How to Host a Perfect Summer Soiree in Westchester

Local pros share tips on how to create a whimsical and bright outdoor fête this summer.

“We always love a good theme, but it doesn’t have to be overly specific or elaborate,” says Aoife DePauw of Jack & Grace Events. “A theme can simply be based on a color palette. Oftentimes we are inspired by a flower, a color, or even an image.”

This theme was inspired by mid-century modern design, vintage summer vacations, and modern minimalism. “Clean lines, bold colors, and geometric shapes give a nod to mid-century style, infusing the space with timeless sophistication,” says Lauren Ferrera of Jack & Grace Events.

On choosing a color palette, the team at Jack & Grace suggests going with hues that corresponds with your home décor.

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“It’s always helpful to make sure when choosing a color palette that you are embracing the colors in your home,” adds Ferrera. “This ensures not only that everything is cohesive, but it also helps create more purposeful design elements.”

The weather is the biggest thing to consider when planning an outdoor event. “You want to make sure you either have a rain date or that there is an indoor space to retreat to,” says Ferrara.

She also suggests fans to help keep bugs at bay and beat the heat. If possible, provide guests with bug spray and sunscreen to keep them comfortable.

When creating a menu for a summer soiree, try to avoid heavy, hot dishes. “Creating a light menu made up of salads, fruit, or chilled desserts is key on summer days,” says DePauw. “Refreshing drinks and ample shade are key to the happiness of and comfort of your guests.”

And there is no need to go crazy, and make everything from scratch. “Grab a pie from a local bakery and place it on a nice cake stand,” says DePauw. “You can enhance it with some homemade whipped cream or even fresh berries.” The same goes for burgers. Grab some from your local gourmet grocer and enhance them with toppings.

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To complete the event, she adds frozen treats are a nice surprise for kids and adults.

For drinks make sure you have everyone covered – cocktails and mocktails included. “We love the idea of a specialty cocktail based on the theme, color palette, or time of year,” says Ferrara. “You can always create a cute little sign on Canva or purchase something from Etsy and get it printed to dress up the bar area.”

And remember to stock up on ice, especially on a hot day. “Don’t be afraid to pack an ice cooler for when you run out,” says Ferrara.

Do’s

› Plan for the weather

› Plan ahead (decide on the menu, put a shopping and to-do list together, etc.)

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› Create comfortable seating for guests

› Decorate with purpose

› Be sure to craft a menu that considers the dietary restrictions of your guests

Don’ts

› Overcrowd the space

› Overcomplicate the menu

› Assume everyone drinks alcohol

› Forget to enjoy the event!

Event Design
Jack & Grace Events

Floral Design
Damselfly Designs

Caterer
ONTHEMARC

Specialty Linens
Nüagedesigns

Tableware
Smith Party Rentals

Rental Furniture
Rentquest

Stationery Stylist
Adam & Gavi

Related: How to Incorporate Summer Vibes Into Your Westchester Home

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