If summer ever gets here and it stops raining, it's a great time to throw a party. Heck, we should throw a party if it stops raining and the sun comes out for more than a few hours. If and when that happens, here are some tips to throwing a great summer party.

Remember the KIS Rule

Keep it simple. Party planner and interior design guru Trip Haenisch says it's important to remember the rule of three. Focus on the food, the drinks and the music, otherwise it just gets complicated. Have great music that fits the mood and the occasion to set the tone of the party. Have high quality food that your guests will enjoy and easy drink options.

Don't Forget the Cocktails

Speaking of drinks, have beer, wine and a few signature summer cocktails readily available. Some party favorites include sangria, raspberry lemonade with vodka, or the blackberry bramble. Make a whole pitcher with equal parts tequila and lemonade and a splash of blackberry brandy. Garnish with blackberries and lemon slices. Another good one is the Cran-Razzy. It's cranberry juice, Bacardi Razz and a splash of 7up with a lime slice garnish. Don't forget to have non-alcoholic options available as well.

It's Supposed to be Fun

Keep the atmosphere a playful one. If you're lucky enough to have a pool, keep rafts and beach balls in the pool. If you're like me and don't have a pool, have some fun lawn games set up. Croquet is always fun. There were a lot of hours spent playing that at the cabin. Another favorite of mine is badminton. The badminton net can also double as a volleyball net. Ladder ball and bean bag toss are also fun games for kids young and old.

Keep it Classy

Instead of flimsy paper plates and drinking pino noir out of a red solo cup, class it up a bit. Bed Bath and Beyond has linen napkins and fun dinnerware ideas that aren't expensive. Even if you just buy white ceramic plates, using "real" plates gives your party a classier, more upscale and fancy feel. You can also pick up a few sets of wine glasses for not a lot of money.

Have a Cozy Gathering Space

One of my favorite parts about our backyard is our fire pit. It's a wonderful space to gather and chat. We were fortunate that it was already dug out, but it was kind of small, so we made it a little bit deeper, about a foot wider and added another layer of bricks around it. It's back and away from the street lights, so it's nice and dark, it's at the back end of the yard, so there's a lot of room for games in between the fire pit and the house and there are no trees nearby so there's plenty of space for people. If you don't want to dig up a fire pit, you can find the self contained kind at stores all over. There are even outdoor fire pits that burn propane so you don't have to buy firewood.

Do you have any party tips?