Summertime is all about being outside (and OOO) and chasing the sun with a glass of rose or refreshing cocktail surrounded by friends. Outdoor entertaining doesn't have to be a ton of work in order to make a stylish statement. Shutterfly’s latest customizable entertaining and tabletop collection fired up our creative juices, because it is so incredibly easy to take an average summer gathering and turn it into a colorful, thoughtful celebration.
We didn’t want things to feel too “theme-y” so we started with a summery color palette, a few silly inside jokes—and with the foolproof tools on Shutterfly, we elevated our Editorial Assistant Lily Sullivan’s birthday party into a super-stylish never-to-be-forgotten celebration with lots of keepsakes she’ll use all summer long.
Outdoor Entertaining is no longer about disposable plastic that feels like an after-thought.
Our birthday girl loves two things: tennis and her cat Milo. With that in mind, we created a custom tablescape that mimicked the graphic vibes of a tennis ball in her favorite color palette. Part of her birthday gift was the entire table setting and party decorations: linens, plates, glasses and decor, so we wanted to ensure she loved everything and would use them again.
Lily is a great graphic designer, so we started with original artwork and applied it to all of the decorations for the party. Using Shutterfly’s “Upload Your Own Design” feature, we created a table runner that was the perfect focal point for our tablescape. The graphic pattern of the citrine circles created an anchor for the table and the fabric has a great weight that can be used indoors or out.
We kept the food and cocktails light, bright, and seasonal. We were inspired by the modern crudité story that ran in our spring issue and wanted to play up our summery color palette when selecting our vegetables. Pro tip: always think about the colors of the food and how they work with the colors of your table setting. We selected a pretty ombre of pinky-purple radishes to complement the tablespace.
Our editors love setting the table with bright pops of color, and our entire team is obsessed with the melamine plates from Shutterfly. You can use them indoors with kids or outdoors for a backyard bash. We created a range of plates with a simple graphic pattern so we could create a landscape on the table. Plates are the foundation of a strong tablescape, so designing the plates for this party revolved around solid plates in a rainbow of pretty colors and tennis inspired designs.
As the sun sets, it’s nice to have a cozy blanket on hand to ensure that a chill in the air doesn’t kill the mood. Shutterfly’s woven blanket is giant and cozy. It’s made for sharing and also makes the perfect picnic blanket that Lily will use all summer. We applied our geometric design and scaled it up—Shutterfly matched the colors perfectly. This is going to be our go-to for the holidays—so soft and so thoughtful.
When it came to customizing, we thought of an easy solution to the drink and drop—you know: that classic moment where you fill up a drink, set it down, and never remember which one is yours? Wine charms aren’t really our style, so we solved this party foul by customizing the wine glasses for our guests on Shutterfly. Everyone was so excited and surprised to find their personalized glass when they arrived. It was a great way to get the party started. A custom wine glass with each guests name simultaneously makes for a thoughtful favor and efficient drink scenarios where no rose is left behind.
Fun is fun! We took the party mantra of our guest of honor and put it on the cutest cocktail mason jars from Shutterfly. For our signature cocktail, we picked a watermelon margarita. Not only does it look summery and delicious, but with all the hydrating properties of watermelon, it feels slightly healthy.
4 1/2 cups seedless watermelon cut into rough 1 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 pounds cubed fruit)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) fresh juice from 5 to 6 limes
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
6 ounces (3/4 cup) silver tequila (100 agave)
1. Add watermelon, salt, lime juice, St. Germain, and tequila to a blender. Puree until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher, using the bottom of a ladle or a rubber spatula to press liquid through strainer.
2. Mixture can be served immediately or sealed and chilled for up to five hours in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, fill three serving glasses with ice, re-stir mixture, and and divide evenly between glasses. Serve immediately.
For summer birthdays, we opt for fresh fruity cakes, like this Strawberry Fields cake.
Customizing these outdoor pillows was such an easy way to take our vision for the party and extend it to colorful decor. We selected a dark fabric for the back of the cushion, so they can double as floor pillows and not show dirt.
Lily was surprised and overjoyed to see her cat Milo as a charm on the Kristin necklace. The perfect size to wear alone on a shorter chain or layer with a couple charms on a long chain. We were blown away by the fun customizable jewelry options from Shutterfly. We love that you can easily upload a favorite Instagram pic and put it on a charm.
Outdoor entertaining never looked so good, making this summer birthday party not only pretty but thoughtful. It was so easy to customize some of the guest of honor’s favorite things with Shutterfly’s super fun party collection. Get inspired and head to Shutterfly to personalize your own summer party essentials.