How to Host the Perfect Summer Dinner Party

In 2024, we’re bringing back the dinner party! This year is the year of self-care and intention, which translates wonderfully into hosting a dreamy dinner party. As summer approaches, the opportunity for warmer evenings sat in the sun guarantees a perfect backdrop for your meals. In this guide to hosting a summer dinner party, we’ve gathered all the top tips for creating the best celebration.

How To Pick Your Party Theme

For every occasion, there’s a wide range of tablescape options and necessities. For example, hosting a casual dinner party for your friends will require different spreads of tableware and food compared to hosting a dinner party for your family or in-laws. Choosing the theme will also dictate the level of formality, who you invite, the food you serve, and the décor you use. Some of our favorite dinner party themes for summer are:

Best Bow Decorations

Ever a popular trend, this bow-inspired theme features pink bows and pastel table candles aplenty, alongside bow place cards for an elevated look. Pair with our Ladurée Paris Garland and Ladurée Marie-Antoinette Napkins to create an elegant, picture-perfect celebration.

SHOP THE BOW COLLECTION

Al Fresco Dining

Ideal for stylish teens and adults, this theme features floral tableware, fresh seasonal flowers, and delicious food and drinks. Use our Citrus Fruit Garland and Lemon Sherbet Napkins to create the perfect Italian-inspired summer celebration or lay the table with Ditsy Floral Dinner Plates for a classic floral tablescape.

SHOP FLORALS

Rainbow Extravaganza

In 2024, maximalist décor and colorful parties are back in style! Perfect for a summer dinner party with younger guests, this tablescape can be created using Rainbow Honeycomb Decorations, rainbow table candles, and a mix of colorful tableware.

SHOP RAINBOWS

1. The Fine Print

It’s all about the details when it comes to creating the perfect dinner party. To make your celebrations memorable from the start, send a dinner party invitation that incorporates your chosen theme. At Meri Meri, we love Paperless Post and their customizable invites that suit every occasion, such as this bow-inspired design.

Curating custom menus, with either an intricate or simple design, are the next step to impressing your guests. Once your menu is decided upon, choose a sumptuous design, and print them out to put alongside place cards and create the finishing touch to your tablescape.

2. Set The Table

The table is the focal point of your dinner party or cocktail hour, so setting it up in the right way is crucial. There are many ways to host your party, but there are a few essentials that every dinner must have: cloth napkins (preferably with a fun scallop edge), candles, and fresh seasonal flowers in assorted vases. In the summer, you can truly take advantage of the sun and warmer weather by placing your tablescape in the garden and by using lots of bright colors to accentuate. Here are a few tips and tricks to make planning your tablescape easier to manage:

  • • Lay the table ahead of time. When you only have a few spare moments before your guests arrive, having the table already set and perfected will make your dinner party much less stressful.

  • • Create a playlist specifically for your party. Background music is great for ambience – whether it’s Abba, R&B, or Taylor Swift, the music will set the tone for your party.

  • • Don’t forget the kids: set up their table or place setting with fun activities and stylish décor in line with your theme. Get them coloring in with our Coloring Placemats, available in a multitude of designs for every interest.

  • • Etiquette, etiquette, etiquette! Not every occasion will require a salad fork, but make sure that you set your table with the right glasses, whether that be for wine or water, and the necessary cutlery.

  • • Make some delicious appetizers that complement your main course – for example, a cheese board is great for an Italian menu, or flatbread and houmous for a Mediterranean meal.

  • • Alternatively, if you and your guests have more of a sweet-tooth, a show-stopping dessert will ensure that your party is talked about for weeks afterward.

SHOP LINEN NAPKINS
SHOP TABLE CANDLES

3. All The Activities

Pre- or after-dinner entertainment is a sure-fire way to make your dinner party stand out. In 2024, we predict that more dinner parties will feature fun activities or games. At Meri Meri, we adore sip-and-paint parties that involve delicious cocktails (or mocktails for the sober or younger guests!). Gather your friends for a round of cards or a board game; alternatively, become quizmaster and host a trivia round. For a memorable end to your event, get everyone on their feet and start a dance party!

SHOP COLORING POSTERS

4. Gifts Galore…

Whether you need a gift idea for the host or to create a grown-up goody bag, we have several ideas on how to find stylish gifts that your host or guests will love. Candles are always a great gift, and we love our Table Candles as they’re pretty yet practical! Personalized matchboxes or candles are unique gifts that will leave an impression, and there are a variety of designs that are suitable for every receiver – for example, the Bow Appétit Matches from Hauste are great for those who love the trending coquette aesthetic of 2024! A gift with a personal touch can be polaroid pictures of your picture-perfect dinner and frame-worthy guests.

SHOP GIFTS FOR THE HOST

We would love to see how your dinner parties turn out! Send pictures of your event to @merimeriparty at Instagram.

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