Summer Hosting Tips
Are you planning a summer get-together? From menu to look to general comfort, Vibrant Table’s professional event staff has some ideas to make summer hosting a breeze.
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Reduce the stress of entertaining by prepping ahead. We recommend plenty of cold sides with hot entrees that come straight off the grill. Have everything ready to go in the fridge, with little or no assembly required. Want to handle some things but not all? Your local caterer or deli will gladly help. Order times vary, so call ahead to see when you should place your order.
Premixing signature cocktails makes serving much easier. For a wide range of guests, consider a fruity beverage that can be made alcoholic or non-alcoholic, such as a strawberry lemonade. Serve the lemonade in a bubbler and let them add the liquor at their discretion. Sangria is always a popular libation, and there are tons of delicious sangria recipes to choose from (104 on the Food Network alone!). A red wine lover? Try chilling a light red for a refreshing summer option.
Pretty buffets by serving dishes at varying heights. Boxes covered in a linen work great. Think outside the bowl or platter for a fun twist. Consider fruit salad skewers or individual desserts in shot glasses or mason jars (reuse mason jars in fall canning). Stylish with a social conscious? China is the most sustainable option, but for larger groups we recommend banana leaf plates. Creative Director Kurt Beadell adores MyDrap, attractive cotton-linen napkins that come on a roll. They can be washed up to six times and offer a vast array of color options. Completely biodegradable, throw them into the compost bin when done!
THE GATHERING AREAS
Guests are drawn to food, music, and seating areas. To keep guests out of the kitchen, provide them with alternative gathering spots by setting up food and beverage stations in a more convenient location. Consider setting up the beverage station on the porch, with seating nearby. Create an area for outdoor games, such as croquet, badminton, or horse shoes.
Choose a color scheme with 2 colors and work it throughout. An attractive garden needs few extra touches, but you might consider signs to direct your guests or labels for food items. Have a few blank labels on hand for items your guests bring. DIY flag strands or pom-pom balls can be added to brighten up gathering spots or food stations.
Stumbles to the restroom are no fun! If you plan to go after dark, light all food stations, gathering spots, and important pathways. Popular solutions include hurricane candles, string lights, torches, or solar lamps.