Entertaining5 Steps for Simple Summer Gathering July 1, 2016This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Santa Margherita Wines for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. We love entertaining around here and for some reason, that seems to amp up in the summer. The warm evenings, lingering sun, and lack of a normal routine really make us feel like gathering. Party planning is my first passion, but between chasing a little one and keeping up with work, simple always seems to win out. Today, I’m joining with Santa Margherita to share my 5 tips for Simple Summer Gathering. It’s not lacking on style or fun, but it sure is easy to throw together at the last minute. 1.) PICK AN EASY COLOR PALETTE Choosing a simple color palette is my first go-to when throwing together a little summer dinner or party. It gives the evening a cohesive feel without being overly themed. And it gives you some direction. For color palettes, I always think about the season and what I have around the house. An appropriate and easy color pairing usually comes up! I try to stick to two main colors with an accent, so it doesn’t get too complicated. Pull a few pillows from around your house, bring out a fun piece of artwork, and dress your table and your setting immediately feels effortless, but pulled together. I love using blue and white in the summertime and with the patriotic holiday ahead of us, I threw in a tiny bit of red. I grabbed a navy ombre scarf from my closet to use as a temporary table runner. Then, I brought out a few pillows and some serving pieces in blue hues to tie it all together. 2.) Use a Few Special Details For quick and casual summer parties, throw out the idea of an elaborate tablescape. A few special details in your table setting go a long way. I love using vintage glassware. It immediately makes an evening feel special and elevated in my book. Plus it gives me an excuse to use some of my pretty thrift store collection! I used a large slab of wood for serving down the center of the table and paired it with an aged brass bowl to hold some blooms. My favorite aged brass candlesticks and colored candles add a little ambiance. 3.) Go Monochromatic with Flowers I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m such a fan of monochromatic bouquets. While I love a gorgeous, wild, flowing bunch filled with different colors and textures, that’s not something I can pull together fast. For quick entertaining, sticking to bowls of monochromatic blooms feels pretty and sophisticated, but it takes you no time. Clip some from around your yard or grab an affordable bouquet as you’re waiting in line at the grocery store. Throw them in a mix of vases and bowls and you’re good to go. What looks beautiful and well-thought out only took you a few minutes. 4.) Choose Easy Pre-Dinner Snacks Everybody loves to munch. Sit around some quick snacks while people are waiting on dinner. While I love to cook, I also like to make it easy on myself. Sitting around bowls of summer fruit is always a go-to that’s delicious, has no prep, and is seasonal. 5.) Provide Good, Self-serve Drink Options While sangria and mixed drinks are always a crowd-pleaser, I’ve always been a fan of a simple, good glass of wine. I know most people love white wine in the summer, but I’ve always been more a red gal myself. But Santa Margherita’s Pinot Grigio won me over. It’s light and feels like the perfect treat to end South Carolina’s hot summer days. This premium, but affordable wine is perfect to serve or bring as a hostess gift. Set up a bottle or two with some glasses and let your guests help themselves! Santa Margherita Wines is a Premium wine brand, known for its’ lifestyle focus. Their whole mission is focused on providing wine that brings people together and is shared with friends and family. That’s a perfect fit for this entertainer! Right now, they’re running an amazing giveaway on their Facebook page for a $5,000 She Shed Makeover with Justina Blakeney. Y’all, you have to go enter that! Having just finished my own version of a She Shed, believe me when I tell you, you would love having your own! You can also check out their Instagram here.