Summer Soriée at home

It is summer so why not invite some friends over and set the table outside! What is stopping you from taking a few extra steps to make it a little extra special? The last minute gatherings I throw together are honestly better than the ones I plan months and months.

Here are the few steps I took when I recently threw a last minute summer gathering outside:

  1. Send out a text asking friends over. Once the guests are invited there is no turning back.

  2. Get inspiration from somewhere. Bruce’s collection of mint julep cups (thanks to his God-Mother Louise) inspired me to serve Mint Juleps as the signature drink.

  3. Create a design plan. I stepped into my party closet to decide what napkins and dishes I would use. I didn’t love what I saw, so I treated myself to a few new items from Juliska. I strongly encourage you to have at least one set of fun dishes, napkins and placemats. If you are going to entertain a lot, consider starting a collection of fun party items so that no one party is the exact same. Nothing has to be fancy! I have found some of my favorite items at West Elm, Target and Crate and Barrel.

  4. Create the centerpiece. While it is totally acceptable to keep things simple, I called in Mary Cox Brown to help make this summer gathering extra special. Consider grabbing some florals from Whole Foods and filling a variety of bud vases down your table. Always have a box of glass votives on hand! You can achieve a great look by filling the center of the table with nothing but candles and calling it a day.

  5. Choose your menu. I am not a cook nor do I have the time to fool with it. I would never host if it meant I had to grocery shop and then prepare the meal. I thought about what my favorite meal was in town and simply ordered takeout. Since it was a girls’ night, I opted for the Bottega Bowl from Bottega Cafe. With the entree decided, I turned to Savor Style for the best meet and cheese board to start the party.

Photography by Alisha Crossley


With these simple steps you are ready to host. Treating your friends to a well planned night is a treat for both you and them. Enjoy!!

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