Celebrate the season by hosting a backyard BBQ that wows your guests. We’ve put together a guide to help you plan the event and your outfit so that you can stress less and have more fun.
Try to plan a few weeks ahead when throwing a backyard BBQ. If it’s a last-minute decision, at least try to give your invitees three to five days’ notice. If you’re concerned about the weather, check the extended forecast or even consult a farmer’s almanac. While weather predictions aren’t always accurate, you can at least gain an idea of which days might be better than others.
Barbecues are casual affairs, so it’s fine to send invites via text, phone call, or even email if you know your recipient checks their inbox daily. You can even send a mass invite through an instant messenger to save time. Although you aren’t sending formal invitations, request an RSVP so you can effectively plan the event.
Once you have a general idea of how many people are coming, start planning the menu. Consider a blend of traditional and not-so-traditional BBQ foods to keep everyone happy. For example, you might serve hot dogs and burgers alongside a pizza baked in an outdoor pizza oven. Provide vegetarian and vegan dishes, along with gluten-free options. Roasted vegetables are always good for cookouts, even if you also provide other sides such as cold salads and potato chips. Fresh fruit is another must-have for any outdoor summer celebration.
Games for the kids—and adults—can keep everyone entertained. You could set up a volleyball net or beanbag toss, which all ages can enjoy. If you have a pool and plan to allow BBQ guests swimming privileges, ask guests to bring swimwear and beach towels. You may want to have some extra towels and sunscreen on hand for guests who forget to bring their own.
Make sure there’s plenty of comfortable seating for guests to sit and socialize. If your outdoor furniture can’t accommodate all your BBQ guests, invest in some folding lawn chairs for the event. You can also spread picnic blankets on the grass for even more seating. Shade umbrellas are good to have on hand, especially if you don’t have a lot of shade in your yard.
Gather your grilling essentials ahead of time, so they’re easy to find on barbecue day. An apron with multiple pockets is a must-have for protecting your clothes and holding utensils. You might want to also attend to any landscaping tasks a few days prior to your outdoor celebration.
Another important part of planning a BBQ is deciding what to wear. First, consider comfort. For an outdoor summer event, it’s imperative to choose a lightweight, breathable fabric. You’ll also want a fabric that’s machine-washable since you’ll be cooking and eating throughout the day because, let’s face it—spills happen. One fabric that checks all the boxes is Supima cotton.
Supima cotton is grown in the USA in a handful of midwestern and western states. This rare cotton species is comprised of only about 3% of the nation’s cotton production and is twice as strong as regular cotton. The long-staple fiber stretches without losing shape and has excellent color retention properties, which is why it’s a favorite for clothing and home goods such as bed sheets and duvet covers.
Pair a Supima cotton T-shirt with your favorite jean shorts for a BBQ-ready outfit that’s casual and comfortable. Maxi dresses for women are another option, especially if you don’t plan to participate in any high-activity games. Slip on a pair of flip-flops or canvas sneakers to keep your feet comfortable while you work the grill and chat with guests.
If you’ll be swimming at the BBQ, a one-piece tugless tank in a classic color such as black, navy, or red is an option. The fabric stays in place, so you remain comfortable and don’t have to make any wardrobe adjustments when you exit the water. A cover-up dress over your swimsuit is a fast-drying, stylish option for before and after swimming. There are knee- and ankle-length dresses in various colors and styles to complement most any one-piece or tankini swimsuit.
Although you can give a brief thank-you speech to all your guests at once when the BBQ gets underway, take the time to thank each person before they leave. While you don’t have to give the adult attendees thank-you gifts, consider giving all the kids treat bags filled with candy or popcorn. Small bottles of blowing bubbles are another fun idea.
These are just some of the ways you can make your next summer BBQ a success. With a little planning, it’s possible to plan and host a fun outdoor event that guests will remember for years to come.