It seems like just last weekend we were all showering mom in flowers and chocolates for Mother’s Day — where did the time go? With only a few days left until Memorial Day, many of us will be kicking off the summer around the barbecue with friends and family. But there’s a lot more to a barbecue than just turning on the grill and dusting off your lawn chairs. If you want to have a truly unforgettable Memorial Day barbecue, here are a few things you should consider before, during, and after the party.
Before the Party
The Guest List
Is this going to be a neighborhood-wide block party, or a small gathering of your close family? Before you can really start to plan, you have to get an idea of how many people will be coming. You should also think about if your guests have little kids, and if they’ll be staying late into the night, or just stopping by for an hour or two.
Location, Location, Location
For smaller gatherings, a backyard is probably your best bet. If you’re expecting a larger crowd, you may want to move the party to a local park or outdoor venue.
When it comes to a Memorial Day barbecue, there’s no such thing as “too much red, white, and blue.” Festive place settings, streamers, and flags will set this patriotic party apart from a typical barbecue. And while this may not be the most festive addition to a party, plenty of garbage bags will ensure that your yard stays clean and tidy all night long.
During the Party
Whether you’ve been planning for weeks or were put in charge of the party last minute, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a bit of help. When you send out invites, ask people to bring a side or drinks. Guests usually want to contribute something to a party anyway, so keeping a running list of what you ask people to bring will ensure that you don’t end up with 10 spinach dips and nothing to drink.
Memorial Day is informally known as the kick off to summer, which means there’s a good chance it will be hot out. Leave out coolers filled with lemonade, iced tea, and soda for any little ones, as well as beer and wine for the adults. You can also create a pitcher or two of your favorite fruit cocktails in lieu of an open bar.
Break out the Backyard Games
Bocce ball, badminton, corn hole, and horseshoes are backyard barbecue staples. Bring out the kid in everyone by having a few games setup around your front and backyard. If you don’t have much space for a game with a big setup, you can still have plenty of fun with a deck of cards and a soccer ball.
Don’t Forget Dessert
When it really comes down to it, a barbecue is all about the food, but we’re not just talking about the main course! Make sure your guests have something light and delicious to snack on once the night starts to wind down. In our opinion, a fruit bouquet is the perfect festive and shareable dessert to end any party with.
After the Party
We told you those garbage bags would come in handy! Once the night has come to an end, simply tie up the garbage bags in your backyard and put them out on the curb. Especially if you have friends and family over, there’s no shame in asking them to lend a helping hand. An assembly line from the table outside to the backdoor will make for an easy cleanup of any condiments and dirty plates left on the table.
Party planning is no easy job. So while you’re planning the guest list and getting your house ready, let us handle the desserts and snacks!