BBQ Gathering ideas
Planning the perfect BBQ party can be both time-consuming and stressful. So to help streamline the process of planning a BBQ, we’ve put together a step-by-step list of how to plan a BBQ party, some helpful BBQ party ideas to make the day run smoothly as well as some of our favorite BBQ party recipes.
Step 1: Consider the Kind of BBQ Party You Wish to Throw
Are you looking to create an intimate dinner setting among close friends or a grand scale gala for your neighborhood to enjoy? When creating an interesting event, it is important to consider the mood and theme of the night (or day) and plan your BBQ menu and BBQ party decorations accordingly.
Step 2: Draft a Guest List & Check the Forecast
Make sure the theme complements invitees appropriately. For example, if you choose to throw a couples-only event, it would not be wise to ask a newly-single girlfriend to the gala. Additionally, try to create invitations or make calls three to four weeks in advance to allow for proper RSVP time. Include an area reserved for food allergies in your invite to ensure the proper menu for all guests. Depending on where you are having the BBQ, you might want to suggest proper attire such as swim suits for a BBQ pool party, sweaters for evening or sneakers if you’re having your party on rocky ground by a lake.
Step 3: Prepare a BBQ Party Menu
While guest preferences and food allergies are important considerations, budgeting is the key to creating a proper BBQ party menu. In addition to keeping expenses in mind, consider your personal cooking skills as well. Should your skills be that of a novice, do not attempt an elaborate dish that will frustrate you and possibly put you behind schedule on the big day. Be honest and do not find it shameful to grab deli or bakery items, or you can always throw a potluck BBQ party so everyone can enjoy making and bringing their favorite recipes. When creating your BBQ party menu, keep refrigerator space, grill size and oven capacity in mind. Use individual cans and bottled drinks or your favorite punch in a large outdoor beverage dispenser – that way you can enjoy the party instead of hanging out in the kitchen making drinks. For more BBQ party menu ideas, check out our Recipes page.
Step 4: Take Inventory
Go through all of your kitchen drawers and cabinets to ensure you have all the proper utensils, place settings, and serving utensils that you will need. Be creative! Brainstorm and consider household odds and ends that can be used when creating an elaborate decor. Make sure you have enough tables and seating for the same number of invited guests. You might want to add a couple extra seats, just in case someone brings an unexpected friend.
Step 5: Create a Buying Guide
Time to shop! Include ingredients, hors d’oeuvres, cleaning supplies, trash bags, plastic containers, decor essentials, serving stations and table accessories when making your list. Don’t forget the lighting (candles or string lights), condiments (mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce) and mood music.
Step 6: Create a Check List & Tie-up Loose Ends