16 Easy Summer Party Ideas

Gather inspiration for a casual outdoor gathering from one of our easy summer party ideas. From dinner on the deck to a festive taco buffet, your options are endless for a no-fuss summer party.

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11 Fun Ideas for Decorating a Cake with Candy

Make a birthday cake or other special day cake oh-so-adorable with candies! Cookbook author and stylist Libbie Summers shares 11 super-simple ways that cinnamon candies, jellybeans, maltballs, and other sweet favorites can make you look like a professional cake decorator in minutes.

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Coconut Cream Island Punch, The Cutest 5-Ingredient Cocktail Ever!

Make our DIY party cocktail -- that includes just a few tasty ingredients -- for an adults-only drink everyone can agree on. Cut-up star fruit provides a gorgeous base inside your drink pitcher.

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Sugar-Coated Ice Cream Social

I scream, you scream … You know the drill. Host a sugar-coated ice cream social the kiddos will love -- with cereal necklaces, paper crowns, candy truffles, and a whimsical ice cream truck. Go on and get celebrating!

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Pitcher Cocktail Recipes

Where there's a pitcher, there's a party. Whether you're brunching, dinner partying, or hosting a (very) happy hour, these fun pitcher cocktail recipes are sure to hit the spot. Find icy margaritas, fruity sangria cocktails, spiked punch, and more!

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Real Weddings: A Classic Wedding in White

Check out this simply elegant wedding in upstate New York.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • A Neutral Palette

      About the Couple: Growing up in Thousand Islands, New York, Katie always dreamed of getting married on a hill overlooking the bright blue water of the St. Lawrence River. When Katie and Russell got engaged, they immediately fell in love with Fairview Manor as the perfect place to tie the knot.

      Since Katie's dress had intricate beading, she chose to keep her bouquet simple and neutral. This full bouquet paired white roses and calla lilies with a touch of green leaves.

      Get the Look: Go monochromatic but add unique textures with different flowers. Pairing roses with a bold flower like calla lilies adds a modern twist to your bouquet.

    • Makeup 101

      Since Thousand Islands is such a small area there weren't too many options for a makeup artist, so Katie did it herself. She had a makeup artist in New York City, where she currently lives, teach her how to get the classic look and make her makeup last all day.

      Bride's Tip: If you have a makeup artist teach you how do get a wedding-day look beforehand, make sure she helps you buy the right makeup as well. Practice a few times before the big day.

    • The Perfect Dress

      The day after Katie got engaged she did what the typical bride-to-be does -- bought a ton of wedding magazines. She saw this dress while browsing the pages and loved it. After trying it on, along with a few other dresses, she settled on her first choice. Katie loved the beading along the top and the full pleated skirt that gave off a princess flair.

    • Something Old...

      Katie wore her grandmother's antique ring as her something old.

    • Elegant Bridesmaids

      Katie stuck with the neutral palette for her bridesmaids' dresses as well. She chose a simple A-line strapless champagne-colored dress with a taupe sash. The maid of honor wore the opposite, a taupe dress with an ivory sash.

      Get the Look: Let your maid of honor stand out with a dress that is different from the other bridesmaids' dresses. Just make sure it complements the rest of your scheme.

    • DIY Wedding Programs

      After finding a template online, Katie made her own fan programs for her August wedding. She printed the program information on card stock, traced the template, cut it out, then attached a crafts stick as the handle. She topped it off with a simple bow.

      Budget Saver: Making your own programs will save money -- plus it's a fun project to do with your bridesmaids.

    • Simple Bridesmaids' Bouquets

      Katie choose to keep the bridesmaids' bouquets small and simple with three calla lilies surrounded by greenery.

      Budget Saver: Choosing a minimal bouquet for your bridesmaids will save big bucks and they'll still have something pretty show off as they walk down the aisle.

    • Beautiful Views

      Katie and Russell didn't need ceremony decor with a view like this. Their 200 guests sat on the deck of Fairview Manor with a view of the St. Lawrence River.

    • Groom's Wear

      Russell kept his tux simple by wearing a white vest and tie, while his groomsmen sported cream-colored vests and ties. They also each wore a simple calla lily boutonniere.

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      Finishing Touch

      After their first kiss as husband and wife, Katie and Russell surprised their guests with a slew of white balloons floating in the blue sky. Katie's mom is a teacher, so they enlisted the help of her students to stand below the hill and let the balloons go as the newlyweds walked down the aisle.

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      Creative Tables

      To bring a touch of the islands to their wedding, Katie and Russell named their tables after islands in the area. Then they tried to match their guests' personalities to their assigned tables. They also kept their table decor simple with low vases filled with floating flowers and river rocks that sat on a mirror surrounded by votives.

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      Embellishing the Tent

      Katie and Russell's florist beautified the tent by wrapping poles in white fabric and adding elegant arrangements.

      Get the Look: If you are having your ceremony or reception under a tent, dress it up by draping fabric or hanging lanterns. This will add a bit of ambiance and diminish the tent feel.

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      A Simple Cake

      Katie loved the smooth look of fondant icing so she kept hers simple and modern with the rounded layered look. She added green ribbon around the base of each and topped it off with a pearl look. She completed the look with a cute K as the modern cake topper.

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      Vendor Guide

      Location: Fairview Manor, Thousand Islands (Clayton), New York

      Florist: Sherwood Florists, www.asherwoodflorist.com

      Wedding Dress: Private Label by G from RK Bridal

      Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff from RK Bridal

      Photographer: Emily Cavaco; Emily Cavaco Photography, www.emilycavacophotography.com

      Videographer: Classic Photography & Video

      Reception & Ceremony Music: Kommand Performance DJ Service

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      Next Slideshow Real Weddings: A DIY Beach-Theme Wedding

      Real Weddings: A DIY Beach-Theme Wedding

      A North Carolina couple pulls off a show-stopping event with unique touches you can make your own, from star fish boutonnieres to a sea-shell covered cake.
      Begin Slideshow »

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