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.

View Slideshow

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.

View Video

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.

View Video

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!

View Slideshow

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!

View Slideshow
Popular in Entertaining

Real Weddings: A Pretty Summer Wedding

Shannon and Shawn took advantage of a beautiful San Diego golf course for their summer wedding.

X

    Everything in this slideshow

    • A Simple Updo

      About the Couple: Shannon and Shawn loved the naturally beautiful setting of the Amy Strong Castle at Mt. Woodson Golf Club in San Diego, California for their intimate wedding. Check out their beautiful budget-friendly California wedding.

      Shannon knew that she wanted to wear her hair in a romantic updo. After spotting this vintage-inspired hair clip, she chose to ditch a tiara for this simple look.

    • A Dreamy Dress

      Shannon instantly fell in love with this two-piece Maggie Sottero dress. The corset top highlighted her small waist and the full, tufted skirt gave the princess-like feel she was looking for.

      Bride's Tip: Consider the comfort factor of your dress. Since this dress was designed in two pieces, it was a lot lighter than a one-piece dress.

    • Personalized Shoes

      Shannon left her shoes up to her shoe guru: her sister. She transformed these ballet flats into a one-of-a-kind creation by adding jewels along the upper rim and topping off the look by writing "just married" along the backs. Shannon loved them and will treasure them forever.

      Get the Look: Get creative with your wedding shoes. Whether you add jewels in your wedding colors or place a monogram across your toes, one-of-a-kind wedding shoes will make a lifelong keepsake.

    • Out-of-the-Ordinary Photography

      Shannon and Shawn's photographer, Stephanie Fay of Tunnel Photography, took advantage of every angle of this unique location. When Stephanie told Shannon to hop up in the window of the castle, Shannon wasn't too sure -- but this unusual angle turned out to be one of her favorite shots.

    • A Monochromatic Bouquet

      Since her dress had so much detail, Shannon wanted to keep her bouquet simple yet bold. She stuck with the rich red tones of deep burgundy calla lilies, red dahlias, and 'Black Magic' roses.

      Get the Look: If you want to go with a monochromatic bouquet, ask your florist which flowers will look best together.

    • The Wedding Party

      Shannon was set on having cranberry-colored dresses for her bridesmaids. But after trying that shade on her girls, it just wasn't right. She choose to go with this neutral gray dress from Anthropologie and accessorize with pops of cranberry in their shoes.

      Bride's Tip: If you can't find the color of dress you desire, or it isn't the right shade for your bridesmaids, go with a neutral tone like gray or black. Then add your color scheme in with the flowers and accessories.

    • Loving the In-N-Out Burger

      Taking advantage of a notorious California hotspot, In-N-Out Burger, Shannon's sister couldn't resist her cravings during their pre-wedding photo session.

      Bride's Tip: If you are going to be taking pictures before the wedding, make sure to have plenty of snacks for your wedding party to munch on throughout the day.

    • Simple Rings

      Shannon and Shawn chose very simple wedding bands; hers, a band of diamonds. His sports a touch of brushed silver.

    • A Pretty Ceremony

      With the beautiful natural surroundings of the Amy Strong Castle at Mt. Woodson Golf Club, Shannon and Shawn didn't need much ceremony decor. They created an altar by draping a white sheet with a silver overlay. To add a dash of color to the altar, they added large sprays of cranberry and white flowers. Shannon had her florist sprinkle rose petals down the cobblestone aisle.

    • 10 of 18

      A Romantic Look

      For their outdoor reception, Shannon and Shawn wanted to create a romantic ambience with a casual twist. They chose ivory tablecloths with cranberry napkins to stay in the scheme. Shannon wanted to play with the height of her centerpieces. Some were very tall like this arrangement of lilies paired with vases of floating candles and votive candles.

    • 11 of 18

      A Variety of Centerpieces

      Another variation of centerpieces featured a vase with submerged orchids, a small rose arrangement, and a smaller vase with a floating candle. To add color to the centerpiece, their florist used dye to turn the water a rich shade of red.

      Budget Saver: To save money on flowers, pair smaller arrangements with candles to create a beautiful glow during dinner.

    • 12 of 18

      Dessert Lovers

      Shannon and Shawn absolutely love dessert so they went beyond the typical wedding cake by adding this chocolate fountain with a slew of goodies to dip. Since their wedding started at 6:30, they chose to skip dinner and feature heavy hors d'oeuvres with lots of dessert options.

      Budget Saver: If you are having a later wedding, save big bucks by serving heavy hors d'oeuvres verses a full dinner. Just be sure to state this on your invitations so your guests can eat prior to your ceremony.

    • 13 of 18

      A Little Extra Light

      Shannon and Shawn loved the lights that were strung over the reception location. It added an extra touch of ambience and set the reception location apart from the rest of the country club.

      Get the Look: Ask your location's management if there are lights that can be added. There may be a charge for the extra lighting but it will create a nice glow for an evening event.

    • 14 of 18

      A Votive Glow

      Shannon bought boxes of votive candles to surround the reception location. She asked a few of her friends to set them around the location to create a pretty glow.

      Budget Saver: Votive candles are a very easy way to decorate and can be bought in bulk, helping your budget!

    • 15 of 18

      3-Layer Cake

      Two layers of strawberry mousse cake and a layer of chocolate cake in the middle were topped off with buttercream icing. To incorporate their color scheme, Shannon had them use the deep burgundy calla lilies that were also featured in her bouquet.

    • 16 of 18

      A Little Alone Time

      During their reception, Shannon and Shawn slipped away to get a few more shots together.

      Bride's Tip: The times when you can just be together, enjoying each other and your wedding day, are the most memorable.

    • 17 of 18

      Vendor Guide

      Location: The Amy Strong Castle at Mt. Woodson Golf Club; www.mtwoodson.com

      Photographer: Stephanie Fay, Tunnel Photography; www.tunnelphotography.com

      Florist: Floral Works, Inc; www.floralworksonline.com

      Caterer: Continental Catering; www.continentalcateringsd.com

      Cake: It's a Piece a Cake; www.itsapieceacake.com

    • 18 of 18
      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 »

      Related

    close
    close
    close
    close
    close

    Loading... Please wait...