5 Summer Entertaining Trends for 2013

Matthew David Hopkins shares the best of the best of cutting-edge in trends

Incorporate these fresh ideas into your summer soirees!

You have a solid four months to get your summer entertaining on. So from June to September, take your hosting abilities to the next level with the most of-the-moment, on-point trends in party planning and entertaining at home.

Whether you’re hosting a small group or a party for 200, we have five easy-to-follow and achievable ideas from Matthew David Hopkins, a seriously gifted entertaining expert who is also the founder and creative director of Matthew David Celebrations. He’s sharing with us the must-tries when it comes to hosting this season. The summer of 2013 is full of fun and fanciful trends for you to use when entertaining. 

Here are five tips to remember when planning your summer soirée, from Matthew David Hopkins:

Choose Carefully
The hottest entertaining trend is: lots of choices on small plates. Think beyond the standard buffet of coleslaw and hamburgers and lean toward an afternoon or evening of nibbling on savory treats. You might do a selection of different kinds of slaw with small plates for tasting and then move onto a build-your-own-burger station with sliders of beef, turkey, tuna, and or vegetables with choices of buns and toppings. Sliders are small, so guests are encouraged to try more than one. It's in style to nibble throughout the party instead of having one official time for dinner where everyone "sits down to dinner." The best part is that guests get to roam and chat and mix and mingle with each other.

Fresh and Local
The trend in food is to use fresh and local ingredients, and what better time than a summer party to show your stuff. Use grass-fed beef for burgers. Check out local farmers' markets for fresh vegetables and fruit. Incorporate fresh herbs where you can. Using organic summer produce yields the best flavors and will inspire your guests to remember what a great host or hostess you are.

Bigger Isn't Better
Watching the budget is definitely in style. You don't need to invite everyone you know. Keeping the guest list tight will also help you manage down your budget. It's about the quality of the experience, not the quantity of guests. 

Outdoor Games
These days, it's super cool to set up retro lawn games. Lawn croquet, bag in the hole, or lawn bowling all create great, casual fun. These provide a folly for guests to interact around. No one takes them too seriously (or if they do — refer them to a shrink) and they don't take too long. They are just right.

Gin Is In
Gin and tequila are the spirits of the moment. Another way to manage your budget is to offer a few choices at the bar. Contrary to the food, the bar is a place where it's OK to limit the choices. A simple gin and tonic with fresh lime is a trendy drink and is very refreshing. A flavored margarita (like watermelon or pomegranate) is a great second choice. 


Whether you choose to create an intimate party for a few guests or plan to go larger, make sure you plan your schedule to make the party look effortless. That's the key to any good party.