Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Or do you consider yourself an introverted extrovert? An extroverted introvert? No matter where we place ourselves on the socializing spectrum, most of us enjoy getting together with family and friends here and there, and some of us even love hosting. And when we think about hosting or attending a shindig, what is it that we like about it? For the most part, we’re there for the laughs, the catchups with friends or family we don’t get to see enough, and for the memories. So, in short, we’re there for the company (and maybe the snack spread, of course), which is why you absolutely don’t need a large space to host a gathering this summer. Read on for some tips for hosting a successful summer bash regardless of the size of the venue!
As with any successful shindig, the very first step is sending out invites. When hosting in a small space, it’s important to find the right way to communicate this to your guests. While the inner host voice in you might feel inclined to say, “the more, the merrier!”, this adage can lead to some logistical issues in a setting with limited space.
You, and your guests, will have a more enjoyable event if you make it clear in advance that attendees shouldn’t invite other friends without first clearing it with you. You can find ways to include this in your invite to make it sound more like a gentle guideline than a hard rule, to ensure you’re kicking the shindig off on the right foot, all while avoiding the risk of the event getting out of hand.
If you don’t have a full-size dining room table, there’s no need to fret! You can get creative by incorporating your couch or loveseat, plus any chairs or stools, and angle everything just so. You can make your sofa or any other comfy chairs in your space feel extra inviting with some summery decorative throw pillows, ensuring that your coffee table is cleared off, in case folks want to put plates or wine glasses down on it (don’t forget the coasters!).
If you won’t all be gathering at a dining room or kitchen table together, perhaps hosting an intricate sit-down dinner isn’t best (especially since you’ll want to avoid heating up your space by turning on the oven on a hot summer day!), but instead opting for bit-sized hors d'oeuvres, a cheese plate, or ordering something tasty yet simple like pizza. With super easy eats, guests can bring their plates over to the couch or enjoy their hors d'oeuvres with little cocktail napkins while standing and chatting.
This one might feel a bit obvious, but it’s worth calling out. If you have any outdoor space to utilize, summer is the time to enjoy it! If possible, set up your snack table or bar area inside, but incorporate your backyard or patio (however tiny!) into the vibe by leaving the door open to create a nice flow. Of course, this only works if there aren’t any pets or kids to keep track of—you don’t want to spend the party chasing a guest’s kiddo or your furry friend down the street!
If you have a way to (safely) use an outdoor space, make sure to wipe down any outdoor furniture, and perhaps set up a citronella candle or two to keep the mosquitos at bay.
Summer plus a small space could easily equal overheating, however, you can take steps to avoid this! First, ensure that you have fans going and keep an airflow going by cracking the windows (unless you have AC!). Next, opt for a party look that’ll keep you feeling as cool as possible. Especially as the host, you’ll be moving around quite a bit—jumping into different conversations to make introductions, refilling drinks, and keeping the snacks on point – so go for an outfit that’s cute yet comfy and breathable.
Summer-like cotton dresses work great for parties, like a trendy and stylish cotton poplin smocked dress or a sleeveless jersey cotton dress. You can also opt for a breezy sleeveless or short-sleeved maxi dress that’ll keep you feeling oh-so-comfy throughout the entire event.
By setting the right expectations with your guest, arranging your seating in a creative way, serving up practical food, utilizing any available outdoor space, and rocking a breathable party outfit, you can have a great summer shindig—even in the smallest of spaces!