Planning the Perfect Beach Party

By: Joe Thompson
6.1.2011

Welcome to the new Social Planner section on Gay.com. This is your guide to planning the perfect party, traveling with ease and in style, and making the most of your summer months. We start with a post that's all about summer fun: the beach party.

BeachPartyThe ideal beach party is laid back yet fun, full of good friends and great energy. The day should appear effortless in the way it unfolds, and yet as the social planner you're definitely responsible for some of the organization that's needed to create that ideal atmosphere.

Don't panic. Putting together a party isn't a ton of work, and it can be done in such a way that you'll still be able to enjoy yourself.

IStock_000013955314Small 1. Send the Right Invite
The right invitation depends on the people involved. It can be as simple as setting up a phone chain to create a sense of spontaneity, using Evite if your friends have busy schedules, or going slightly more formal for birthdays and anniversaries by using postcards with a beach scene on front.

2. Invite the Right Crowd
As much as we want all of our friends to get along, some won't—and it's okay to be choosy. Be aware of group dynamics and only invite people who will add to the event, not detract.

3. Bring Extras
From sunscreen to beach towels to swimwear, someone always forgets something, so be prepared. And if we're talking swimsuits, bring options. After all, some friends belong in a tight Speedo and others definitely don't. This way you won't embarrass the guest or the crowd.

4. Ice, Ice, Baby
Always have plenty of ice and coolers to keep your food and drinks fresh. And while we're talking about drinks, some cities have laws against alcohol and glass bottles on the beach. Know the situation before you arrive so that you don't get ticketed.

5. Mix It Up
Not everyone loves the same music, and not all music fits a particular occasion. So put different play lists on your MP3—one with top hits, one with dance music, one with a chill mix, etc. That way thereare options, and it can change as the day progresses.

6. Flame On!
We're talking about a beach bonfire, not your best friend. So if you’re planning on creating a bonfire, check the city regulations and obtain a permit if necessary. Again, you don't want your fun ruined with a ticket.

Water-baloon-launcher 7. Play Around
Beach volleyball, paddle ball and hula hoops add extra drama and a much-needed dose of absurdity. Not into games? Bring them anyway so you can judge others. It's a game most of us do well, it's lots of fun, and creates memories that last forever. Good times.

 8. Take a Dip
For whatever reason people tend to hit the beach and then never go in the water. Sure, it may be chilly at first but once in your body will adjust. It's a great way to relax, play around, and have a really wonderful experience we tend to miss.

9. Become a Top Chef
Avoid frozen burgers and go gourmet; there are plenty of beach-friendly recipes on sites like CookingChannelTV.com. If you're not into cooking, buy some really good salads, meats, or prepared sandwiches from a local specialty store. Food helps create great memories so splurge a little and enjoy. 

10. Bring Blankets
People forget the importance of bringing blankets to the beach. It keeps the food clean in the day, and the guests warm after sunset.

Visit Social Planner for more fun tips and tricks to a successful summer!

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