Schools out for summer! As the annual rallying cry goes up, and bottles of pop are popped in celebration, perhaps your mind is turning towards hosting an event to celebrate these heady days of heat and hiatus. Sure, you could put some beers on ice, throw a twelve pack of chipolatas on the barbie and hope for the best. Or, you could aim for something unique, personal and just a little bit thrilling. We trust you’re in the latter camp? If so, keep reading; our 5 IDEAL tips for hosting the ultimate summer soiree.


Even if you’ll only be inviting friends or family to the party, there’s a certain style and swagger to issuing proper, paper invitations regardless. If you simply send out a text, it’ll get the job done, sure, but it’s not going to make the event very memorable. In sending out a tangible, touchable call to arms, you can set the tone and theme early on. 

That’s not to say you have to spend a fortune on the invitations to get your message across. Nope, you can pick up fun, affordable party invites online from dedicated companies such as the Card Factory. An added bonus of sending out real deal invitations is that the onus is then on the guest to commit to attending or otherwise. As such, you’ll have a good idea of numbers from the get go.


Once you know who’s coming to the party and the number you’re catering for, you’re going to need to make sure you have plenty of seating. Your guests aren’t going to have a great time if they don’t have somewhere to rest their legs; indeed, the best moment of any soiree is taking a load off, kicking back and chewing the fat with friends. So, ensure there’s plenty of places for punters to park bums, as well as ample room to rest drinks and food. No one wants to be eating off their lap, that’s for sure.


Want to stand out and last long in the collective celebratory consciousness? The most memorable summer parties are those which follow a fun and frivolous theme. You can make it as personalised as you like, either choosing a theme for just the décor of the party or including a fancy-dress element. The best often focus on a fairly broad brief, leaving room for the punter’s sense of imagination and creativity. Our favourites are focused on eras (such as an 80s bash), as the playlist writes itself, there’s a heavy and welcome dose of nostalgia and guests are given freedom over their dress choice. Playful and perfect, we think.


One of the most important aspects of any event is keeping your guests well fed and watered. You can provide all of the raucous entertainment you could dream of, but without refreshments (solid and liquid) things just aren’t going to kick off. Always remember that finger food and snacks are significantly easier to coordinate than a full-blown, sit down, three course meal. What’s more, guests usually feel more comfortable helping themselves, as and when they want to. And if you really want to impress guests at an event, you can’t go wrong with a street food truck which in recent years has taken the catering industry by storm. Rumbling stomachs and empty glasses are one of the main buzzkills of any event. It just lacks generosity. Therefore, make food and drink a priority as running out isn’t a good look.


If planning a get-together outdoors, you’ll also need to bear weather-based threats in mind. After all, it’s not as if the Great British weather can be counted on even at the best of times. To save your soiree from the rain, have a gazebo ready, or indoor space big enough to accommodate, to avoid any unnecessary, unexpected scrambles from an outburst of heavy rain.


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