AUTHOR: ELIZABETH OF 'ELK PRINTS'
Summer is not only the perfect time to gather together with your girlfriends and celebrate life, love and friendship via a hens party or kitchen tea before one of you embarks on a new stage through life, but also a fun season for event styling (the options are endless!). Make the most of the warm weather to enjoy an afternoon of relaxation and conversation before getting into the party spirit in the evening as the sun sets. It’s great to start with an activity that allows you girls to connect, talk and laugh and then take those vibes to the next level with drinks at a club afterwards.
PALM SPRINGS STYLE
Who wouldn’t want a little bit of California cool to chill out to with your girls?
Palm Springs is proving to be a super popular trend as it has a little bit of everything – relaxed summer vibes, colour, crisp design and lots of sunshine.
Palm Springs style is all about crisp bright colours paired against a breezy white or the open expanse of desert. Palm trees and cacti flourish here and it’s the mecca for the modern boho girl. Retro touches are a big part of this theme as well – think 80’s breeze block architecture with hot pink flamingos running rampant.
You can host a Palm Springs style party at home in the backyard by the swimming pool, or else choose a venue like poolside at the Ivy if you prefer to go out.
The colours in Palm Springs are bright but subdued – they have that softer retro tinge to them than your regular brights do. Taking inspiration from the era of the 50s through to the 80s, but don’t overdo it – this is a contemporary look with crisp modern freshness paired with a few select retro touches that add personality and character.
Living in Australia we are surrounded by beautiful beaches and stretches of coastline. A picnic overlooking the water is a really lovely way to spend summer’s day together and the best way to enjoy this setting.
To create a beautiful picnic event, start by gathering together an assortment of ottomans and oversized cushions to set out on the grass on top of a colourful selection of picnic rugs. I would recommend choosing predominantly cool, coastal colours – blues and whites – to enhance the cool, coastal vibe. A colour palette of sea blues and greens is the perfect reflection of the fresh, crisp atmosphere of the ocean.
To make the event a little more formal, centre the picnic around a single low plank table. You can use this base then to layer silk fabric runners, pretty tablewear and glasses – taking your picnic to the next level. Vases of flowers, hurricane lamps and a scattering of seashells and other coastal props will give the picnic that romantic vibe that is well suited to a hens party.
Pack your swimmers for a post-lunch swim or frolic in the sand; or choose to swap the sandals for heels and make your way to one of the beach bars for cocktails.
A tropical style event is perfect for a fun summer’s party vibe. Deep, vibrant greens punctuated with bright colours and a splash of tropical fruit makes for a natural party starter.
When styling for a tropical theme, start with a backdrop of large deep green foliage fronds – overgrown palms, monstera leaves and ferns are all perfect choices. Once you have a lush jungle like zone, then it’s time to add in the bright tropical colours and fruits – yellow, orange and hot pink.
For those hens looking to go out to a venue, then a tropical theme is a good choice as a number of bars in the city have a tropical theme or vibe to them. Send out the party or kitchen tea invites with a tropical tone and ask guests to dress to match; then you are all set to drink pina coladas and party.
This is a theme that is also easily reinforced whilst out by bringing along some tropical themed props – grab a handful of pineapple straws or be a bit cheeky with some bananas. A scavenger hunt or bingo style game is also a great idea that will add to the sense of tropical adventure.
MEDITERRANEAN LONG LUNCH
A long lunch, Mediterranean style, is a perfect idea for those hens celebrating in a rural or country setting. Whether it is a weekend away with the girls or a homecoming party, make the most of the fields and the natural beauty of the landscape for your celebration.
Start by setting up a long trestle table and fill it with garlands of foliage, flowers and big platters of antipasto to share. Pop some prosecco and enjoy. This is an event where conversation should take centre stage and the food is to be nibbled on casually.
The Mediterranean colours of yellow, peach, pinks and rusty reds all suit the dry olive tones of the Australian landscape beautifully. The muted brightness of the colours inspired by those found on the antipasto platter give the event that vibe of celebration and by layering in flowers, beautiful china and pretty colours it distinguishes the lunch as special.
Garden parties and high-teas tend to be associated mostly with spring and pretty, romantic florals. Yet this is a style of party that can easily be given a distinctly summer feel by switching up some of the styling decisions you make.
Instead of soft romantic pastel florals, choose a pared-back colour palette of white with strategic pops of bright, summer colours. Bold white magnolias mixed with oriental lilies would work beautifully, or choose the fresh zesty tones of citrus to give your garden party a summer vibe.
Citrus in particular is beautiful because you have the delicate white flowers of the orange blossoms alongside the juicy punches of orange, lemon and lime. The citrus theme also carries naturally into your catering decisions with citrus dressings, lemon cakes or orange poppyseed cakes. Serve fresh lemonade and prosecco with aperol for drinks.
A garden party can be run either as an afternoon tea with sweet treats or as an early evening cocktail affair depending on your preferences. Set up trestle tables with delicious food and small cocktail tables and chairs on the grass. A garden party is also a good opportunity to play games and enjoy some flirtatious fun.
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AUTHOR BIO - ELK PRINTS
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ELK Prints is a graphic design and illustration studio specialising in creating bespoke watercolour invitation suites and event decor to make your next celebration magical.
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SUMMER PARTY STYLING