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3 Summer party themes for a stylish affair

Have some summer fun

If the regular old summer BBQ routine has you in a rut, you'll love these fun, fresh summer party ideas! From drink ideas to ways to word a catchy invitation, these summer party themes will make you the ultimate summer hostess.

1Sundresses and sangria

Inspiration -- make this a fun girls-only party! Bust out that adorable sundress that's sitting in your closet and invite over your best gals for a summer evening of pretty dresses and everyone's favorite summer fruity drink -- sangria!

Summer Sangria PartyInvite: If all your party guests live in your neighborhood, get creative with the delivery of a little brown bag of summer fruit taken to their doorstep, with the invite written on the front in a bright color! Rather than drop an invite in the mail, these customizable Fruity Sangria invitations by Invitation Consultants are perfect.

Signature drink: Sangria, obviously! Try these recipes for a simple sangria or try a peach sangria for something different.

Food ideas: With sangria as the star of the show, it's best to keep the food simple at this summer party! A perfect match with this cool, fruity drink would be flatbread pizzas -- top them with light, fresh ingredients such as goat cheese, caramelized onions and baby spinach -- or try some of these flatbread recipes. Flatbread pizzas are also great for a party because you can make them ahead of time and just pop them in the oven for the party -- or even heat them up on the grill to keep the party outside!

Decorations: Keep up the sangria theme of this party with some fabulous fruit decorations. Go simple with clear glass containers filled with a single type of fruit -- limes in one, lemons in another, oranges in a third. You could also go with a chic tropical theme for your sangria party -- think tiki-torches lit all around your patio, gorgeous colorful lanterns strung from your ceiling. For these and other ideas, check out all the fun options from Allsop Home & Garden.

2Flip-flops and lemondrops

Inspiration -- everyone has their favorite pair of flip-flops for summertime,  and there's something about this simple shoe style that has become a symbol of what summer is all about!

Flipflops and lemondropsInvite: For a smaller party, go to your local discount or dollar store, pick up a bunch of plain, non-decorated flip-flops and write the invitation directly on the shoe itself, Each pair of flip-flops will give you two invites. For an online invite option, this cute pop-art invitation from evite is absolutely perfect.

Signature drink: There's nothing about flip-flops and lemondrops that really goes together, except for the fact that they rhyme and are both lovely for summer! One of the funnest things about lemondrops is that they are best when shaken by hand -- prepare the ingredients and the recipe on cards for people and create a lemondrop shaking station at the party, where you can have guests shake their own tasty drink! For a twist, add fun ingredients such as rosemary or raspberries to the mix.

Food ideas: Keep the menu on a citrus note -- if it's during the day, try a nice chicken salad, served in fresh croissants. For an evening lemondrop party -- BBQ chicken and vegetable kabobs during or before the party. Be sure to include some lemon quarters on the kabob skewers to infuse that lemon taste!

Decorations: We're pretty sure that lemons might be one of the best summer decorations possible, so they are a must for your party decor! Fill big bowls with lemons of all sizes around the house -- see if you can get them with their pretty green stems still on for an added punch of color.

3Summer sips

Inspiration -- if you'd like to throw a chic summertime party that your guests will remember for summers to come, consider a "summer sips" theme.

Summer sips

Invite: A chic summer sips party calls for only the chicest of invitations, so go custom with this pretty Garland Invitation by PaperCourt Press. Be sure to include details about any dress requirements that you'd like your guests to follow -- maybe something along the lines of "please wear your summer best."

Signature drink: The summer sips theme is pretty open-ended and your drinks can be as well. Stock up on everyone's favorites -- summer beers that are made especially for this season, fresh white wines and fruity favorites like margaritas, mojitos and other summer cocktails.

Food ideas: Keep the food fresh and light at this party -- little bites of appetizers such as shrimp cocktail, ceviche and a grilled bruschetta. Another fun idea for food at a summer sips party that's sure to wow: Try hiring a company that brings an outdoor brick pizza oven to your house and cooks the pizza right there on your patio -- so much fun and delicious too!

Decorations: When you think of the chicest of chic parties, flowers are a must. Make bouquets for all around the house -- use the same type of flower in each vase for an understated, monochromatic look that's sure to impress! The best thing about decorating with flowers: This party décor sticks around your house for the next week!

More on summer entertaining

Diet-friendly summer survival guide
7 Summer party hostess gifts
How to keep cool at your summer party

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