tables, which could help take your theme to completion.


Well done tent Tent Outdoor event backyard knook


Make your playlist in advance or choose your favorite Pandora Station. Music sets the tone for the party and you don’t want to be fussing over music in front of your guests.


If kids are coming, make sure you have fun activities for them: bubbles, glow sticks, coloring books are all inexpensive and will keep the little guests occupied. If your party is during the day, it’s super fun to have grown-up games too! Try giant Jenga, cornhole, or croque.



Don’t forget about the pests! Great looking citronella candles are perfect to put around the lawn and on tables. Another nice touch is organic bug spray stations for guests. And if you are having a very large yard party, I would always suggest having the yard professionally sprayed with organic bug spray.

The most important tip I have is to HAVE FUN!!! If you, the host, is having fun, everyone will feel your energy and have fun too!

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Thanks Amy for the great post! Check Amy out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Visit Amy’s website at

Amy Kimball

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