Host an Unforgettable Fiesta de Verano

Whether you’re throwing an indoor or outdoor party this season, the key is to plan for all of the details. That’s why we filled our guide with expert tips to make your verano party comfortable and fun for all.

The Invitation
“Invitations should be sent out two weeks in advance,” says Lucy Tamayo, co-owner at Sonoma Latina Grill. Prepare invitations easily online or customize them at your local stationery store.

El Menú
Keep the menu simple. “One way is to have a paella party. It’s an easy way to entertain a large or small group,” says Tamayo, and you’ll impress guests.

Cleanup and Setup
Make your home comfortable and open by removing any indoor or outdoor clutter, such as withered plants, and by rearranging the furniture. Next, wipe down any dust or dirt that has accumulated. “The night before your party, set the tables and display special touches,” says Tamayo. To save time and money, rent linen, flatware and dinnerware from a party rental store.

Party Theme
Summer themes include “red, white and blue” or “mariachi” parties. Incorporate bold colors -- like turquoise, magenta and tangerine -- into your tablescapes and decorations to lend a lively splash to the ambiance.

If hiring a band or a DJ is not in your budget, then get the party started with your own tunes. Make a playlist ahead of time, or find an Internet music station that matches the mood you want to set. If kids are invited, set up a juice bar along with healthy snacks, such as celery, fruits and low-fat cottage cheese. Create a kiddie activity corner with arts and crafts, such as chalk, markers, construction paper and paper punchers.

La Luz
A sure way to add insta-glamour to your space is to brighten it with a string of white lights or multicolored Christmas bulbs. Wrap them around outdoor furniture, fences, doors or trees. To keep the bugs at bay, light citronella tiki torches in areas that are safe.


by Shirley Velásquez