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Summer Entertaining

Six Tips to Elevate Your Summer Gatherings

Guests enjoying an afternoon summer party poolside.
Photo: Jaci Berkopec

Hello, event enthusiasts!

With Memorial Day just a few weeks away, it's the perfect time to dive into planning those sunny gatherings that make summer magical. Summer is the perfect time to reconnect with friends and family. I like my parties multigenerational with kids running around and older relatives in attendance. At Alexandra Partow Events, we're all about adding that personalized touch to every occasion, so I'm thrilled to share some of my favorite tips for hosting a party that's as delightful as it is unforgettable.

1. Pick a Playful Theme

Summer is the ideal season for playful themes and vibrant colors. Let your imagination run wild and kick things off with a charming blue-and-white theme. Picture this: blue-striped tablecloths, white china, and pops of coral and straw to warm things up. Or are you feeling a preppy vibe? Deck out your space in pink and green for a Palm Royale-inspired bash that's sure to score points with your guests. (If you haven't seen this hysterical show yet, it's on Apple TV)

Beautiful table setting with orchids and rattan candle holder
Photo: Maggie Studio

2. Get Creative with Your Tablescape

While you might not be moving your furniture around, transforming your table can be a wonderful creative outlet. Dive into your linen drawer for those eye-catching tablecloths and placemats. Mix and match your china and glassware, and remember to add a personal touch with flowers and fruit from your local farmer's market. These small details can turn a simple table setting into a stunning visual feast.

3. Shop Smart for Decor

You don't need to spend a fortune to decorate like a pro. Visit flea markets and art fairs for unique vases and score some charming ribbons to tie around dinner napkins or buffet roll-ups. If you have a summer home, install outdoor string lights and invest in a fire pit for s'mores and evening chats. You can visit our Amazon list for an edit of effortless summer entertaining finds.

4. Welcome Guests with Refreshing Drinks and Snacks

Nothing says "welcome" like a cold beverage on a warm day. As guests arrive, greet them with fresh-brewed iced tea, a chilled rosé, or a classic Italian Spritz (recipe below). Lay out snacks like BBQ potato chips, sliced fruit, a crudité board, and shelled pistachios for that perfect casual yet chic vibe.

Refreshing Italian Spritz cocktails
Photo: Jaci Berkopec

Italian Spritz Recipe

  • In a rocks or wine glass add:

  • ice cubes

  • 3 ounces/prosecco or sparkling wine

  • 1 ounce/Aperol or Campari

  • Club soda or sparkling water to taste

  • Orange slice garnish

Crudité Boards include a mix of these components:

  • Fresh veggies – tomatoes, blanched snap peas, Persian cucumbers, romanesco, and watermelon radishes

  • Creamy dips like hummus or taramosalata

  • Something salty – marinated feta with sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, and garlic, is one idea. 

  • Something sweet – fresh berries, grapes, dried cherries, and local honey

  • Crusty bread slices and sticks

Crudite Board with fresh veggies, dips and fruit
Photo: Maggie Studio

5. Keep the Menu Simple and Delicious

Focus on foods that make you smile and that are easy to prepare. Summer is the perfect time for family- or buffet-style dining, featuring dishes inspired by the fabulous Ina Garten or the vibrant vegetable-forward options from Athena Calderone's Cook Beautiful. These meals are delicious and wonderfully unfussy—perfect for relaxed summer dining. For dessert, serve locally-made fruit pies a la mode and ice cream cones for the kids.

6. Most Importantly, Have Fun!

The key to any successful party is to relax and enjoy yourself. After all, if you're having a great time, your guests will, too! And remember, if the thought of planning and executing this all on your own seems a bit daunting, our team at Partow Events is here to help. Whether you need assistance planning the entire event, renting a tent or extra tables, or just some day-of support, don't hesitate to reach out at

Beautiful Summer gathering poolside with cocktails and passed appetizers
Photo: 4 Eyes Photography

As we enter the sunny season, remember that the best gatherings are those sprinkled with genuine hospitality and much love. Let's make this summer one for the books—with joyful parties, unforgettable memories, and a whole lot of style. Cheers to a beautiful, fun-filled summer.




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