By Mikaela Kirby

Published on May 13, 2015

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Photography by Chris Cooney

THEMES TO INSPIRE

Even if it’s an impromptu brunch or a casual
gathering with friends, a theme ties the affair
together. Choose elements inspired by
a color palette, pattern, or destination.

This adorable checkered setup is the perfect mix of retro and rustic.

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Photography by style me pretty

Bright colors and metallic details inspired an evening in Morocco. 

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Photography by Amber Grass

The perfect spot

If you have access to an outdoor space, whether it be a backyard or rooftop, utilize it! Take advantage of the great weather, there’s nothing like a summer night spent outside with friends.

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Photography by erich mcvey

No patio? No problem. If you’re lucky enough to live by the water, bring it to the beach! The sand and surf lend a beautiful backdrop to any bash. 

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Photography by na

For a casual setup, there's nothing quite like a summer picnic at the park!

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Photography by paulab artosiewicz

DECOR THAT WOWS

Tablecloths, runners, and placemats
are excellent ways to lend color and
texture to the table.

A vibrant hue evokes a dynamic essence within the scheme.

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Photography by Kristyn Hogan

White and gold details elevate outdoor setups.

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Photography by hurst and brown

Going for a minimalist feel? Simple color coordination gives this tablescape an effortlessly put together aesthetic.

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When finding enough chairs proves to be impossible, nix them all together! Rugs and blankets are perfect alternatives.

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Photography by apartmenttherapy.com

Summer is the season for some of our favorite blooms. Handpick them from a garden or stop by your local florist for a gorgeous centerpiece – minus the hassle.

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Photography by Shea Christine

Get creative with the vases and leave room for imperfections.We've got easy centerpiece ideas here!Can't deal with bouquets? Succulents are a hassle-free way to add some natural beauty to your tabletop.

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Photography by Chantal Andrea

When the sun starts to set, string lights and candles set a warm, romantic mood for an outdoor dinner soiree. 

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Photography by Brittni Mehlhoff

THE RIGHT LIGHT

When the sun starts to set, string lights
and candles set a warm, romantic mood
for an outdoor dinner soiree.

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ON THE MENU

Think colorful dishes and
festive cocktails, using seasonal ingredients and flavor-packed garnishes.

Small, bite-sized snacks make for the best apps. Keep them light and simple – leaving room for the main course!

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Elevate this classic crowd-pleaser with fresh tomatoes,
garden herbs, and caramelized onions.

Get the recipe for this cheesy, chorizo, and artichoke pizza here.

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Photography by kitchykitchen

What’s a party without dessert? This cinnamon sugar
churro cake will surely have them coming back for more.

Get the churro cake recipe here.

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Fire roasted marshmallows and a hearty scoop of ice cream. Now that's something we'd like to sink our teeths into!

Get the s'more ice cream sandwich recipe here.

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When warm weather calls for a refreshing cocktail, this berry blend will do the trick.

Get the blueberry thyme gin smash recipe here.

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A deliciously fruity lemonade is an equally indulging and booze-free alternative.

Get the recipe for this cherry pineapple lemonade here.

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Photography by greenweddingshoes

Let guests play bartender for the night. Self-serve setups (we're thinking mimosas or sangria) are perfect for larger crowds.

Get the how-tos here.