Summertime is the right time for outdoor gatherings. Sure, it's hot—that's why you party in the shade—but you have endless opportunities for lakeside, poolside, beachside, or just house-side gatherings. Just don't let the prospect of planning, organizing, and executing a party prevent you from getting your fête on. We're here to make it easier.

So whether you consider yourself the hostess with the mostess, or you are the type that is doing good just to get the invites out on time, I've hand picked a few fun products that will make your next outdoor summer party a big hit.

1. Start with the basics. I always find it easiest to start with the essentials. For almost every type of party, you will need plates and utensils. Why not find a neutral set that can go with anything? Throw it in the party box, and this will be one… or two... fewer things to think about when it comes to your prep list.

I love these Balsa Wood Square plates from Acme Party Box Company. They are unique and will work perfectly with almost every food no matter how messy it is.

For a cute and versatile utensil set, check out these Susty Party Wood Utensils from Elliewood.

Don't forget about your platters! These Acacia Platters are a perfect pick. They are durable enough for the outdoors but are also great for any indoor party.

2. Add some color. Color really sets your party's tone. I have found that this is the one area where I might splurge a bit and get a few things that will really leave your guests with a lasting impression of your soirée.

Hester & Cook has a beautiful selection of Paper Table Runners that will add life to your table. You will love how easy they are, too. No need to wash and iron your table linens before the party. With these, you can simply roll out onto your table and trash at the end of the night. If you have leftovers they make great wrapping paper, too!

The paper napkin is a party classic, but they don't have to be boring. Brands like Caspari have so many options, it shouldn't be difficult to find the perfect napkin to add a pop of color to your outdoor affair.

3. Dress up your cocktails. The drink table is quite often one of the most popular places to hang out at any party. Don't miss an opportunity to really make it fun!

Your guests will love these Horseshoe Cocktail Picks! Add some fresh strawberries or raspberries to your favorite cocktail or sparkling water for a refreshing summer party drink.

Also made by Sideshow Press, these White Arrow Drink Stirrers are another fun option for summer cocktails.

Keep Planning: