Regardless of whether your summer events are for friends or colleagues, there are plenty of seasonal decor options available for both your summer event theme and budget. Use these 35 inventive and practical summer event decor ideas to kick start your season.
Explore summer event decor ideas
1. Whale print table runners
Or whale print anything really! Whale watching is a fun part of summertime festivities if you live near the ocean. And if you don’t, why not incorporate some of these larger than life creatures in your seasonal party decor?
2. Cowboy hats wall hangings
Cowboys and the Wild, Wild West can be used to inspire some of your party theme but you can also draw inspiration from them in your decor. Hanging Cowboy Hats on your venue walls is simple. Just grab some damage free sticky wall hooks and stagger them across the wall. Put the hats on and voila! You’ve got a fantastic talking point, photo wall, and decor element all in one.
3. Nascar striped table runners
It’s summer, which means it’s time for some speedway fun. Use the zippy sport to your advantage when decorating your next event. Striped table runners are a great way to add a touch of this sport to any occasion. You can also choose your color scheme based on your favorite team or use Hot Wheels at your place settings for children parties.
4. Sunflower bouquets
What better way to pay tribute to long summer days than with this sunshiny bloom? Sunflowers love the sun almost as much as your event attendees will love having them around. Arrange them in bouquets, stand potted sunflowers at the entryway, or use sunflower petals scattered across your table.
5. Sand & seashell centerpieces
The beach is the most common image that comes to mind when thinking of this wonderful season. But even if you’re land locked, sand and seashells are both readily available at your local craft store. Display them in vases, mason jars, or lining the inside of candle hurricanes.
6. Pool float drink holders
Whimsy and fun are the name of the game when pool floaties are involved. In recent years we’ve seen Instagrammers and trendy poolside lounges show off inflated ice cream cones, unicorn heads, and popsicles. They’re brightly colored and super summery. Whether you choose to use the full size version or opt for the smaller, pool float drink holders guests can use as cup markers, this summer event decor is sure to make a splash.
7. Limoncello stands
It’s a lemonade stand for adults. Chilled limoncello in a variety of flavors served in shot glasses, champagne flutes, or mixed with other summertime cocktails is a great way to both accessorize your party and take care of your bar needs. Build or buy a lemonade stand front and opt for classic white and red stripes as well as a lemonade for sale sign to really sell the look.
8. Mason jar tealight holders
Mason Jars are beautiful all year round but during the summer time these versatile glass containers filled with tealights are reminiscent of the fireflies we see at dusk. They make any event feel slightly creamier and more romantic. Plus they add some much needed extra light to any of your nighttime outdoor events.
9. Picnic blanket tablecloths
Even if you don’t plan to serve sandwiches and ice tea, a picnic blanket tablecloth is one super simple way to bring good summer vibes to your corporate or private event. And if table rentals aren’t in your budget, you can always use them for additional seating!
10. Macrame and succulent table runner displays
What’s better than a succulent hanging from a macrame holder? One running down the length of your tablescapes and dotted with succulent pots. Bonus: your succulents can double as decor and party favors at the end of the day!
11. Coconut serving bowls
Whether you use fake ones or cut some real coconuts in half, this tropical fruit makes a visually appealing serving bowl for any tropical summer soiree. This summer event decor idea can be used to serve anything from ceviche to fruit salad. Pair them with leis and pineapples for a Hawaiin feel.
12. Multi-Colored hanging tassels
Hung from tree branches, rafter, or even chandeliers, this flirty and colorful summer event decor is both easy to customize and fun to look at. It adds interest and texture to any party theme and can easily fit into the atmosphere of a relaxed summer hangout.
13. Monstera leaf placemats
This Swiss Cheese Plant has holey leafs that make for event decor eye candy. Use their heads for placemats or place whole stems in vases for a striking table centerpiece. Because of their popularity, there are lots of great party accessories (cups, plates, napkins, etc.) with this charming plant on them.
14. Gold-Painted pineapples
A can of spray paint and a quick trip to the grocery store is all you need to add this funky and fragrant summer event decor idea to your next shindig. Or you can opt for the many summer scented candles that popular brands have started selling inside decorate golden pineapple votives. Either way, if you plan to include some pineapple in your event menu, you might as well throw some on a table for decoration too!
15. Crepe-paper pom-poms
Crepe paper pom poms can hang and float in warm summer breezes or lay squat on food and beverage displays. Either way, these lightweight beauties come in a wide variety of colors. Match it to your venue color scheme or use pick the brightest shades you can find to celebrate this vibrant season.
16. Geometric hanging flower baskets
Geometric hangers are an Instagrammer’s (and event planner’s) dream come true. Their aesthetically pleasing lines and interesting shapes are boho and chic, all at the same time. Hang them from an archway or use them to hold table markers as well as fresh flowers (or any other summertime themed accessory really).
17. Teepee lounge seating
Teepees are great for kids but adults can have a little fun with them too! Add cozy blankets, fluffy cushions, and plenty of twinkle lights for your guests in this chill out zone.
18. Mexican blanket table runners
Colorful and interesting, folded mexican blankets make great table runners. Plus they’re easy to wash and can be used over and over again.
19. Paper pinwheels
Paper pinwheels are fun to play with no matter how old you are. You can get them ahead of time or have a pinwheel making party as an extra activity at your event. If you want to really feature them, consider buying or creating a giant version of this craft for guests to take photos under.
20. Balloon archways
Versatile and easy to customize, nothing says party quite like a balloon archway. It makes a bold statement for guests entering your event. You can even add tassels, flowers, or streamers to them for some extra oomph.
21. Ice-cream cone bouquet holders
Wide-mouthed waffle cones can be placed in wire or plastic cone holders and filled with a variety of flowers. Wrap the cones in logo printed paper or monogrammed ribbons for a sophisticated twist. If you use them as centerpieces you can even spread rainbow sprinkles like confetti all along the table.
22. Log Slice appetizer trays
Rustic yet polished, a log slice works great for any outdoor event. Especially if your event is close to a forest or has a camping theme. Use log slices for charcuterie displays, appetizer serving platters, or as a pedestal to add height variation to other serving vessels.
23. Beach umbrellas
Beach umbrellas could be the solution to your shade problem at your next outdoor summer event. You can also use miniature ones to adorn drinks and provide sun protection for a buffet.
24. Tin flower pots
Tin flower pots can be used to hold wrapped silverware, ice, or actual flowers. They’re a great receptacle and can match almost any theme. Hammered copper versions are especially nice for classy outdoor weddings.
25. Stars and stripes
With the Fourth of July coming up, stars and stripes make for a seasonally appropriate addition to any summer event decor item. Go red, white, and blue with your streamers or place metal stars on the porch walls for a party that would even make a Southern woman exclaim, “Great party, sugar!”
26. Pendant lights
Pendant lights can look like crepe balls or Chinese lanterns, patterns that are both easy to use for most outdoor party event designs. They add pops of color to the event, do a great job of drawing the eye upwards, and provide additional lighting options for after sunset.
27. Moroccan blue table accessories
Striped, patterned, or plain, this shade of blue is a signature color for many upscale patio sets for a reason. If you’re looking for a quick and easy theme, simply use printed blue pillows, chairs, and table settings along with bright whites for a sleek and put together look.
28. Faux flower Xmas light chains
DIY party planners, rejoice! Fairy lights get a summertime upgrade with help from any assortment of faux flowers your heart desires. Simply remove the stems and poke a hole through the flower’s center, pushing each little light through to make one extremely pretty light up garland.
29. Flower boxes
Anything that needs to be kept in a container at your summer event can be placed inside flower boxes. Large flower boxes can serve as ice and beer serving stations. Small flower boxes can house party favors, candles, and even buffet plates. Use them to add character to any area of your event.
30. Boxy candle lanterns
Whether you choose wood or metal, a great boxy lantern at dusk makes for excellent summertime event photos. Place them along a walkway for some added footlight. Hang them from trees or place them at either side of your bar. You can even arrange a variety of sizes in one place for a twinkling display.
As functional as they are decorative, hammocks come in bright colors, lace, and traditional macrame to fit the vibe of any casual or upscale outdoor summer event. Use them to add additional seating or hold things like baby shower presents.
32. Mismatched boho print fabric bunting
Homemade bunting across tables, railings, and entryways are a nice way to incorporate certain patterns you won’t be able to replicate in other types of materials. They can elevate any DIY wedding or add some personality to plain rental tables at a birthday party.
33. Citrus-inspired bouquets
Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits. All of these sour goodies smell delicious and can be used alongside flowers as summer event decor. You can also try filling hurricanes with citrus, water, and floating candles.
34. Pampas grass
Pampas grass is tall and has fluffy heads. They’re often associated with both dreamy farms and mesmerizing beach fronts. A dozen of these entertaining fluffs floating around in the breeze will be quite relaxing and add some interesting movement to an otherwise static table display.
35. Rattan furniture
Who doesn’t love a good rattan porch table or chair? Etsy is filled with rattan goods, including mini vintage chairs for your flower pots!
Summer inspiration for the best event!
With these helpful summer decor ideas to inspire you, you’re well on your way to throwing a truly delightful outdoor event. As you continue to plan your special occasion, keep these seasonal tips in mind:
- Hot summer sun can melt the moods of guests faster than ice cubes which is why you should provide sunscreen and plenty of drinking water at every outdoor event you host.
- Remember to keep all food and beverage stored in temperature controlled containers and have a point person checking in on the freshness of buffet options at frequent intervals.
- Hats, sunglasses, and personal fans are all welcomed grab bag gifts for summertime vents.
- If you have the option available, try to pick a venue that offers air conditioning for at least half of your event. Some seniors or children might not fair as well once temperatures suddenly ramp up so it’s always better to play it safe.
- Summer events that take place in the evening should consider having shawls, bug spray, and extra lighting at the ready, just in case.
Outdoor events are truly wonderful in the summertime as long as you prepare everything your guests might need ahead of time. Once they’re comfortable, happy, and surrounded by your amazing summer event decor, they’re sure to have a blast.
Looking for more seasonal decor inspo? Make sure you check out our fall decor trends and spring themes for parties. At the very least, if you’re planning to take advantage of the summer sun you’ll definitely want to check out these outdoor decor trends.
Maria Waida has six years of experience writing about enterprise software, and holds an Inbound Marketing Certification from Hubspot. She is a contributing writer at Bizzabo, OutboundEngine, B2C Community, and many more. She specializes in marketing, technology and events.