Katherine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart

In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.

From escapist themes to signature cocktails that set a fête’s tone with a flourish, entertaining this summer will be all about creating quintessentially Instagrammable party moments. Here, ten of the nation’s best event designers—all Les Pages VIP Honorees—share their predictions for our summer-party predilections. One thing’s for certain: there’s going to plenty of fun in the sun—and under the stars—this summer.

Bronson Van Wyck Summer Entertaining Trends on The Salonniere

Photo: Van Wyck & Van Wyck

Bronson Van Wyck, Van Wyck & Van Wyck, New York City: “This summer, we’ll see more fantasy, more masquerade, and more escapism—anything to help people forget what’s going on in the world. From fun, outrageous themes to inventive costumes for guests, it will be a summer filled with with make-believe memories worthy of a social media post.”

Jennifer Zabinski, JZ Events, New York City: “One of my favorite trends right now is artisanal mixology used as party entertainment. Bartenders are upping the ante and reshaping our cocktail experience. They’re not just pouring drinks at parties anymore; they’re putting on an unforgettable show. They’ll continue to do that this summer using fresh, seasonal ingredients.”

David Tutera Summer Entertaining Trends on The Salonniere

Photo by Michael Segal for David Tutera

David Tutera, Los Angeles: “This summer, entertaining is taking on a vibe that is less fussy, while still holding a level of sophistication. Modern industrial trends are taking center stage—with mixed metallics and organic elements, like soft whites and olive greens, at the forefront. Full bars and full courses are taking a backseat as specialty bars and stylized tasting menus steal the spotlight. It’s all about creating a one-of-a-kind experience for guests—think ‘speakeasy-style’ custom cocktails created on the spot by a mixologist or champagne and whiskey bars that are pleasing to the eye and the palette.”

Jes Gordon, jesGORDON/properFUN, New York City: “Nostalgia will be a hot trend this summer, as will interactive entertaining where the hosts and guests join together to prepare the perfect evening. Also, outdoor events that stimulate all five senses, with foods freshly picked from the garden, the sounds of nature, and the smells of freshly cut grass or a roaring bonfire, will be a focal point.”

Ten of the the nation's best event designers, including David Tutera, Bronson van Wyck, and Jennifer Zabinski, reveal the top summer entertaining trends.

Photo by Julie Livingston for Todd Events

Todd Fiscus, Todd Events, Dallas: “Right now, I’m inspired by the work of interior designers Mark D. Sikes and Bunny Williams, who often use navy, white, and Kelly green. This color combination will be hot this summer, not only because it’s joyful, but also because it strikes the perfect balance between classic elegance and modernity.”

Courtney Caplan Young, Caplan Miller Events, Austin: “Strolling cocktail carts are going to be very popular this summer, with certified mixologists stopping by tables and seating areas to shake up a few classic cocktails and offer guests a bit of history about what they’re mixing. Also big for the season: oversized balloons that add touches of whimsy and custom Snapchat filters.”

Valley & Co. Summer Entertaining Trends on The Salonniere

Photo: Valley & Company

Aleah Valley, Valley & Company Events, Seattle: “This summer, you’ll see hosts entertaining their guests with unexpected experiences, like a champagne greeting, wine flights, tequila tastings, or a steel drummer or blue grass band that welcomes guests to the party.”

Melony Sebastian, Pink Monkey Solutions, Denver: “The hot trend this summer will be finding ways to add surprising personal touches to events. Custom furniture and signage, for example, will make a statement when paired with a neutral color palette and lush greenery.”

Ten of the the nation's best event designers, including David Tutera, Bronson van Wyck, and Jennifer Zabinski, reveal the top summer entertaining trends.

Photo: Toast Events

Lindsay Sims, Toast Events, Atlanta: “This summer, expect to see a lot of customized place settings. From creative place cards to salt cellars and antique glassware, the focus will be on unique and creative tabletop items that make a statement.”

Sunna Yassin, Bash Please, Los Angeles: “Summer is all about hosting dinners outdoors. As the weather warms up, you’ll see abundant food stations with a meandering al-fresco feel instead of sit-down dinners. Herbal-infused cocktails that play to the edible notes of the season’s blooms will also take center stage.”

Summer Entertaining Trends “Welcome Cocktail”

This story’s “welcome cocktail” was mixed using these classic ingredients:

Photo: Katherine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart in The Philadelphia Story, 1940
Quote: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1922

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