How to Throw a Sweet Summer Soiree

Host your own casual outdoor party complete with croquet and tea sandwiches. Get three easy DIY projects and pretty recipes, everything you need to celebrate summer in style is right here.

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Dress Up a Dessert in 8 Seconds (or Less!)

Make any dessert recipe worthy of a party with these easy ideas to dress them up. Each dessert idea can be done within 8 seconds!

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Our Latest Party Recipes

It's time to take it outside. We're sharing recipes that are best served al fresco with friends. Salute summer, from drinks to dessert, with the latest recipes from Better Homes and Gardens.

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How to Throw a Vintage Backyard Luau

Say aloha to paradise. With island-inspired decor and pineapple-kissed dishes, your backyard luau will be looking like a vintage oasis in no time. Now crank the Jimmy Buffet and get chilling!

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Summer Party: How To Set Up An Outdoor Bar

The best outdoor parties include a self-serve drink station so no one gets stuck tending bar. Here are three tips for your next event.

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11 Ideas for an Elegant Outdoor Party

Master hostesses and novices can unite around these easy outdoor party ideas. With inspired crafts, like DIY invitations and tablecloths, and simple recipes, you can spend less time fretting and more time socializing in the sun.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • #1: Serve Small Bites

      Keep your guests full well into the evening with a medley of sweet and savory tartlets. Small bites are perfect for warmer weather, as you can take out only what you need, and replenish from the fridge if necessary. Stock up on cute trays for easy transportation from kitchen to yard.

    • #2: Make Picnic-Inspired Party Invitations

      Handmade invitations set the tone for a thoughtful, beautiful day. Weave paper (get help here) to bring to mind woven picnic baskets.

    • #3: Make Cookie Party Favors

      Guests with a sweet tooth can pack a few lemon thyme cookies to go. Our "berry stained" muslin satchels are almost as cute as the cookies, and they'll seal your status as the ultimate hostess.

    • #4: Go Berry Picking

      Before the festivities begin at home, have the group meet at a berry patch. Most patches let you wander and pick freely, so it's the perfect leisurely activity for adults and kids. A head's up that berry patches most often charge per pound of berries.

    • #5: Serve a Signature Drink

      If summer has a quintessential drink, it's lemonade. For a chic but easy spin on the classic party drink, add sprigs of lemon thyme and juicy peach nectar. Set up a jug with glasses on the buffet, so guests can refill as necessary.

    • #6: Decorate with Candles

      Homemade copper lanterns offer a sophisticated vibe at a lean cost. The secret? Copper tape from a home store looks just like the real stuff. Choose blush-color flowers to echo the colors in your flower arrangements.

    • #7: Create a Simple Buffet

      Whether you make everything from scratch or pick up chips and dip from the store, a pretty buffet arrangement can make any party spread look good. Start with our pretty dyed tablecloth. (Get the how-to HERE.) Then, think variety: multiple shapes, colors, and heights of dishes.

    • Set Up an Appetizer Display

      Here are a few inspiring (and easy!) ideas for setting up a gorgeous appetizer display at your outdoor party.

    • #8: Enhance Your Party Trays

      Make a simple wooden tray look smashing with woven copper strips. Pick up the strips at a craft store or georgiacopper.com, then follow our how-to for fabulous results.

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      #9: Decorate with Flowers

      Summer party decorations are waiting in your garden. Here, we used a mix of roses, apple blossoms, and blackberry stems, but you can use whatever flowers are in season.

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      #10: Set Up Stations

      No matter your party activity, make sure you have extra supplies for each guest. For berry picking, we gathered baskets, sun hats, and muck-ready boots for guests to borrow.

      Other Ideas: Set out sunscreen, cup koozies, or lawn games like boccie or croquet. Extra sunglasses for forgetful guests would certainly be appreciated.

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      #11: Rent a Tent

      Don't let wiley summer weather ruin your outdoor affair. Rent a tent for the day to add shade and sophistication.

      For more fabulous outdoor party ideas, download our free party kit HERE!

    • Throw An Outdoor Party In Three Easy Steps
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      So-Easy Party Tips!

      Here are three easy tips for making your summer soiree the party of the season.

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      Next Slideshow DIY Drink Stations (Cheers!)

      DIY Drink Stations (Cheers!)

      Our favorite party trend? Creative DIY drink stations that let party-goers play mixologist. We're sharing our favorite beverage stations, including an infused vodka station, a mojito station, and more. Once you set out the listed supplies, you're all ready to party!
      Begin Slideshow »

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