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How to Plan the Perfect One-Stop Summer Soiree

Planning a summer soiree? Read on to get expert tips from Beaucoup! Events, and see the most swoon-worthy tablescape – the ultimate setup for a Freshly Squeezed Summer.

By: Niki | July 10, 2017

If you’ve ever wanted to host a gathering, and immediately shot down the idea for the stress that quickly accompanied simply figuring out the perfect theme, fear no more! From budget-friendly tips, delicious recipes, and one-stop shopping, local event planner, Ali from Beaucoup! Events, has nailed everything a summer soiree should be.

So without further ado… Take it away, Ali!

Hi, everyone – it’s Ali with Beaucoup! Events!

After a long winter, the only thing on my summer agenda is spending time in the sun, and the best way to do that is with friends and family.  Whether on a city balcony, at the pool, or in a sprawling backyard, a simple approach to party preparation makes for an easygoing atmosphere.  To minimize stress, West Acres and Beaucoup! Events teamed up for tips to hosting-made easy without sacrificing style or flavor.

Inspired by summer sunshine, brightness was translated into the theme, a Freshly Squeezed Summer.  Citrus is colorful, transformable and affordable.  From décor to cuisine, queues were taken from nature by using organic elements for the perfect summer soirée.  Grapefruits, oranges, lemons and limes, which can be found at The Market @ West Acres, studded the table as the centerpiece and place cards.  If assigned seating feels too formal, write festive messages in place of your guests’ names (e.g. When life gives you lemons, throw a party!).

The Kate Spade home collection at Macy’s had so much to offer.  Lemon printed kitchen towels from the collection, along with lemon dinner plates were a perfect starting point for the tablescape.  To ground the bright yellow, navy blue was brought in with striped side plates and floral napkins, also from Macy’s.  The sun sparkled off reflective pieces; there were gold striped drinking glasses from the Kate Spade collection, as well as gold flatware and individual silver salt-and-pepper shaker sets from my personal collection (tip: it’s a big budget saver when you’re able to mix fun new pieces with items you already have and love). Being playful with patterns and textures seemed fitting in the spirit of summer.

Creating a no-fuss centerpiece designed for even a first-time entertainer was important.  Over the Kate Spade navy and white striped table runner from Macy’s, greens from the ever-lovely Love Always Floral were laid down the middle.  Nestled among the foliage were battery-operated pillar candles from Herberger’s and pops of bright green, yellow and orange from the citrus.  The varying colors and heights allow your eye dance from one end of the table to the other.  And as the sun sets, the candles shine a soft glow as the festivities extend into the evening.

The grill was outfitted with the essentials for radiant summer flavors.  Picking up from the towels, a Kate Spade lemon-print oven mitt was alongside a mesh grilling basket – both from Macy’s.  Grilled chicken with various summer seasonings from Creative Kitchen make a delicious protein to top a salad of romaine, grilled corn, tomato, red onion and a creamy avocado-cilantro dressing. 

Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Dressing Recipe:

  • Purée two diced avocados, ¾ cup Greek yogurt, ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, the freshly squeezed juice of a half a lemon, a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. 

For a vegetarian option, substitute the meat with grilled shiitake mushrooms caps marinated in a tangy barbecue sauce, which can also be found at Creative Kitchen.

Situated on a modern bar cart with gold detail was the drink station.  The punch bowl from Macy’s could feature a signature cocktail created just for your gathering.  Try a twist on a classic like the refreshing Paloma. 

Paloma Recipe:

  • Mix together six cups of grapefruit juice and the juice of three freshly squeezed limes
  • Top the mixture off with champagne.  (If you prefer a mocktail, substitute the bubbly for flavored sparkling water). 
  • Garnish each glass with a lime wedge and a DIY drink stirrer.

To add a personalized touch, consider making handmade items.  In small white bowls from Macy’s, the place cards were created with nothing more than an orange, gold baker’s twine and gold polka dot paper cut to make tags.  The tassel stir sticks required hot glue, wooden skewers cut to size and gold foil tissue paper that I fringed using a scissor.  Combined, these items took under an hour to make.

Planning doesn’t have to be stressful.  Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. The best was having a one-stop shop for picking up the perfect party items – tableware and décor from Macy’s & Herberger’s; additional spices, sauces, and grilling necessities from Creative Kitchen; and citrus accents from The Market @ West Acres – which added convenience and time-saving to the party planning. Also take into consideration your guest’s individual needs to be accommodating.  Think about how to create ambiance using alternative lighting.  Choose fool-proof recipes that can be done mostly in advance.  Serve your drinks in a punch bowl or pitcher, so you don’t have to play bartender all night.  Pick a cheerful theme that isn’t defined by perfection, and allow yourself the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your party planning.

Cheers!

Cheers, indeed!

Love what you see? We look forward to collaborating with more local entrepreneurs and businesses! If you have one in mind, send us a message here. In the meantime, click here to catch up on everything else that’s going on at West Acres – from exciting announcements (to come) and everything else you need to make this summer, the best summer.

A very special thank you to Heritage Homes for always allowing us to use your already beautiful homes & patios!

Niki

I have the privilege of being on the amazing Marketing, PR and Fashion team as the Digital Marketing Manager at West Acres. When I am not managing our social and digital platforms and brainstorming content ideas, I am the woman behind (and sometimes in front of) the camera – creating content and working with the media to create segments to introduce the latest trends! When I’m not at the mall, you can find me watching “Friends,” eating ice cream by the carton, spending time with my family and friends, feeding my Pinterest addiction or crossing off destinations on my traveling bucket list.

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