Hosting an outdoor BBQ party is a great way to celebrate the arrival of spring. To make the most of your spring or summertime event, make sure that you plan ahead by following our helpful tips and suggestions.
Send your invites! Putting together the right invitation takes some preparation and forethought. Make sure that you know the schedule of your event so that you can include information about the time that food will be served to avoid having to restart the grill. If the main course will be done at 7, make sure to include that information in the invitation so that potential late comers are aware. In addition to the time that food will be served, it is always nice to include something about the type of food that will be served so that those with allergies or dietary restrictions will know in advance.
Include a line about appropriate attire. Is this a casual, cut-offs style party? Or are you expecting guests to wear beautiful sundresses? You don’t want some guests in bathing suits and others in fancy party dresses!
If your party is weather dependent, make sure to include information about a potential rain date in your invitation. Or, if you have room for all of your guests inside, you can always say “rain or shine!” You certainly don’t want guests arriving during a downpour if you don’t have space in your living room for everyone.
And finally, consider personalizing your invitations to make them truly memorable. Print Art Kids offers lots of options suitable for invitations and each one can be personalized with a photo or drawing. Their personalized invitations, postcards, and notecards are a wonderful way to send an invitation that won’t be casually tossed in the trash bin.
Check on your seating. You may not have outdoor seating for all of your guests, but that’s okay! Picnic blankets and indoor cushions brought outside make comfy outdoor seating when artfully placed across the lawn. Also consider using some of your indoor furniture. If you worried about grease drips and stains from that yummy BBQ ruining your nice dining room or kitchen chairs, consider protecting them with our waterproof and machine washable SmartSeat Chair Protectors for complete protection and easy clean up.
Keep your yard well lit enough to avoid accidents. While you want to make sure that your yard is lit, you don’t need flood lights. That might kill the ambience! But consider enough outdoor lighting to ensure the safety of your guests. Christmas tree lights and other holiday decorations work well when draped in surrounding trees or on deck railings. Tea lights are an inexpensive and easy way to bring light to a table. If it’s in your entertaining budget, consider paper lanterns or hanging lights for a fun punch of color (and soft lighting).
Ban the bugs! No one likes uninvited guests. Particularly those with 6 legs. Make sure to remove any standing water in your backyard that might attract mosquitos prior to the event. Consider using candles that have bug repellant in them or passing out bug spray to your guests as they arrive.
While the party may be outside, the bathrooms typically are not. If you and your guests will be running in and out of the house through a screen door in order to use the bathroom, make sure to keep the screen door closed between uses so that bugs do not make a home in your home! You can avoid the unexpected run-in with the screen door by using decorative screen door magnets. These attractive magnets attach easily and prevent the accidental face-into-screen moment, saving both your guests embarrassment and your screen door.
Keep the party hopping with the right mix of music. There are so many online services these days that make creating the perfect party mix fast and easy. Use your favorite to create a combination of classics and popular hits to keep your guests grooving all night. Warm up the party with some nice background music as your guests arrive, keeping the volume low enough so that conversation is still easy. As the night gets going, up the tempo and the volume to get your guest moving and dancing.
Set up an outdoor bar area. Avoid the need for guests to run inside in order to get a drink. Use a card table or small patio table to set up an outdoor bar area complete with all the necessary mixers. Consider selecting a “signature cocktail” – one mixed drink that you can make in advance, such as sangria or spiked punch – so that you don’t need a full bar. Then keep things simple with soda, beer, and wine.
To avoid guests using multiple glasses, consider magnetic wine charms such as those by Simply Charmed. These charms add personality to each glass, keeping each drink unique and easily identifiable. Or offer your guests a cup insulator in a unique print. Koverz/Kidzikoo offers several sizes in a variety of fun, hip prints. Not only will these insulators keep your guests’ drinks cold, they also will make the drinks easily identifiable as their own.
Planning to invite guests with kids? Make sure to have some activities planned so that your youngest guests are happy too. Set up some outdoor games, such as a ring toss or croquet. Or if the weather permits, set up a sprinkler so that the children can play while their parents relax.
So are you ready? Get set to plan, host, and enjoy!
Photo by artu84, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net