When summer and spring finally roll around, everyone wants to spend tons of time enjoying the sunshine and hanging out with friends. A backyard BBQ is the perfect way to get everyone together for great food, fun times, and a little bit of entertainment! If you love playing host, and you want everyone talking about your parties for years to come, you need to follow these top tips for throwing the best outdoor celebration on your block.

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1. Set Up and Break Down

Depending on the size of your party, you should set aside some time to put everything together for your upcoming event. If you need to get started the night before to make sure everything is ready on time, do it! You don’t want the people who come to help out feeling stressed or rushed to finish setting up before the rest of the guests arrive.

Once everything is over, there will still be a lot of work to be done. Cleaning up your yard, taking out the trash and recycling, putting away food, and clearing away any miscellaneous items takes up more time and energy than you think. Prepare yourself for clean up and request a few volunteers so you don’t get overwhelmed and leave everything for the next day. 

2. Amazing Decor

Your backyard space depends on more than just the lighting and party decorations you set up the day before! The yard should always be an inviting, comfortable place for your guests to relax. If you currently have a pretty bare space, explore your personal style and aesthetic to discover the best types of accents to enhance this area. This is your excuse to freshen up your patio with pops of color or the new furniture you’ve been eyeing for quite some time. While party rentals for chairs and tables seem like the cheap, easy way out, it won’t create the personalized look people love. You may also want to explore how an outdoor fireplace or LED lighting can elevate your backyard and set the mood. 

3. Food and Drinks Galore

Backyard BBQ - Food Galore

Having enough food and drinks for everyone is always a struggle. The day of, you always have some surprise guests, and there are plenty of people with food allergies and restrictions that you’ll need to accommodate. The easiest way to avoid any of these potential pitfalls is to host a potluck. Provide the absolute basics when it comes to food and drinks, and then publish a list of additional snack, entree, and drink options you’d like people to bring. If you use a sharable app like Google Sheets or Todoist, everyone can check off what they want to be responsible for and you’ll be off the hook!

4. More Than Just Food

So many hosts forget that you need more than just food and drinks to be properly prepared for your guests. There are lots of accessories and miscellaneous items to buy including table cloths, serving utensils, plenty of ice, trash bags, and disposable plates, straws, cups, utensils, and napkins. Keep your conscience clear and the landfill empty, by buying biodegradable items and encouraging everyone to separate their recyclables from food waste with color-themed trash bins. 

5. Make it Entertaining

Don’t let your party die because you don’t have a great playlist! Put together an eclectic party list with some of your favorite artists. You may even want to ask friends for their favorite songs and add them in. Make sure your playlist is several hours long and has the perfect choices for the beginning, middle, and end of your event.

When planning your list, start things off a little more relaxed. Low key songs that fit into the alternative rock and country genres always set the right tone. Towards the middle of the playlist is where you want to put all the jams! Hip hop, R&B, and EDM are some of the genres that will get people up and dancing, re-energize your guests and make everyone smile. Towards the end of the day as night sets in, you’ll want to play the slow ballads and love songs. You’ll bring down the energy and signal everyone that it’s time to go home.

6. Keep Everyone Safe

Whether your backyard has a pool, a garden, or just a huge block of grass, you still want a plan in place to keep everyone safe. Invest in umbrellas or tarps for extra shade, and have additional bottles of sunblock out to make sure everyone avoids getting burned. If it’s an extra hot day, have enough water around the entire space to keep everyone hydrated too!

A pool is also a potentially hazardous threat to your guests — especially if you have a lot of kids around. Set up effective pool rules and always put an adult in charge of the area to keep an eye on the children.

When evening rolls around, you’ll need to be prepared for bugs with citronella candles and a few extra bottles of bug spray for your guests to apply. Get an all-natural option, as well as the standard Deet, to keep everyone happy. 

Time to Party!

Now that you have some basic guidelines and ideas for how to plan your next backyard BBQ, it’s time to get the party started! Plan the perfect event and enjoy an epic summer when you follow these tips! 

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Backyard BBQ - How to Throw the Best Outdoor Celebration

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About the Author

Katie Tejada

Guest Blogger

Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She enjoys writing about events, travel, decorating trends, and innovations for the home, but also covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, real estate, finance, law, and investing.