Need inspiration for your Summer Lights celebration for Macmillan Cancer Support? Look no further. Browse our gallery of inspirational pictures from some of the most up to the minute stylists and creative bloggers.
Check out Mark’s masculine chic Mad Men inspired theme which is simple to recreate. Think monochrome tablesettings, complemented with oversized white flowers and minimalist fairy lights. Complete the look with a retro drinks trolley for ready-to-shake cocktails and mocktails. To boost your donations, ask your guests for bar ‘tips’. And why not invite your friends to dress up? Sharp-suited Don or ultra-chic Betty are the perfect inspiration.
If you prefer a more festive vibe, then feast your eyes on the laid back setting inspired by a Midsummer Night’s Dream, created by trend-savvy mummy blogger, Emily Leary.
Emily has cleverly woven together all the elements of a magical garden party using a teepee den as a striking centrepiece. Bright colours, twinkling fairy lights, cake aplenty and games galore!
Paula’s gone for a look that proves you don’t have to wait until Christmas to start decorating trees. Wrapping fairy lights around branches creates an instant impact and is really easy to pull off. Add a bohemian flourish by mixing and matching candle holders. And for the finishing touch? Solar powered lanterns. (Make sure you charge these up during the day.)
Geraldine’s look is fabulously floral, using everyday materials found around the house to fashion eye-catching creations. Use old party hats or colourful card to create summery ice cream cones and then fill them with fairy lights. For your centrepiece add a bit of the ‘Midas Touch’ to your vase by wrapping it in gold sticky-back plastic to magnify and reflect the light..
We love Poppy’s magical garden theme. She’s got some great tips as well if you want to go down the outdoors route: ‘When hosting a party outside, it’s best to focus on one or two hero spots. You can concentrate the decorations and the overall effect will be as if the garden was magically transformed.’ Anything else? ‘Try not to keep the decorations too symmetrical as this can make them look a bit twee. Draping bunting at angles and mixing up the sizes and lengths of the lanterns will give you a sophisticated but informal look.’
Make it personal
Take inspiration from our style team, theme your event around your favourite book, an upcoming movie or sporting event or keep it nice and simple, the choice is yours – the important thing is that you come together with your nearest and dearest to support people affected by cancer. You can even choose the date, whatever suits your diary – it doesn’t have to be the 25th June. Macmillan already has some great ideas and when you register you'll receive a free Summer Lights kit. Here are some of our favourite event themes guaranteed to go down well with guests.
Wonderland - why not create a whimsical Wonderland to coincide with the film release of Alice Through the Looking Glass
Queen’s Birthday – flags, bunting and hats, tea and picnic hampers, cucumber sandwiches
Wimbledon - fresh white linens, Pimms, strawberries, trophy napkin holders, spherical flower displays
Jungle Book - take a leaf out of the Jungle Book, the current hit movie release. It’s easy to recreate the look, with oversized plants, a jungle canopy strewn with fairy lights, animal print table runners and tissue paper vines
Outdoor movie – borrow a screen and a projector from a friend and screen your favourite summer movie in your back yard. Ask everyone to bring a pillow, string up some fairy lights and voila! To raise even more money for Macmillan why not play ‘usherette’ and serve popcorn or ice cream cones during the ‘interval’
Sports screening – gather your friends round to watch your favourite sport, whether it be the Euro championship, Tour de France or US open. Why not have a sweepstake on who wins, to raise extra money for Macmillan?
Retro - why not go retro and ask guests to dress up from the sixties, seventies or eighties. It’s a great one for the whole family plus it’s really quick and easy to create. Exchange your fairy lights for a glitter ball or two, add some music and you’re good to go
If you opt for an outdoor theme, remember to make the most of those cosy sheltered areas in case the temperature drops or there’s a sudden shower. Archways, pagodas and decked areas look great strewn with bunting, lanterns and fairy lights. Combine pastels and florals for a classic English garden party feel.
Styling by Poppy, "Poppy Loves"
Even if you don’t opt for a theme, a few special touches will help make your Summer Lights event really memorable.
Here’s some of our favourites
- Take children’s party props and give them a grown-up makeover: textured balloons, pinatas filled with miniature ‘tipples’, champagne lollipops
- A sweetie bar is popular with children and adults and adds colour and fun to any event
- Lights strung up on bamboo poles pitched in buckets full of large pebbles
- Rugs, pillows and poufs create a relaxed picnic vibe
- Watermelon sculptures for the ultimate summery feel (and a fun activity for the kids)
- Mini milk bottles instead of glasses
- Lawn games such as croquet or giant Jenga
- Jamjar cocktail bar
- Vintage ‘selfie corner’
- Indoor table tennis
With more than 10 years’ experience as an event planner to the stars, Mark Niemierko’s knowledge of how to throw the ultimate party is second to none. His company, Niemierko, is one of the country’s most sought-after luxury wedding and events planning services, creating remarkable, yet intimate and unique events, no matter what the celebration entails.
Emily Leary, A Mummy Too
Emily Leary is a food, lifestyle and parenting writer, renowned for her award-winning mummy blog, "A Mummy Too". A Mummy Too was founded in 2011, born out of a love of family, food and photography, and today is the go-to site to discover recipes, tips and video guides for mums who believe a shortage of spare time shouldn’t mean you can’t enjoy beautiful, delicious things.
Paula Holmes, LDN Diaries
Paula is editor of the LDN Diaries - an esteemed, trendsetting lifestyle blog based in London, and the online destination for those wanting to discover the best of what London has to offer, as well as the latest in fashion and beauty trends, food and travel. Alongside her editor’s role for The LDN Diaries, Paula is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist.
Geraldine Tan, Little Big Bell
Geraldine is a London based award winning lifestyle blogger, stylist and photographer who covers topics in the areas of interiors, design, fashion, travel and food. She loves curating and creating content that is unique.
She won the Amara Interiors blog award for Colour Inspiration in 2015 and was one of the finalists in Netherland's prestigious VT Wonen blog award. She also runs a successful Instagram account, which has been previously featured on Buzzfeed and Glamour magazine.
Poppy, Poppy Loves
Renowned lifestyle blogger and social media consultant, Poppy is editor of "Poppy Loves", a go-to guide to all things creative. Her eye for style is evident through her beautiful Instagram pictures and she has a knack for scouting the very latest in foodie, fashion and craft trends. Poppy is also the founder of the Poppy Loves Worldwide Book Club – an exciting initiative that joins together people from all over the world in online discussion.
Find out more about our 12 year partnership with Macmillan, helping those living with cancer keep warm without the worry.