As the sun shines brighter and the days grow longer, the excitement for summer parties is now beginning to bubble up. It’s the perfect season to gather friends, family, and colleagues to enjoy the warmth and create joyful memories. Just picture the pinnacle of summer parties: a glass of ice-cold Pimms in hand, the smoky scent of barbecues in the air, and colleagues and friends mingling in the sun. Hosting a summer party that stands out requires more than just good food and music; A beautiful venue and location go a long way towards making your event stand out, but there’s still work to do to make it pack a (rum) punch!
In this blog, we dive into 10 inspirational ideas to take your summer party to the next level, ensuring your gathering is not just another social event, but the highlight of the season.
1. Serve Up a Gourmet Barbecue
It wouldn’t be much of a party without some top-notch food and drink on the menu. Having a gourmet BBQ at a summer party elevates the traditional cookout to a luxurious culinary experience. We’re talking professionally-chaffed barbecues, rather than bowls of crisps here (though chips and dips are welcome too)! Just imagine succulent meats marinated with exotic herbs and spices, served alongside sophisticated salads that blend seasonal flavours with innovative twists. This isn’t your standard burger and hot dog affair; it’s an opportunity to indulge in high-quality, locally sourced ingredients prepared with a chef’s touch. Don’t forget to make sure you’ve catered for the dietary requirements of all your guests – a party’s only a party if everyone can join in.
Not sure where to start? Take a look at Easy Gourmet who provide on-site barbecue meals, so you can leave the fire lighting to them and enjoy the delicious food!
2. Make Your Drinks Magical
At any summer party, the selection of drinks plays a pivotal role in setting the mood and keeping guests refreshed under the sun’s warm ambience. Think frozen cocktails, alcoholic mist infusions, and intriguing serving options. Set up a DIY drink station with Sixth Sense, where guests can mix their very own concoctions – How cool is that?! You could even serve drinks on floating trays, which have the dual benefit of adding some ‘mystical’ intrigue to the event as well as keeping drinks cool!
If you’re going with a theme for your party, why not tie in the drinks and come up with a special menu of unforgettable cocktails, mocktails, and coolers to enjoy throughout the day? Keeping sustainability in mind, jam jars and hollowed fruit can make fun alternatives to plastic cups, and they’re much better for the planet!
3. Scoops of joy… and Ice Cream
One lesson we’ve learned is that adults can be just as thrilled as kids when it comes to treats at parties, especially during the summer when ice cream becomes the star of the show. But why stop at a simple ice cream van? How about ice cream, freshly whipped up in front of guests’ eyes, from a fabulously decorated nitrogen-powered cart? Sixth Sense’s ice cream factory does just that, with a whole host of flavours, toppings, and added extras (including alcoholic tipples). With 3000 flavour combinations, it’s up to your guests to decide what’s on the menu – and each one can choose a unique option!
Alternatively, consider the excitement of building your own ice lollies, which instantly freeze with cutting-edge liquid nitrogen technology. Picture guests designing their own dessert with master confectioners, then watching as it’s created just for them, offering a unique and invigorating indulgence. For corporate events or product launches, tailoring these creations to match your brand’s colours can add an extra layer of personal touch, making the sweet experience even more memorable!
4. Shake Up The Conversation with Circus Performers or Sax Players
No party is truly complete without the element of entertainment. Having eye-catching performances, whether they be from talented musicians, enchanting magicians, or other entertainers, plays a pivotal role in setting a dynamic atmosphere and fostering connections among guests, be they colleagues or clients.
If you’re looking for some background entertainment, you can’t go wrong with a musical ensemble, or even something a little bolder, like aerial artists or circus performers to spark curiosity and conversation among your audience.
To get your guests interacting with each other, why not focus part of the event on performance, such as a comedian or saxophonist to serenade your guests and really give your event a party atmosphere?!
5. Freeze the Summer Fun with Photography at Your Party
Adding fun photography to your summer party isn’t just about capturing moments; it’s about freezing the vibrant energy, laughter, and unique experiences of the day in time. Who wouldn’t want to be papped soaking up the sun in their finery?
If you’re going for a fancy event in a tip-top venue, you might want to bring in pros like Say Fromage to get a beautiful video made of the day. Think about soaking up the vibes from your summer do when we’re back in chilly December! Take it from us – nothing gets guests quite as excited as a photo booth with printable photos to take home and treasure! Or, add a classy makeover with some of the traditional variety, and bring onboard the hand-built, old-fashioned cameras from Smartpics. Guaranteed to make guests feel like they’re basking in old Hollywood glamour!
6. Send Guests Home with a Sweet Souvenir
On the note of take-home treasures, giving guests a memento of the event to take away with them is a great way to wrap up a fabulous summer party. In the interests of sustainability, we recommend steering clear of plastic freebies and one-time-use items like novelty hats (as fun as they can be). Instead, why not throw it back to the old-school vibes and give out paper bags with traditional sweets as guests leave? They’ll be delighted to have something to munch on on the way home and they’ll leave with sweet memories of your event- Win-win!
7. Have a Sensational Summer Theme
A theme isn’t just a decorative guideline; it’s a narrative that weaves through every element of your event, from the invitations to the venue decor, and even the dress code. Part of the fun of planning a party is that you can cut loose from the formal arrangements of other events, and bring in the bold, brilliant themes that make events stand out.
A theme not only elevates the visual appeal but also enhances the overall enjoyment, making your summer party a standout event that guests will talk about long after the season fades. Whether you’re envisioning a beach-themed event with beachballs, a vibrant Hawaii Oasis, or a nostalgic garden party, a fun setting can turn a simple gathering into an immersive experience for all. If you’re not sure where to start with your theme ideas, we recommend checking out Pinterest for this one!
8. Set Up a Backyard Cinema
A trip to the cinema might not be your typical office summer party, but do it right and it’ll go down in the party Hall of Fame. We’re talking a full-on outdoor screen, street food, popcorn – and maybe even some incredible alcohol-infused candyfloss (you heard us right!). Use beanbags or deckchairs for your colleagues to relax in and decorate with fun decorations designed around your theme. Having an outdoor cinema is a trip down memory lane, and is sure to give your guests a fun and novel experience. And be sure to choose films that everyone will enjoy!
9. Show Your Green Side
And last, but by no means least, it’s important not to lose sight of sustainability at your events! Show your guests that you care about the planet, and there are plenty of ways to stay green while celebrating in the sun. For a start, opt to use only compostable cutlery and plates for your catering, and keep food as seasonal and local as possible. Renting decorations rather than buying them is also a great choice to reduce waste, as well as using sustainable suppliers for flower arrangements and more. Take a look at ways you can upcycle bottles at your event in our latest how-to guide.
We hope some of these ideas give you some food for thought for giving the annual summer party a boost! Taking your event to the next level requires a blend of creativity, preparation, and attention to detail. From crafting a unique theme that captivates your guests’ imagination to incorporating interactive entertainment and personalised touches, each idea contributes to creating an unforgettable experience.
If you’re looking for suppliers to come on board to make your event stand out from the crowd, check out our tried and trusted providers for everything from catering to decorations and entertainment. Happy partying!