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Summer Party Cocktail

Dream Tips: How to Plan an Effortless Intimate Summer Party

Most of us can agree that spending time with family and friends has taken on a whole new meaning in 2020. Whether you’re inviting a few loved ones over for a summer BBQ, pool day or bonfire, these are all opportunities to create memories that will last a lifetime. To celebrate the season, we’ve put together a list of tips on how to plan an effortless intimate summer party that is destined to put a smile on everyone’s face.

1. Choose a Theme

One of our favorite parts about events, besides planning the menu of course, is getting creative with florals and decor. Southern-inspired, tropical, or bohemian are all great starting points for deciding on a summer party theme. But no matter which one you choose, don’t be afraid of color! Summer is the perfect time to have fun with vibrant hues.

To keep it simple and save money, use decor pieces you already have around the house. Mexican blankets or scarves can be used as table runners, candles in varying heights for centerpieces, and greenery from your own yard for arrangements. Ferns, magnolia leaves, and even boxwood all make beautiful bouquets, garlands or accent pieces.

If you want to keep it casual, we recommend visiting some of our favorite local party shops like Hester & Cook and Harlan Ruby for patterned disposable table runners, fun paper plates, and more.

2. Plan the Perfect Menu

Whether you’re planning a southern BBQ or a classic cookout, there’s just something about summer that makes food even tastier. Your menu doesn’t have to be complicated, sometimes the best summer meals are the simple ones we grew up with. 

Surf & Turf

Nothing says summer like seafood and the beach, right?! Have your guests feeling tropical by serving a fun menu full of delicious finger foods, like a raw bar and festive bloody mary shrimp skewers.

Don’t forget the cocktails! There’s nothing quite like a frosty adult beverage during the summer months. Made with St. George Green Chile Vodka, coconut water, muddled jalapeño, lime, and sparkling water — our 12South signature cocktail is refreshing and ideal for summer sippin’. Is your liquor cabinet empty? Head to Drizly for beer, wine, and liquor delivered straight to your door.

Bloody Mary Shrimp Skewers
Raw Bar
Summer Party Cocktail
Taco Bar

We’ll take tacos any time of year, but especially in the summer months. A variety of chicken, beef, and vegetarian tacos will be sure to satisfy each and every guest. Don’t forget the queso!

For drinks, nothing goes better with a Mexican-inspired meal than a margarita. Our Ring of Fire signature cocktail is a festive twist on the traditional marg with jalapeño, tequila, peach juice, Sprite, and grenadine.

Street Corn Salad on Taco Bar
Taco Bar
Summer Party Cocktail
Southern BBQ

At Dream we love serving summer favorites with a twist like sliders with smoked pulled pork, pulled chicken or smokehouse beef brisket with Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce served with pimento mac n’ cheese, and tri-color green bean slaw. Get ready for guests to come back and fill their plates with seconds. 

For a sweet treat, we suggest a cobbler made with fresh peaches and served with vanilla ice cream.

Not big on planning a menu? Dream All Day has you covered with their Grilling & Chilling party pack. All you have to do is fire up the grill, heat, and serve.

Pimento Mac N' Cheese
Summer Party Menu

3. Prepare to Beat the Heat

This summer heat is no joke! To keep your guests cool consider providing ample amounts of shade with awnings or planning the gathering under a tree. No shade? Handheld fans are the way to go.

Handheld Paper Fan

4. Arrange an Activity

Got kiddos in attendance? Arrange an activity or two, so you can relax and enjoy a cocktail with friends or play a game yourself. Backyard games like croquet or badminton can be fun for everyone. Don’t have either? Card games, puzzles, and coloring are all great activities too.

5. Serve Bonfire Treats

Gather sticks and firewood because there’s nothing better than roasting marshmallows for s’mores in the summer. Don’t have a fire pit? Use candles. If you’re looking to sip on an adult beverage that smells and feels like summer, take it to the next level by making a s’mores martini.

Marshmallows for S'mores
S'mores Martini