During the summer, it’s always best to lighten things up. Fortunately, this can also help guests relax and help trim the budget. Start with a theme to pull everything together, then add these 15 light touches.
Whether it’s a beach, lakeside retreat, a clearing in the woods or garden, take it outdoors if you can. No decor can improve on nature. If the event is going to continue into the night, try to pick a location that already has lighting to keep costs down.
If you can’t take it outdoors, provide a view of nature. Large picture windows, solariums, greenhouses, glasshouses, or skylights will do the trick.
Provide a view of water. A waterfall, the ocean, sea, pond, or a lake will project a light and fresh atmosphere during the day and an electrifying effect at night.
Keep decor to a minimum to preserve a clean, uncluttered environment. Less is more during the summer.
If you’ve picked a venue where nature is visible, use a minimalist tablescape. Small flowering plants or floral arrangements are the only touches needed to dress up a table.
Bring in the summer though color. It doesn’t take much. A solid wood finish and colorful placemats or crisp white table cloths with napkins in bold, bright summer colors will have maximum impact.
Replace soft drinks with light punches, juice, and, for daytime events, even lemonade or iced tea. Champagne punch or martinis are also a great choice for summer. For a touch of fun at outdoor events, serve beverages in glasses fashioned from ice.
Replace some of the heavy liquor on the bar with wine spritzers and rum punch.
Keep menus light and fresh by reducing portion sizes, grilling or baking instead of frying, cutting down on starches, and avoiding heavy sauces. In fact, you can eliminate or cut down on rice, potatoes, and pasta and serve meat or fish on a colorful bed of fresh, seasonal vegetables (this definitely says summer).
Be sure that presentation is clean, colorful, and simple.
Serve desserts that aren’t overly sweet or heavy and incorporate fresh, local fruit or berries.
Keep the music light, summery, and tropical. For outdoor galas try flute, harp, or piano solos. Opt for a live band if the budget allows it otherwise, a DJ will be fine. Mix it up with reggae, Calypso, soca, and summer dance favorites. Appeal to all ages with a mix of Magic! Drake, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Samantha J, The Beach Boys, Miami Sound Machine, Sergio Mendes, Brazil 66, and The Bee Gees.
Throw open the dance floor. There is something about a summer event that makes people want to get up and dance, especially if it’s an outdoor event.
Don’t forget the element of surprise. Whether it’s a flash mob in the pool or on the beach; fireworks, Cirque de Soleil style entertainment, or fire-eaters, it will be the wow factor that makes the event memorable.