This summer I decided to switch things up a little bit, so we will be spending the entire month of July in the Hamptons. Ben and I worked very hard this year and we feel that we truly deserve this long break from the City, and we are planning on indulging in all sorts of outdoor activities, from biking and hiking to organizing pool parties.
I was thinking that it would be interesting for you to learn some tips and tricks on how we usually organize such get-togethers. Today I collaborate with Dr. Pepper to share my secrets to planning and throwing the perfect pool party.
In the era of social media and technological advancement, such things as sending physical party invite seem excessive. There are some benefits of providing your guests with all the party info, though, as it will help you to avoid unstoppable text messages on the day of the party (when you are already too busy meal prepping). I recommend using free design services where you can create a cute invite listing the exact address, party hours, occasion, and dress code.
That way, your guests could also plan ahead, especially if you are throwing a potluck kind of gathering, and have more time to plan their outfits (which is crucial for so many of us!). Send invites via email a few days before the party and you’ll be surprised how much time you will save on communicating the exact same messages for all your friends.
A successful party is impossible without music, but I’ll be honest saying that inspirational tunes are the last thing that I think of while planning a party.
As it often happens, one of the guests will connect his phone to the speakers and play whatever songs he has which is not always an ideal party mix. Worst case scenario is when such a guest puts on an internet radio station while not having a paid account so the rest of the party is forced to listen to commercials.
Recently, I started using an app where you can create playlists of your favorite songs and follow various stations even if you have no access to the Internet. Such an approach really helps to make the entertainment part of the pool party easier!
Plates & Napkins
While there is nothing wrong with using affordable paper plates and white napkins, I recently started paying more attention to these party supplies as they set a tone for the entire gathering.
Call me Instagram-obsessed, but in my humble opinion, it’s one thing to photograph your delicious party meal on a boring white plate and a completely different one when you have a brightly colored plate and matching napkin to use in your shot. There is not much of a price difference between picking unique utensils too.
Another category that I always seem to forget is entertainment. While a nice conversation with friends combined with a food and drink option is usually enough for any kind of gathering, it’s nice to have something extra to offer.
For instance, if the party takes place in the pool, make sure to have a paddle ball set or bubble wands ready. Granted: these fun activities will make every adult at your party feel like a child for a second! If your pool party is part of some sort of celebration (let’s say, a birthday party) make sure to pick up a cute piñata.
Such an item not only looks super cute in photos, but it’s also an amazing video opportunity for a birthday gal or dude to have video memories from the event.
Talking about photos, it’s helpful to dedicate a specific place at your party for photos. It doesn’t have to be something super expensive or creative, think about things that you already have at your disposal. The easiest photo background I could think of is a cute pool float that you can put near the wall while taking photos to frame and Boomerangs for your Instagram.
In my experience, the most memorable parties are those that have something unique to offer. In this particular case, a do-it-yourself project that looks amazing on photos and just brightens up any gathering. I learned this DIY idea from Molly and I couldn’t resist repeating it.
Colorful pineapples are the easiest and coolest party idea out there which is suitable even for people that never tried working on any sort of handmade creations. All you need is a can of spray paint and pineapples. Yes, it’s that easy, but the final result looks so Insta-worthy!
Finally, the last super important thing that you need to keep in mind while planning a pool party is towels. While it might be easier to ask your guests to bring their own towels, it’s nice to have a few colorful options available. Bright towels bring a positive vibe to the entire party and look so cute in photos.
I personally have been a sucker for fruit-shaped and food-shaped towels as they look so adorable. My recent addition to our beach towel collection is this sweet cupcake-shaped towel which almost screams, “Take a photo of me!”
Finally, it’s important for any party to have a refreshing drink option. What we often do is serve finely chopped ice so our guests can mix some of their favorite juices or soft drinks. For this particular party that you see in these photos, we served a few different options of Dr. Pepper drinks and our guests truly enjoyed these refreshing and yummy slushies.
* * * * *
These were my pool party planning tips. I hope you found some inspiration and new ideas on how to plan your next outdoor gathering. Please let me know in the comments which of these tips were most helpful for you. Also please feel free to share your party planning tips and tricks!