The clouds have parted, sweaters have been packed away, and it’s finally beginning to look like summer has arrived in LA! And the minute the temperature begins to rise, the minute I start planning a gathering in my backyard to kick off Summer. I have lived in my house for two and a half years now and since we moved in we have been hosting monthly gatherings during the warmer months. Sometimes we host dinners and pizza parties, and sometimes we just host for cocktails and light bites, but the planning and production are always up to me. I have learned a lot over the past few years and here are some recommendations for YOUR next summertime soirée:
Don’t overdo it.
Trust me I know, when you’re hosting you want to put your best foot forward, but keeping certain things in mind like paper plates vs dishes, or letting your friends help clean or bring dishes, snacks that are easy to assemble and replenish, etc, will save you so much time and energy in the end! It’s important that you enjoy your own party too.
Make it pretty, but keep it simple.
I love making any party I host feel special, and the easiest and most cost-effective way to do that, at least for me, is flowers. Really, that’s it. I usually go to Trader Joes and assemble a few vases. I’ve never spent more than $40, and we’re talking a ton of flowers. If you have the time you can also visit the Flower Mart downtown for even better prices. Flowers are a small detail, but it can completely transform the space – plus make it photogenic, which is always a plus. Colorful table accents work too and are an inexpensive way to make your table festive.
Always have enough food.
There is nothing sadder than being at a party without enough food, so I always make sure to have more than less. I’ve learned over time that the best type of food to have at a cocktail party are cheese boards and/or vegetable & fruit crudité. This past Friday I hosted a “Rose All Day” themed cocktail party in honor of the first day of Summer and I had my good friend Kara of bykaraelise.com help me create a “rainbow board” to pair with the warm weather and some deliciously chilled rosé. They’re surprisingly easy to assemble, the perfect type of bites for this type of party, and of course a total show stopper. (Plus once again, everything on this board was bought at Trader Joes.)
Rosé. Plenty of Rosé.
Warm weather and Rosé go together like, warm weather and rosé. During the summer rosé tends to become the focal point of my parties and after hosting a similar gathering last year, I fell particularly in love with an amazing rosé – H&B Provence Rosé. It’s a 90 pt rated rosé, it’s around $20 a bottle, you can get it at places like BevMo, the bottle is gorgeous, and as mentioned – it’s absolutely delicious. When you don’t know what to serve, serve rosé, and when you don’t know what to buy, buy H&B Provence. I haven’t had a summertime party in quite some time without at least a few bottles because it’s just a bottle I can always count on that everyone will enjoy, myself included.
PHOTOS | ALEXANDRA FOLSTER
DISCLAIMER: this post was sponsored by H&B Provence, but all opinions are genuine and belong only to me. Thank you for supporting the brands who allow me to continue to bring you wonderful and meaningful content on the regular! Find the rosé to follow this summer on Instagram at @hbprovence.