Add these tips to your party-planning checklist, ASAP!  

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Camille Style Entertaining, Flatbread
Credit: Camille Styles

Whether you’re planning a small summer get-together or a big graduation bash, the same tips can turn an okay party into an unforgettable one. To find out what takes a party to the next level, we met up with blogger Camille Styles (who literally wrote the book on entertaining) for a summer soiree in collaboration with Delta Faucet to chat about the little party tricks she’s picked up over the years as an event planner-turned-blogger. These little tips may be second nature to the seasoned event planner, but we’re adding them to the top of our party planning to-do list. Get ready to host your best summer party yet.

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Camille Style Entertaining, Flatbread
Credit: Camille Styles

1 Never Underestimate the Importance of Lighting

If you’ve ever walked into a brightly-lit party, then you likely already know how off-putting it can be. After all, this isn’t a doctor’s office—it’s a dinner party! To help soften the mood, Camille recommends turning on slightly dimmer lighting. For a nighttime gathering, you can’t go wrong with the gentle glow of flickering candles (whether real or faux is up to you). They’ll help set the scene, and softer lighting also means more flattering photo ops.

2 Set the Music Slightly Louder Than You’d Think

Music is a must at any party, but beyond just picking the right songs to set the mood, the volume of the music is also important. While your instinct may be to keep the music soft so guests can hear each other, Camille recommends setting the volume slightly higher than you might think. When guests have to talk slightly louder (without shouting, of course!) over the music, it gives the whole party a buzzy feeling, she explains.

Camille Styles Flatbread Party
Credit: Camille Styles

3 Always Include an Interactive Activity

The surefire way to keep a party from feeling stiff? Camille recommends always including at least one interactive activity. This way, guests get up and are encouraged to move and mingle. Make the activity feel more natural by incorporating it into the meal plan. Make-your-own flat breads or a DIY ice cream sundae station makes guests feel involved in the meal prep, and as an added bonus, it frees up the host to actually enjoy the party.