Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor Day Pool Party Tips

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to host pool parties for my friends and family. Last weekend, I threw a pool party in honor of John, my son's friend who recently graduated from college. John has been friends with my son for about three years now and he is like a second son to me. 

Trinity Graduation with John

Since I love entertaining, I decided to share some tips on how to throw your best pool party ever this Labor Day Weekend!

Pool during the day
Pool at night

I like to start my parties late in the day and they tend to last late into the evening.     

Anyone who lives in New England knows that outdoor parties in the summer can be ruined by mosquitoes. Before hosting a pool party, I spray my yard with an all natural peppermint spray and light citronella candles. Both are great for warding off bugs without exposing your guests to harmful chemicals.

Color Scheme
When planning your party, it's always great to come up with a color scheme so that all of the decorations for the party match and have a cohesive look.  Picking paper plates, napkins, cups, and utensils that match will make your guests feel like you put a lot of thought and consideration into your party planning.  I have a rustic pool house, so I use a color palette of earth tones (brown, black, beige, etc.).  I like buying my paper goods from Lee's Art Shop in New York City, but stores like Homegoods and Pier 1 also carry great designs as well.

I love using lanterns and candelabras for my outdoor parties.  They look beautiful and allow you to stay outside late into the night.  Many of my lanterns are from San Diego and my candelabra is from Mexico, but Anthropologie carries nice lighting options as well.  When picking out lighting, choose ones that fit into your design scheme.  

Having good food at your party is a must!  To make things easier, I like to order some of the food from a caterer.  For a pool party, I usually order sirloin burgers, hotdogs, sausages, and assorted cheeses from an Italian deli, and then prepare the hors d'oeuvres and desserts myself.  Since I eat gluten and dairy free, and many of my family members have food allergies as well, I always make sure to have a variety of food so that everyone has something that they can eat.  When planning your party, be sure to take into consideration any dietary restrictions your guests may have, so that nobody feels left out.

Whenever I throw a party I like to have a 'signature drink' that compliments the food being served.  Since my last party was a casual barbeque, I served a Vodka Lemonade as the drink of the night.  It's made with Vanilla Vodka, Lemonade, Club Soda, and freshly cut strawberries and lemons.  For big parties, I have my son's friend (Dex) bartend, but for smaller parties I find it easiest to just buy a few glass drink dispensers and let my guests serve themselves.  In addition to the signature drink, I stock the bar with a variety of liquors, sodas and juices.  

Outdoor Fireplace 
My house has an outdoor fireplace, and my guests love to use it to warm up after a dip in the pool and for roasting marshmallows or making s'mores.  If you don't have an outdoor fireplace or fire-pit, you might want to consider buying or making one since they really bring everyone together.

I hope you find these tips helpful!  Do you have any entertaining tips for us?  We'd love to hear from you!

Stay chic,



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