Planning an outdoor party to close out your summer? Put your keys away. You don’t even need to leave your computer to pick out everything you’ll need for an amazing bash.
Just follow these simple steps, then shut down your computer and relax.
Step #1: Find your design inspiration
First, look through blogger websites to find the inspiration for your party. Do you want a shabby chic tea party, or a rustic country barbecue?
For example, a simple white tablecloth and rustic chairs look great with fresh flowers for this country tea party.
Photo Credit: Pen N’ Paper Flowers
And this outdoor party is cozy and comfortable because of the addition of indoor elements.
Photo Credit: All Things Ada
Step #2: Choose lighting for ambiance
The right lighting can either make or break the atmosphere of your party, so make sure you choose both small and large features.
If you have a pool or a fountain in your backyard, add a whimsical touch with these floating, glowing water lilies. (Battery Operated Candles, $12)
Stay away from cheesy Christmas lights by stringing these globe lights from trees and the eaves of your backyard arbor. (Lights & Decor, $50 for 50 feet)
Finally, illuminate your pathways with these electric luminarias that are as beautiful as they are practical. (Hayneedle, $40 for 10)
Step #3: Cater your meal with a click
Forget the grocery store and slaving away in a hot kitchen — there are many meal delivery services that are ready to cater your whole shindig with one click.
Appetizer: Bake-and-serve appetizers from The Appetizer Store — like antipasto kabobs and Asian short rib pot pie — will have your guests clamoring for second helpings.
Main: The amazing main courses from Dean and DeLuca will set you back a few dollars, but it’s totally worth it with dishes like lobster, caviar and lamb delivered to your front door on party day.
Alcohol: Ordering alcohol from home is a little trickier, since laws vary by state. But if you don’t want to schlep to the liquor store, look for an alcohol delivery service like Mel & Rose near your home. Most beverages are delivered in less than 30-45 minutes with an online order.
Step #4: Design your table decor
Your table design is entirely dependent on the theme you choose, so it’s important to find elements that strike your fancy. We especially love the following design pieces to spark your creativity.
Nothing says summer quite like old-fashioned Mason jars. We love that these jars are a little fancy with a coat of white paint for a dressed-up soiree. (Etsy, $29 for four)
Chevron patterns are hot this year, and these burlap and chevron place mats demonstrate why. They’re reversible for a solid chevron pattern, too. (Etsy, $20 for two)
Step #5: Pick the perfect place settings
Leave the clear plastic cutlery for a kid’s birthday party — you can now find classy place settings online so your party will feel decidedly grown-up.
These plastic plates look just like real china, but without the cost and risk. (Blum’s Paper Goods, $17 for 10 settings)
Why purchase paper napkins when this beautiful and reusable set of cloth napkins is entirely affordable? (Etsy, $26 for 20)
Napkins are extra special when they’re presented with care. If you love the burlap theme, these elegant little napkin holders are perfect for your party. (Etsy, $2 each)
Step #6: Print your special touches
Printables are a party planner’s best friend. Use these printable downloads to add unforgettable touches to your party theme.
Print out your own invitations to set the mood for your get-together. We are digging these lovely watercolor invites for a summer setting. (Etsy, $16)
These printable place settings from The Life of Amy J. Delightful are perfect for dinner plates, as well as labeling items on a food buffet.
There are a ton of printable banners to choose from at Shanty 2 Chic so you can welcome your guests in style.
Step #7: Embellish with floral arrangements
You can order arrangements from a florist, or check out Costco for bulk delivery of in-season flowers that you can then arrange in your own vases.
Photo Credit: Hostess with the Mostess
If fresh flowers sound too pricey, you can make these paper flowers with a tutorial from Hostess with the Mostess. Absolutely stunning.
Now, go plan your party and happy clicking!