July 11, 2012
Gathering friends and family to your home is a distinct pleasure of summertime! An evening gathering, perhaps a lazy summer patio lunch or a breakfast grill followed by a hike. The ‘type’ of summer soiree you choose may fire-up your plans for many more!
Here are a few ideas and helpful tips to design your signature summer gathering:
Once you’ve decided the time and date of your function, consider these simple themes to guide your plans:
If you live in a Polygon community with a clubhouse, contact your resident manager to book and use the clubhouse space for your next party. You'll have more than enough space for a large party and there will be no clean-up required in your own home.
Use nature’s events as the main backdrop for your event: A Harvest Moon party in August, or a Summer Solstice party in June! Other outdoor ideas: A big hosta leaf as a drink coaster, home-made sun tea, garden flowers in a mason jar, or luminary candle holders.
An abundance of local farmers market and neighbourhood garden exchanges exist in the Lower Mainland. Tour one before your party to gather inspiration.
A taster table for guests to ‘make-their-own’ food creations. Part functional, part entertainment! It can take many forms, make your own gourmet ice cream sundaes, fruit accessorized drinks, or build a gourmet slider burger. It also helps to take a load of you as the host, and makes for great photo opportunities.
Intersperse activity amongst the culinary offerings: A nature walk, kids or adults scavenger hunt, outdoor lawn games, bird watch, pool/swim fun, family bike ride, a telescope for stargazing, organized adult or kids craft [create luminary lanterns or a mini herb pot].
Fast and furious or traditional and timely invitations, choose from evites, Facebook, Text, Tweets, hand delivered, snail mailed or word-of-mouth. If you have crafty kids on summer holidays plan to delegate this job to them if the invite is suitable to their age and ability.
A vast array of summer or BBQ party menus is searchable online. Try sourcing a few menu ingredients from your local growers. If you are hosting multiple summer events, one could look completely different from another event simply based on the menu! BC Lower Mainland’s farmer markets set a great stage for inspiration. Consider the captivating conversation that a locally-grown food menu will inspire!
Further, you can find amazing recipes direct from these grower’s websites. Try a few of these locally inspired recipes sources:
Farm House Cheeses
Consider a variety of basic beverages to cater to all taste buds and drinking preferences. Perhaps try a new feature drink at your gathering, but avoid too many new options and keep it easy on you, the host.
Yearning for adventure while you research the options? Check out your local winery or distillery and discover the story behind your purchase!
No one but you needs to know about these plans! Yet, having a few in your back pocket for poor weather, guest allergies, extra drop-ins, ice runs, early arrivals, or pets who accompany their owner could be party salvation.
Pre-party contingency guidelines can certainly be stated on your invitation or you may simply want to hold onto the plans for ‘if and when’ needed. Your party will continue without a hitch despite the fastball thrown at you. And don’t forget to stop and ask yourself: Are you having fun planning your own event? Avoid letting the ‘edit button’ go off too many times and enjoy the process.