It was a rainy Memorial Day weekend here in the Pacific Northwest, but this weekend it’s supposed to be in the 80s, which makes me excited for summer parties! I’ve compiled a list of my five favorite summer party essentials I use from one party to the next all season long.
First up is my Mason Jar Drink Dispenser. I love this thing all year long really, and it’s currently on sale! I promise you’ll get so much use out of it! It makes serving cocktails easy because you can prep a huge batch ahead of time and don’t have to play bartender all night long. If you’re having a big party, you could even make a second batch of cocktails and store it in the fridge to refill the dispenser as the night goes on.
And full disclosure, this thing may or may not be filled with sangria in my fridge all summer long. YUM. You definitely want to account for some sort of stand for this to sit on, otherwise you can’t fit a glass underneath. I’m not a huge fan of having it on the edge of the table – that just makes me nervous! I’ve used a block of wood that I wrapped in festive fabric, and I really like the galvanized drink dispenser stand in the photo – in fact, it’s being shipped to my house next week – yay!
My next favorite is my confetti tumblers. I really prefer acrylic drinkware for all summer parties, since they allow for the flexibility of being outside/inside/poolside. And the fact that these are double-walled prevents them from getting sweaty in the summer heat. I found some other great options too, especially at World Market and Pier 1.
And since we talked drinkware, let’s finish off the summer table with my favorite dishes for parties: these melamine place settings. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a good paper plate that matches my theme, but I also think investing in a nice set of versatile outdoor dinnerware that you can reuse again and again saves money AND the earth. Win, win! I like the white for its classic feel and the fact that it can match any theme, and there are lots of other great color/pattern options out there if you prefer a different basic.
Another party favorite is my glassybaby candle holders. And for summer patio parties, I like to use citronella tealights to keep the bugs at bay. I’ve collected a nice variety of colors over the years, so I’m able to incorporate a few into each party to fit my theme/color scheme. I’ve mentioned glassybaby before – it’s such a cool local company and their commitment to “one of a kindness” and giving back is amazing. Check them out – they make great gifts because each one has its own name, so you can find a special name or color to match your recipient.
My final favorite is summer flowers. In May and June I use peonies almost exclusively, and in July and August I like dahlias and hydrangeas. I feel pretty lucky to live near Pike Place Market where I can get a huge bouquet of flowers for a great price all year long. And recently, I discovered another spot that I know will become a go-to for flowers – the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. They’re open to the public on Fridays, which is perfect for weekend parties. They had tons of amazing displays of flowers for inspiration and it’s owned and operated by the growers that supply to the market – love that!
If you don’t have a farmer’s market or flower market near you, and still want flowers at your party, another great option for centerpieces is little potted flowers or plants. You can get flower pots that match your color scheme and that would be cute in the center of a party table.
My party essentials make it easy for me to focus on the other details of my parties, because I know I’m covered with these items and I like that peace of mind when it comes to planning. I think I’ll be pulling my mason jar dispenser out of storage this weekend and filling it with sangria. You know, just to make sure it still works before my next party.