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by Kelly Curtis

It's that time of year again. The warm weather is upon us, flowers are blooming and the sun is beaming down. This can only mean wonderful weather for all your outdoor parties. This is the time to get outdoors and get creative with your backyard and host some amazing BBQs. You may sometimes think hosting a big bash BBQ is a big event to plan and you don't want to have one every weekend. However, it's not that hard at all. Wedding and Party Network has a few tips  for your next backyard barbeque.

One Week Before The BBQ

  • Plan out a guest list. You can either send out invitations if you want a more formal affair or just make a phone call if it's more of an informal event.
  • Plan the menu. There are so many different options for food. You can serve different appetizers, create hamburgers & hot dogs, have Mexican food or anything else you may enjoy. There are multiple barbeques that can be planned throughout the year, so it's nice to switch it up a bit. Don't forget to consider your guests when planning the menu, some may be vegetarian.
  • Go grocery shopping. Once you have a menu, write down everything that you will need and how much of it. This will help streamline your grocery shopping trip.
  • If you have close friends and family coming, ask them to help if you're cooking for a bigger crowd. It can be a potluck party.
  • Don't forget about the rental items. If this is for a bigger crowd, see if you need to rent tables or chairs for your outdoor space.

2-3 Days Before The BBQ

  • Start preparing all the essentials. Lay out all the platters, dinnerware, flatware and glasses that you need.
  • Now is the time to go grocery shopping with your list. It's not too early or late so your food won't get spoiled.
  • Lay out all your party decorations. Decide what you're going to do or if you're doing any DIY crafts, now is the time to start creating them.
  • It isn't too early to start preparing some dishes that can be made ahead. If you're creating some type of chilled dips, pasta salad, chex mix or other snack items, you can go ahead and start making these dishes, which will save you time the day of the BBQ.

The Day Before The BBQ

  • Pick up the ice for all the drinks. It's always good to get more ice than you think you'll need because some melts and it can definitely be used later. You never know how many drinks your guests will make.
  • Pick up the few last minute perishable items that you were afraid to get at the store. Don't forget the condiments either. You never know what everyone likes so make sure and get a variety of condiments.
  • Start decorating and planning the layout. If it calls for no rain, you can go ahead and set-up the tables if you would like.
  • Thaw out any frozen items.

The Day Of The BBQ

  • ¬†In the morning, set out the rest of the decor and utensils. Even start setting up how you would like your food table to look. It just depends on what type of BBQ you are hosting and what you need to do.
  • Start preparing the food. If you have any vegetables, start seasoning them. An hour or so before, you can get your meat ready.
  • Start setting on the drinks and set up a drink table. About 10 minutes or so before your guests start arriving, lay out the ice. Make sure the glasses, drinks and ice are all together.
  • About an hour or so before, start setting out the appetizers and side dishes. The meat and any warm dishes should be prepared last.
  • Once guests start arriving, throw on any meat or any casseroles or hot dishes you may need to prepare. There should be enough appetizers and starters to keep your guests satisfied.
  • Now, it's time to have fun!

Planning a BBQ is a cinch. You just have to be organized and party ready. This checklist will help with all future parties and will make everything truly easy for you.

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