How To Throw The Perfect Backyard Summer Party


Summer officially isn’t here yet, but I know many of you will be hosting a backyard summer party or 2 or 3. Today, I’m happy to share this post which will both reveal the patio makeover I did AND give you some tips on how to throw a summer party that family and friends will be sure to be talking about. You will be the hostess with the mostess. The makeover was fun. When we moved into the house last year, we really didn’t have the time to work on the deck much, as making over the kitchen was a bigger priority.

reclaimed wood letters

This space between the window and the pergola we built needed a little something. So we used some excess barnwood we had in the garage to make the letters EAT and mounted the letters on lattice we found at Home Depot.


After the deck was power washed, to create more of an outdoor entertaining space, we built a pergola. We didn’t have any plans, we just built it based on information we found online and tips we learned from the helpful guys we met in the lumber aisle at Home Depot! I chose to hang paint drop cloths as curtains on closet rod polls to shade the area. If you create a shaded area in your backyard, this area can serve as a dual purpose…to protect food/drinks served on a cart and you can also put chairs under there as extra seating that is shaded from the sun.


When you throw a party be sure to offer a variety of beverages. ALWAYS have water available and offer BOTH alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beverages. Try to offer both white and red wine or even try your hand at making a seasonally appropriate sangria recipe like this Sparkling Strawberry Rosé Sangria one.

summer sangria recipe

Make your beverage spot somewhere your guest can personalize their beverage. Offer options when it comes to garnishes from citrus fruits to mints and a few colors of fun striped paper straws.



Make your place settings special. Add little touches like fresh herbs, flowers or greenery to napkins. Tie them around the napkin with natural jute like I did here or use colorful twine.

summer party ideas

Keep some of your food simple and serve seasonly fresh items. Berries are wonderful options to have available. They are easy to serve (nothing to worry about melting), they add color to the outdoor space and they shouldn’t cost you a ton of money as they are in abundance in the summer. I know many people like to serve fruit salad, but try serving fruits separately. Many people pick through a fruit salad to take their favorites…wouldn’t it be nice to already have them sorted for your guests.


Use pretty but unbreakable dishes. Your guests will thank you. The blue hobnail glasses are actually melamine ones (hard plastic). I found them at Walmart. The blue plates under the white ones are melamine as well and I found those at Home Depot. Have fresh flowers around. It’s an easy way to add color in your décor that is pretty. They always make people smile and add a touch of elegance wherever they are. Make sure you choose flowers that are hearty and can stand the heat. A good choice is roses and a not so good choice is hydrangeas. Outdoors, hydrangeas can get frumpy in the heat.


Seating. Make sure it is comfy and that you have enough. Because we wanted this space to have enough seating for up to 10 people, we built the bench along the rail long enough to hold that many more people than could fit around the tale. I added outdoor pillows along the bench to make the space feel even more homey and inviting. I found some at Pier 1 and some at Bed Bath and Beyond.

I truly hope you have found some ideas to help make your summer party a hit!

Leave a Comment


  1. 6.8.16

    This is absolutely beautiful! I would love to sit on that deck and enjoy a drink 🙂

    • 6.8.16
      therusticlife said:

      Thanks so much Katherine, it’s truly a relaxing place to enjoy at the end of a long day! XO