Summertime and the Hosting’s Easy

By Nicole Diehl, Wegmans Corporate Event Planner

Summer’s warmer weather, extra sunlight, and festive holidays are the perfect excuses for hosting easy-going, relaxed outdoor parties. But relaxed doesn’t mean you don’t want to impress your guests! You don’t have to go over the top to wow them; use these tips keep summer hosting easy (and fun!).

1. Serve a mix of homemade and prepared items

It’s important to have something for everyone, but skip the long kitchen prep hours—you don’t have to do everything yourself! I focus my prep on the main meal, so I pick a few of my favorite appetizer trays from Wegmans catering to maximize my time and offer variety. Our go-to favorites: Colorburst Veggie Tray with Dill Dip, Guacamole & Salsa Tray, and the Wegmans Full Quartet cheese tray.

2. Plan a menu that won’t keep you in the kitchen

Let cold salads and grilled meats be your BBQ stars. Crowd-pleasers like mustard potato salad, penne mozzarella salad, classic mac salad, or a green salad with a simple homemade dressing can all be made ahead of time, so you can enjoy your own party. Wegmans marinated chicken is grill-ready right out of the fridge, or cook up a variety of ready-to-cook specialty burgers for a build-your-own-burger bar. Finish the meal with Wegmans Sorbet Bars—everyone loves them.  

3. Create an outdoor beverage station

Using buckets and beverage tubs to chill and serve all your favorite beverages. It’s easy for guests to serve themselves and saves precious fridge space. A good rule of thumb is to plan on three beverage servings per person. And make sure to have plenty of ice: purchase extra bags the day of the party, or I start making ice the week before, bag it, and put in my freezer.

4. Stock your pantry early in the season

Be ready with paper plates, paper towels and napkins; classic cookout must-haves like ketchup, mustard, and BBQ sauce; an assortment of beverages; and storage containers for leftovers (if there are any!).

5. Set the tone with music and backyard fun

There’s no better way to get the party started than with some popular tunes and a little old-fashioned fun, like lawn games and outdoor activities.

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