The idea of hosting a barbecue party makes you salivate, but you don’t know where to start?
Here are some tips to help you out.
Who and when
You can of course invite anyone, from friends to neighbors, and family. Barbecue setting is ideal to learn more about people in a friendly atmosphere, around the pool or grill.
Barbecue, like picnics, have a certain family standard. If children are specifically not invited, don’t forget to underline it.
Always pick an obvious date when you know people will be available. For example, the beginning of July.
Pick a grassy area. The backyard of your house, one from a friend, a cottage, or a campsite.
Don’t hesitate to rework the area a bit to ensure proper flow of your guests and that the location of your barbecue is safe. In the presence of children, for example, place the grill on the patio and tell them to stay outside.
Proximity to a water area (pool, lake, river) is always appreciated. Always favor fenced pool, and don’t hesitate to play life-guard for the children.
Also don’t forget to provide enough seating for all your guests. Even ask some of them to bring folding chairs.
What to serve
To reduce the amount you’ll be spending, make it a potluck. At the very least ask your guests to bring their own alcoholic beverages. Usually, water, juices and soft drinks are the host’s expense.
If there are children attending, try to provide a kid-friendly menu, or one specifically for them (hot-dogs, burgers, corn, etc.). Serve them an hour before the adults.
Coolers need to be placed on the ground, in the shade, in the garage or shed.
Serve a simple and quick menu, most of it (if not all) prepared in advance, in order yo have fun and chat with the guests. The day before, take care of any salads, dips, or marinades.
European-style sausages are perfect for a barbecue with friends. You can put several at a time on the grill, accompanied by green salad, or create hot-dogs. To avoid them catching fire, boil them the day before (for about 10 minutes).
Provide vegetarian options, just in case.
To reduce the number of plates to be cleaned, get a simple and delicious dessert. For example, ice cream cones or fruit kebabs.
Create a friendly environment. Weed everything beforehand, cut down the grass, give a nice clean sweep to the patio, and take care of the pool.
If you’re in the mood, don’t hesitate to decorate with some citronella candles (great for the evening), and a few potted flowers. Avoid tree decorations (garlands or otherwise) and too many balloons.
Don’t forget background music. Try to vary the styles and tastes.
If the party stretches out, have some games planned out.
In case of rain
If your barbecue has a certain scale (wedding, christening, anniversary, etc.), rent out an outhouse or tent. On the other hand, for a smaller gathering, a garage or even the house itself is a great back-up plan.
Make sure to have a large table protected from the wind, insects, sun and dust. The idea is to have guests serve themselves, whether in terms of plates, utensils, napkins, sauces, salads, vegetables, etc.