I'm so excited that summer is officially here, because now I can start planning all sorts of backyard barbecues, neighborhood soirees, family gatherings and pool parties
that make the most of the gorgeous seasonal weather. While others might think assuming the role of hostess is often more work than it's worth, I love organizing these types of events and ensuring that my close friends and family members all have a great time.
After many years of planning events like my husband's 30th birthday (the event of the season, if I do say so myself) and picking out anniversary gifts (you won't find a more diligent gift giver than me), I think it's safe to say I know a thing or two about throwing a party. While there are a million different things to consider, I've found that for indoor and outdoor parties alike, you should never underestimate the aesthetic importance of great lighting. If you're looking to bring some elegant illumination to your own backyard events, consider some of these truly unique lighting arrangements.
For those longing to throw an oceanside gathering but making due with grassy suburbia, MarthaStewart.com has just the solution - glowing shells. You can easily create a romantic beachy aesthetic by collecting or purchasing oversized shells and arranging them in a tray with some sand and small nautical accents. Once you have the shells in place, insert a small votive candle for a subtle ambiance your guests will be sure to love.
Whenever you're organizing an outdoor event, Tiki torches are more or less a must-have element. Whether you're planning a Hawaiian luau or a simple bonfire, these tall, in-ground torches offer an island aesthetic with their wood frames and will burn brightly throughout the night, according to Real Simple. Not only are these accents great for providing mood lighting or illuminating pathways, but you can also find varieties that repel pesky insects.
Pool Balloon Lanterns
If you're looking for a truly unique lighting trick that requires minimal time or effort, then you'll want to take a look at pool balloon lanterns. According to Pinterest, you can create neon egg-shaped lights by simply placing a glow stick into a balloon and then inflating. Throw these luminous balls into your pool, and you'll have floating ambiance that's great for nighttime swimming.
Winter might be months away, but that doesn't mean you can't use those old Christmas lights. You can create an elegant arrangement by wrapping bushes or trees in your backyard in string lights that can illuminate a patio table or poolside seating area. While you can do this with multicolored lights, white offers a cleaner and classic appeal that won't cause as much seasonal confusion for your party guests.
Consider yourself a party planner extraordinaire? Think you have what it takes to decorate with the best of them? Comment below and head to our Facebook or Twitter pages to share your insider summer party tips with the outdoor lighting-challenged.