Girlfriend's Fit Club | 8 steps to Host the Perfect Summer Gathering
Girlfriends Fitclub is a women's gym in West Michigan. Located in Holland, MI, we offer a variety of health and fitness facilities to service all women.
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8 steps to Host the Perfect Summer Gathering

Are you wanting to host a summer gathering, but feel a little overwhelmed at the thought of putting it all together? Whether it’s a kids birthday, a family-friendly grill out, or an elegant candlelit backyard dinner, here’s an easy step by step guide to help you get started. 

  1. Set a date

(+ a rain date if it’s an outside party!)

  1. Plan a budget
  • factors that will affect your budget: 
    1. Location: will you opt for a free venue or a place with rental or entrance/ticket fees?
    2. Food: you can save on costs and make it yourself/have it potluck style and ask everyone to bring a dish. Or spend a little more to take the stress off yourself and have it catered!
    3. Activities and decorations: DIY decor and activities will keep things budget friendly, but will require more effort and creative preparation. Consider renting or borrowing larger party supply items to help save on costs. 
  1. Find a Venue
  • Free options: park, beach, pool, backyard/home
  • Paid options: reception hall, restaurant, activity center such as a water park, bowling alley, amusement park, etc.  
  1. Guest List

Once you’ve settled on your guest list, come up with an invitation plan (written invites, e-vites, word of mouth, etc.) and don’t forget to specify whether or not it’s family friendly or adult only event so that your guests know what to expect. Make sure your venue can accommodate all of your guests!  

  1. Food and Drinks

No matter what you decide to serve and how you want to do so, your main priority is to make sure you have enough! Check out this infographic guide to give you an idea for how much to serve.  

  1. Decor

Come up with a theme or a color scheme to help narrow down the focus of your decor. If it’s an outside party, keep in mind factors like the weather when planning your decor. For example, consider a weighted party favor at each place setting if you are using disposable tableware. This will help keep your plates from blowing away! 

Check out this tutorial to make an easy DIY calligraphy menu chalkboard. 

  1. Activities

Will you plan specific activities or games? Have things for people to do at their leisure? Consider planning out a rough schedule or order of events to keep everything running smoothly! 

  1. Set up/clean up 

No matter how low key or how over the top you want your party, you’re going to need help with prep/set up and clean up! Don’t be afraid to ask a few close friends or family members to help share the load! 

So there you have it! Your next summer gathering is sure to be a hit! Tag @darlinglittlelife in your Instagram summer party photos, I’d love to see what you come up with! 

Head over to my Summer Soiree Pinterest board for tons of party inspiration!

 Also, I saw that Megan from Our Handcrafted Life put together a handy basic party checklist. Download it here for free! 


Emily Weener is a member at Girlfriends Fit Club. She is also the author of the blog Darling Little Life; a lifestyle blog including faith, fashion, family and everything in between.