How To Host A Perfect Summer Soirée With Blogger Bubby & Bean

Sponsored by La Crema

Summer's the prime season for at-home entertaining. After all, what better excuse is there to showcase your own sense of style? Whether it’s an impromptu takeout dinner party after work or a chic celebration featuring a gourmet menu, hosting an event in your home has the potential to be incredibly festive—and fun!

To make your next party a snap, we’ve put together a bit of a cheat sheet, turning to a few fashionable bloggers to tap their entertaining expertise. This three-part series will address everything from which frock to rock to how to dress your table and what to serve your guests.

Each blogger has a unique aesthetic and myriad tips for incorporating your own personal style into your next event. We’ve given each girl the go-ahead to plan a summer party her way—and we’ve helped her out by sending her a case of the good stuff: a crisp new Pinot Gris from California’s La Crema winery. Hailed as pairing nicely with hammocks, sandals and playing hooky on a warm day, it’s the ultimate accompaniment to an alfresco fête, however you choose to style it.

First up is sustainable fashion designer and illustrator Melissa Baswell Williams of Bubby and Bean. Read on for her tips!

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What to Wear

“As the hostess, you want an outfit that makes a statement and is elegant—yet is completely comfortable. For this event, I wanted to wear something that coincided with my theme: neutral with pops of color.”

Image: Robert Hunter Williams.

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How to Decorate

"Use the time of year to inspire your décor. We're currently transitioning from rainy skies to sunshine and vivid hues, so for the palette, I combined classic neutrals like grey, black and white with pops of bold, bright color."
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What to Serve

"Go seasonal when you can. I added strawberries and sliced green apples to organic mixed greens. It made for a colorful summer salad that's as lovely to look at as it is to eat."

Image: Robert Hunter Williams.

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Choose Your Shoes

"Practical makes perfect. I love heels, but when I'm hosting an outdoor gathering, flats are infinitely more appealing. As the hostess, you'll be on your feet a lot. Keep this in mind when contemplating your footwear!"

Image: Robert Hunter Williams.

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Pick Your Pairings

"Consider pairings when planning your menu. A tray with a variety of fresh local cheeses, almonds, olives, red grapes, homemade preserves and crackers is a perfect complement to a refreshing summer wine like La Crema Pinot Gris."
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Polish It Off

"For summertime social activities, opt for a bold nail polish shade (I chose coral for the party) and loads of accessories. I love mixing gold, silver and turquoise."

Image: Robert Hunter Williams.

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Perfect Your Pour

"A glass of wine puts everyone in good spirits. I served La Crema Pinot Gris, which is a great 'anytime wine.' Bright and fruity, it's a delicious summery choice for casual gatherings."
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Preparation Is Key

"Make an effort to get as much as you can done in advance. This will allow you to spend quality time hanging out with guests during the event itself."

Image: Robert Hunter Williams.

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Think About the Little Things

"Channel your surroundings when decorating your space. My table setting featured silverware bundled in grey napkins, tied with black and white striped ribbon and finished with chives from my garden."
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Dress the Part

"Summer, practically by definition, is easy, laid-back styling at its best. Here are just a few of the summer entertaining outfits and accessories I'm drooling over this season."

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Enjoy!

"When all is said and done, sit back, relax and enjoy! F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, 'And so with the sunshine and great bursts of leaves, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.' I'm pretty sure the same can be said for outdoor dinner parties."

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