We love a good summer party almost as much as we love staying in and watching Netflix on the couch. The easiest way to get the best of both worlds? Host your own get together where you make the rules. With Labor Day coming, we wanted to give you some of our favorite tips for creating a backyard party where “laid-back” is the theme.
Host your own and get them to come to you.
COORDINATING IS FOR OUTFITS, NOT FOR PLACE SETTINGS
An eclectic mix helps set a more relaxed vibe than formal matching place settings. Mix your patterns; mix your textures; mix your plate shapes and cutlery. Break all the rules!
NO CENTERPIECES NECESSARY!
Fancy decorations aren't necessarily needed when the outdoors are your backdrop, but if you still want to dress your table, try using plain brown craft paper. It gives a rustic feel and makes for easy cleanup. A bonus? If you've got kids on the guest list, leave some crayons laying around and let them draw directly on the table — it'll keep them busy and allow you to have a cocktail (or two) uninterrupted. If you're craving a little something extra, check your backyard for plants and flowers that can be cut and strewn directly onto your table. Boom. Cost-effective AND cute.
WHO DOESN'T LOVE A LITTLE DIY?
Keeping guests refreshed is a must, but do you want to be in the kitchen making cocktails the whole time? NO. A solution that's as convenient as it is adorable? Stock a bar cart (or a table if you don't have one) with all of your drink essentials: ice, a shaker, swizzle sticks, glasses, booze, and mixers, along with a card showcasing your favorite Martini recipe, Mojito recipe, or even a pitcher of pre-mixed drinks. Let the guests serve themselves and free yourself from the time-consuming chains that are cocktail prep.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Sunset is our favorite time of day. It means comfy clothes, relaxing, and that we're this close to bedtime. But, sundown is also a great time to chill with friends in your backyard, play some games, and chat. The key to making it work? Mood lighting. From traditional candles to battery-operated flameless versions, there are plenty of ways to help create a warm ambience without the glare of harsh lights. Plus, candlelight always makes for better pictures, amirite? Another great way to shed some light on things is stringing twinkle lights across your space or utilizing themed-decor such as tiki torches.
COMFORT IS KEY
Traditional seating is ok, but if you want to take the comfort factor to the next level, you can get creative. Top chairs with plenty of cushions, throw blankets on benches, utilize non-traditional options like poufs, and incorporate cozy fabrics like Turkish towels to drape over chairs and benches. It'll encourage guests to settle in and relax, and we think that makes every party better.
NO DRESS CODE REQUIRED!
Look, we love a good summer dress and cute heels as much as the next person but when entertaining in your own home don't you just want to be comfortable??? Tell guests to ditch the restrictive trappings of non-functional outfits and show up in pj's (or as close as they can get). Personally, we think entertaining while wearing our Pima Long Cardigan is just about perfect. The best part? Heading right to bed without having to change after everyone leaves.