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Posted by Cayla Capri
Wed And Wild
Pool party reception cover full
As a kid, the pool party totally clobbered the ice rink birthday, the scavenger hunt and the pizza party in the awesome department. It even thwarted the decorate-your-own-cookie party, and that involved unlimited frosting. So what better way to celebrate a mature commitment to the cultured man of your reveries than to backslide to the days of polka-dot bikinis, crazy straws and iced tea yore? Maybe replace the ginchy two-piece with a white cocktail dress and add some rum to that lemony brew. The crazy straws need no improvement.
Pool party receptions can go one of two ways, the Hollywood panache road, or the folksy, mellow suburbs route. Both motifs will instigate beauteous celebrations of the wet and wild persuasion, so the choice is up to you and your budget.
make your soiree at home
Pool party reception 1
If you’re flip-flopping to your roots and taking the plunge in a loved one’s backyard, remember to dress for the whimsy in a gown that won’t drag. After all, muddy hems are out this year. A mini sheath might be just daring enough to work, and nearly Gatsby-esque amid a twinkle-lit lawn. But if you were hoping for something more demure and traditional, a fifties’ a-line cocktail could be too darn cute too.
Arrange to feast pot-luck style, requesting dishes within the picnic/BBQ scope, like buttermilk honey-fried chicken, chipotle-maple salmon burgers, mango-mint shrimp wraps, caramelized grilled fruit skewers, and key lime tarts.
If all the fold-out, wicker, plastic and beach chairs in your neighbourhood won’t seat your guest list, go ahead and spread some blankets on the grass. It’s all part of setting the mood and staying on budget. Lighting, however, is not something you want to scrimp on, as proper sparkle can turn even the most casual wedding into a slice of paradise. Starting the reception around four will make for dazzling twilight photos, but once darkness settles you’ll want to turn on the tiki torches, string the fairy lights and fire up the scented bug-off candles. If laws permit, set off twinklers and fireworks for some very literal flair.
Take a cue from your inner kid and organize a groom’s brood vs. bride’s clan volleyball game, capture the flag match or relay race. If your invitations call for a strip down, arrange to play a classic pool game like Marco Polo. But if the pool’s for ambiance only, at least as far as grownups not on life-guard duty are concerned, line the bottom with lollipops and toys so kids can dive for treasure. Super-soakers, sprinklers, water-balloons and slip-and-slides could jazz up the mood, and miniature squirt guns are a must for favors, but don’t hand them out until everyone’s finished eating, and you’re done parading your dress and ‘do.
glamour pool
Pool party reception 2
An oceanfront pool party or urban rooftop revelry demands swagger and plumage. Don a slinky, mini halter dress or mermaid gown for optimal accordance with theme. Convince your man to ditch the Bond tux and go for a cream suit with an open pastel dress shirt; no tie. If you’re planning to take a post-espresso, midnight dip, be sure to have your very best sixties-inspired skirted-bikini handy for maximum cuteness.
Palm trees and parasols make for great shade during the afternoon, but an evening reception begs for stringed twinklers, floating candles and lily pads (for aesthetic purposes only) in the swimming pool. A modish bar is a definite necessity, and the barstool-to-person ratio is probably a good excuse to throw a cocktail party instead of a sit-down meal. But be sure to position a few comfy couches around for tuckered guests and cocktail tables with floating-flower centerpieces for the peckish.
Hire staff to carry trays of light, summery appetizers, like prosciutto-wrapped melons, spiced and skewered mango strips, and date canapés. If your reception cuts right through dinner, don’t starve your guests: have staff pass out dainty little bowls of chilled cucumber soup with yogurt or Thai peanut pasta salad. Serve up tropical-drink standbys in their most frozen form for cocktail pops (mocktail pops for the pups) made from pina coladas, strawberry daiquiris and lime margaritas.