Ricky Eisen’s Tips for Hosting a Fun Summer Fete

The New York City event planner shares her musts for hosting a warm-weather bash

Summer is upon us and there are many reasons to get together and celebrate around the pool, at the beach, or in the yard with the grill hot and ready to go.

While the same run-of-the-mill entertaining tips remain helpful from party to party — etiquette, hosting duties, seating arrangements, etc. — for summer gatherings, some different rules apply. Here again with her summer party pointers is Ricky Eisen of Between the Bread and Cookie Panache.

Eisen's tips:

• For Centerpieces — Fresh flowers as centerpieces are a simple way to make your space feel special and inviting for guests. Better yet, choose what’s in season! July is a great time for calla lilies, gerbera daisies, hydrangeas, and roses.

• Outdoor Accessories — Rather than change all of your furniture for one event, purchase some affordable, brightly colored throw pillows that match your theme. They look great on couches and armchairs, and large pillows can also double as floor seating.

• Menu Choices — With the warmer weather, choose lighter fare for the menu. Some of my favorite things to serve for summer gatherings are marinated chicken skewers, along with grilled vegetables like eggplant and zucchini.

• Music — Design a music playlist that fits the mood of your event. Throwing a backyard bash? Try fun summer songs that everyone will love and hum along to. Having an indoor soirée? Try some light jazz to play in the background for guests.