The Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate! Holidays are special occasions which allow us a break in our normal routine, so enjoy it. With a little planning ahead, you can put together a summer party that all your friends and family will appreciate.
CHOOSE YOUR VENUE: Whether you choose to throw a party at your house, or a nearby beach or park, make sure you have a “rainy day” plan.
A THEME WILL HELP KEEP THINGS FOCUSED: It can be Stars & Stripes, a type of food or a color, but it’s not a party without a theme. A theme will keep you focused when it comes to menu and ambiance, too.
GUEST LIST AND INVITATIONS: Consider the size of the venue, your budget and who you would like to invite. These days, e-mail is a very acceptable and convenient way to send invitations, or just get on the phone and start making calls. Either way, try to have a final guest count by 3-4 days before the party.
MENU: Make a list of items you’d like to serve, keeping in mind the venue, theme, dietary restrictions of your guests, budget and most importantly, preparation time. Create a menu of items that can be made (or at least prepped) ahead of time. Collect all of the recipes, make a grocery list, and map out your game plan for prepping and making the food. It’s always better to make a few great, simple dishes than to get carried away making too many complicated things. Ask your guests to bring things, too!
AMBIANCE (Decorations, Music, Entertainment): Straighten up the house and/or yard before the party. Obviously, the theme will guide the decorations and it can also guide the music and entertainment. Decorations can be as simple as flowers and candles. Make a playlist or select several cds that fit the theme and get the music started early. Check your local blogs and news outlets to find out when and where the fireworks start (or what time they’ll be televised). A game the whole group can participate in is always a fun way to get people engaged (I like to ask a guest to bring/organize this).
ENJOY YOURSELF: All of your planning, organizing and preparing ahead of time will allow you to relax and mingle and have fun!