One of the best things about summer is the opportunity to plan fabulous outdoor parties (always with a wet weather option, of course!).
Here at Classic Venue Solutions, we love to get creative during the summer months; making the most of the outdoor spaces venues are unable to capitalise on at other times of the year.
We keep our eyes peeled for the latest trends so that our clients can offer their guests the best of the season. Here are the top 10 trends we predict will be de rigueur at this year’s summer shindigs.
Proving that they’re not just for teddy bears, this year’s trendy summer event format is the picnic. Supply your guests with luxurious sharing hampers stuffed with gourmet goodies and encourage them to get social by settling down on inviting picnic blankets. Luxury hotels are increasingly adding 5-star picnics to their catering options. The Waldolf Hilton London, for example, offers a hamper containing delicacies such as handmade scones, parma ham grissini sticks and fresh bread, priced from £45 for four people (pictured above).
An abundance of seasonal produce will not only be incorporated into the catering at summer events in 2016, but also be used as stunning natural decoration. Displays of fresh fruit and vegetables will add colour and freshness to any event design scheme while also offering guests healthy grazing options.
Along the same theme, horizontal hanging planters are increasingly popular for bringing greenery to urban spaces and creating instant ‘pop up’ gardens. In addition to abundant tropical vegetation, mosses, succulents and flowers are now being incorporated to create more intricate patters and designs and provide the perfect backdrop for brand logos.
Indoor Lighting Outdoors
The great outdoors has gone glam, with romantic pendent chandeliers adorning trees or suspended in marquees surrounded by dreamy draping. The alternative look of the summer sees designers channelling industrial chic by stringing bare Edison-style bulbs instead of fairy lights.
The pallette of summer is packed full of vibrant colours. Ruby red, pumpkin orange, sunny yellow and even neons will mean soft furnishings pack a punch this year. Strong metallics such as gold and bronze will also feature, but not silver, which is too cool for this bold colour trend.
Luxury Ice Cubes
The humble ice cube is the latest object to be selected for a sophisticated makeover. The trend, coming from the States, is for highly purified ice that won’t impair the taste of drinks, produced in shapes meant to maximise cooling and minimise dilution (such as spheres). However, thanks to 3D printing techniques, ice can also be produced in any type of customised shape or even containing brand logos etched inside.
Craft Beer Bars
Still huge with hipsters, craft beer is the beverage of summer 2016. Offer guests the chance to sample brews from small, independent breweries from across the country, or go global with your selection. Gin also remains hugely popular, now available in a smorgasbord of varieties allowing you to take guests on a tasting journey and provide an element of ‘food theatre.’
The food station trend is rapidly being replaced by the food cart. It’s essentially the same idea, but more mobile! Instead of guests moving from table to table to load up their plates, the snacks or sweets come to them. Think elegant drinks trollies, traditional ice-cream trikes or rustic carts with specialities like oysters.
The trendy way to refresh your guests this summer are wine smoothies – like Slush Puppies for grown ups! Made from wine, frozen fruits and crushed ice all blended together, these drinks offer the colour and excitement of cocktails minus the strong spirits. Perfect for hot afternoons.
‘Just Picked’ Flowers
The most fashionable floral displays this summer will be sporting a distinctly low-key look. It’s not just about choosing native, seasonal blooms; it’s also about the way flowers are displayed. The trend is for ‘just picked’ ensembles, brought effortlessly together in rustic vases, baskets and planters.