Sizzling Themes for an Outdoor Summer Party

Throw an outdoor summer party with one of these easy yet stunning themes that will leave your guests more than satisfied.

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November 25, 2014

'70s Glam Theme

Go beyond the table decor when throwing a summer party. Set a low table and chairs in your backyard for a laid back feel, and ask your friends to wear bright colors to really set the cheery mood. Photo by Courtney Apple and courtesy of Society Social; Styled by Styled Creative

Bright Colors and Patterns

To get a true '70s glam look, fill the table with bright colors and bold patterns and prints. Styled Creative paired an eye-catching pink and purple serving tray with fresh flowers for a stand-out feminine look. Incoporate gold accents for an extra touch of glam. Photo by Courtney Apple and courtesy of Society Social

Tropical Party

Bring the rainforest to your backyard for a memorable outdoor soiree. Courtney Dial of incorporated "rich leafy greens, watery blues and tropical coral to make the perfect color scheme." Coconut sorbet by Island Way Sorbet, served with leaf-shaped cookies by Bee's Knees Creative, makes a great signature dessert for guests. "You don't have to match everything, so use what you already have and add in a few new items to fit the theme," Courtney says.

Old-Fashion Lemonade Stand

Nothing is more nostalgic than a classic lemonade stand. "Distressed gingham, stripes and polka dots carried throughout the paper decorations create a vintage feel" says Abigail Barnes of Paper & Cake. To enhance the vintage look, paint an old table black, adorn it with paper chains and add supplies needed for an old-fashioned lemonade stand. Paper pinwheels and a pennant banner round out the table display.

All-Americana Party

The inspiration for this party was classic all-American baseball. This theme works great for Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day or for a picnic in the park. ALM Chandler spruced up the table with a handmade apple banner, and she served apple pie instead of a traditional cake for a true Americana look. To coordinate with the theme, serve red, white and blue dessert and soda pop. Party collaboration with Emily Welch of Magnolia Creative Co.

Simple Elegance

Throwing an elegant outdoor dinner party doesn't have to mean using expensive tableware. Purchase basic glasses, fill them with water and place discount flowers on top. For an extra touch, surround the glasses with small candles and serve the food on your best china. Design by Manvi Drona Hidalgo

Outdoor Fiesta

What better way to celebrate summer than an outdoor fiesta? Courtney dressed the table with orange burlap layered over a red tablecloth for a bold, colorful touch. A large sombrero sits on a tall candlestick and acts as the table's centerpiece. The sombrero is filled with cupcakes topped with miniature Mexican flags for a festive look. Sombrero-shaped melamine plates and cactus-shaped margarita glasses reinforces the theme. Pepper-shaped cookies by Bee's Knees Creative bring a whimsical touch to the table.

Lobster Bake

It wouldn't be summer without an outdoor lobster bake. Cover the table with newspaper for an inexpensive way to bring festivity to your party. Shellfish is so vivid that you don't need a ton of decor to create an appealing yet casual table setting. Add some simple dinnerware to complete the look without going over the top. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn

Garden Tea Party

Gather up your girlfriends for an elaborate garden tea party. Use natural elements such as moss and fresh flowers to dress up the table. Camille Styles of Camille Styles Events placed burlap on the table for a rustic feel. Fresh white tulips in small pots is an easy way to bring life and openness to the table.

Green and White Party

Choose fresh, lively colors to create a delightful summer theme. Use plain white dinnerware and pair it with a vibrant tablecloth pattern to spice up the look. "Don't be afraid to pull from pieces you already own around your house for a party display," she says. Courtney displayed white candlesticks from her bookshelf and used dinnerware she already had to keep within her budget. Simple white tulips freshen the look. Serve wine and pair it with delicious food, such as artichoke hearts to keep within the color theme.

Party After Dark

For a low-key, no-fuss outdoor soiree, use candle lanterns as centerpieces. Choose bold hues to bring some color to the space. The best part? The candles will light up the space so the party can keep going even after dark. Design by event planner Dina Manzo

A Day at the Beach

A beach-inspired outdoor party is an easy and budget-friendly party idea. To make a shell centerpiece, fill a hurricane glass with store-bought shells or shells collected from your last vacation. Susan Herin of Between Naps on the Porch made beach-themed napkin rings by gluing large shells to wooden rings. Starfish as place settings enhance the theme and are great party favors for guests.

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