Hosting a summer party should be all about effortless entertaining. During summertime, little shortcuts to simplify entertaining is the way to go. These 10 shortcuts will make your summer party plans a breeze! 
Cut Down on Pre-Party Cleaning by Hosting Outdoors. If you know you will be pressed for time to prepare for your party, hosting your soirée outside will help you avoid cleaning your entire house. Since guests will primarily spend most of the party outdoors, clean only the entry and main living areas of your house beforehand. You can skip heavy cleaning for some of the less used rooms, such as bedrooms. Just make sure to tidy up any outdoor living spaces before the party. 
Gather Flowers from the Garden to Decorate. Save money on flowers and table centerpieces by using what you have in your garden. During the summer months, you can cut flowers from the garden so you don’t have to buy floral arrangements. Also, simply rearrange flower pots around the back yard party area for a more lush look to your patio or deck. 
Printable Paper Goods for Last Minute Decorations. If you decide to host a last minute party, you can still find cute party décor without leaving the house. Many online sellers and websites offer printable party goods, such as printable 4th of July banners or cupcake toppers. Printing these items and using them can save time and money. 
Candy Can Serve Double Duty as Both a Decoration and a Treat. Purchase colorful candies and place them in jars on the food table. It will add a pop of color to your decorations and kids and adults will both love the treat! 
Decorate the Table with Candles. Outdoor entertaining definitely has a more casual feel. Take advantage of the carefree summer vibe and decorate the table with a centerpiece that will take just a couple of minutes. Gather many of your candles from around the house and scatter them down the center of the table. Don’t worry about making sure that they all coordinate for a casual summer fete; once the sun goes down it won’t matter if they all match. 
Choose a Wise Time to Host Your Party.  If hosting guests for a meal is somewhat intimidating, take advantage of summer’s longer days and host a late evening party. Invite friends over for desserts and cocktails, instead of dinner. Summer days are the perfect time for later parties and guests will naturally want to linger while the weather is nice.
Check Out the Freezer Section for Appetizers. Spending a large portion of time preparing appetizers is not necessary with all the great selections in the freezer section of your local grocery. Delicious options will give guests some tasty little nibbles without requiring a lot of prep time.
Dress Up Store Bought Desserts. Dressing up store bought goods will make it look like you spent much more time preparing for the party. For example, dip the end of store bought rice krispie treat in melted chocolate and sprinkle with sanding sugar or specialty salt. 
Serve Simple Cocktails. Instead of mixing complicated drinks, pick one simple cocktail to serve with beer and wine. One example is the Raspberry Prosecco Bellini: pour one part Raspberry liqueur into a champagne glass, add four parts of Prosecco, and garnish with a fresh basil leaf. Store bought drink mixes, like margarita mixes, are also a fabulous party shortcut.
Set Up Entertainment Stations for Kids. If your guest list includes younger kids, party activities will help keep them busy. A few small stations, such as a coloring table, a backyard game like croquet, or a tattoo station will make your house the fun summer party place!

Posted on 2015-06-19 by Deanna Talwalkar