The days are long, languid, and warm. The kids are out of school, and everyone is hosting outdoor get-togethers to enjoy the summer weather fully. From pool parties to backyard barbeques, summer is the time to get outside and socialize. Throw on a fun summer vacation dress, grab your spatula, and head out back, it is time to host your own fabulous summer barbecue.
It goes without saying that if you plan on hosting a summer barbecue party, you have to have the space to do it. Does this mean you shouldn't bother hosting a barbeque event without a sprawling suburban backyard? Absolutely not. Even if you live in the middle of a major city in a studio apartment, you can turn your tiny outdoor patio into an epic BBQ event space with some simple outdoor furniture and a table-top grill or camp stove.
Alternatively, you could pack up your BBQ essentials and head to a local public park. After all, it's the best time of year for enjoying outdoor green spaces. Many public parks are already equipped with picnic tables and large grilling spaces. All you need to bring is some charcoal and your food to cook. Wherever you decide to host, keep in mind how many people will be attending to ensure that there is enough space for everyone to feel safe and comfortable.
As with any party or event, the vibe is debatably the most important aspect. So how do you achieve it? The vibe is the overall feeling your guests get while there and what they'll leave with and remember. You want your guests to feel welcome and comfortable immediately, joyful and sociable while there, and leave feeling full with great connections (and delicious food!).
Make your space welcoming by offering plenty of seating, both indoors and outdoors. Have a pile of comfy throw blankets and outdoor pillows for your guests to lounge on the grass, or to make your outdoor furniture more comfortable. Make a playlist to help achieve the vibe you want for your barbeque—nothing is more awkward than silence at a social gathering. Hang lanterns and fairy lights for soft and warm lighting if you are hosting in the evening. Fun, low-key games like corn hole or horseshoes are also great for guests to play and mingle together. Games are a fantastic ice-breaker to get the vibe flowing. Also, make sure to have tiki torches, citronella candles, and/or some type of bug spray. Nothing can kill a good summer barbeque vibe like getting bitten by gnats and mosquitos.
Food and drink are what barbeques are all about, isn’t it? Decide ahead of time exactly what is on your menu and let your guests know. It is also a good idea to inquire with each guest about any food restrictions or allergies so that each person can feel welcome and accommodated. Cut down on waste by utilizing some cute reusable cutlery, cups, and plates. Not only is this better for the environment, but it will also make your delicious home-cooked meal much more Instagram-able. You can even forgo paper towels and napkins and opt for cloth napkins and decorative hand towels for a warm touch.
Stock your fridge with delicious beverages for everybody. Have options such as beer and wine for those who imbibe, and don't forget those who would rather enjoy non-alcoholic drinks. Yummy, refreshing drinks such as homemade lemonade and sweet tea are great summer barbeque crowd-pleasers. Of course, make sure you offer plenty of water so everyone can keep hydrated as well.
What sets a barbeque apart from another type of party or gathering? Open flame, of course. As mentioned above, you don't need a large, expensive grill to host a barbeque. Whether you are roasting hot dogs over an open flame, flipping burgers on a grill, or cooking on your camp stove, preparing food outside over a flame is what makes an authentic summer barbeque. Between the warmth of the season and the heat of your cooking method of choice, you will want to stay hydrated and dress appropriately. We recommend a soft and breezy cotton summer dress for the occasion to keep you cool while staying fashionable.
Last but certainly not least, you need your people! Decide if you are hosting for friends or family or coworkers, or a mix of all three. Do you want to host a small, intimate gathering and have a sit-down dinner party-style barbeque, or would you rather have a large casual gathering?
Whatever the details of your summer barbeque, as long as you have these five main ingredients, you are sure to host an amazing party that will have all of your guests asking when you are hosting the next one!