Summer is officially on and entertaining outdoors is on everyone’s mind. Fire up the barbecue, put the rosé on ice, turn up the music and head outdoors for a summer fiesta. Top East End agents are no strangers to luxurious parties — whether attending or hosting. We asked for tips for hosting al fresco dinners and poolside cocktail parties at homes in the Hamptons or on the North Fork this summer. What are the perfect ingredients for a successful backyard bash?
Sheri Winter Parker, The Corcoran Group
“When planning a party, the music and lighting truly set the mood. Smooth, light music and dramatic hanging lanterns or a myriad of candles (placed safely!) can really create a relaxed, mellow vibe. For décor, sculptural branches are a great way to make a space look elegant and flowers provide a pleasing pop of color. In addition, serving libations from fun, fabulous vintage coupe or cocktail glasses can be a real showstopper, and using antique or unusual dishes and flatware will add some whimsy. Make it fun! In terms of what to serve, you can never go wrong with finger foods, and a raw bar is typically a hit at a waterside soirée. As for beverages, I like to offer white wine and rosé at my parties, everybody likes them, and I don’t have to worry about red wine stains on my outdoor furniture. A fun twist is to create wine slushies with a margarita machine. Trust me, guests always love them. Finally, my most important advice is to be well-stocked with food, alcohol, and ice. These three components — along with fun people of course — are the key ingredients for a successful summer event!”