Labor Day weekend is right around the corner and it is the last time you can get your family and friends together for a BBQ before summer ends and the school year begins. You want to make your backyard BBQ a success, but with all the responsibilities we juggle as moms, what can start as a fun idea can sometimes become a little overwhelming. So we’ve put together some great tips to keep your Labor Day BBQ planning completely stress-free, as well as some fun ideas on how to make it your own.
1. Keep It Simple
We often think that we need to put on an extravagant affair for people to have fun, but the truth is what makes a party truly memorable is the quality time our friends and family spend together. So instead of planning an outrageous celebration, keep it simple. All you need are your favorite people, some delicious recipes, and a few personal touches and everyone will have a great time.
2. Start Planning Now
When you have a spare moment this week, grab a pen and notepad or your favorite to do list app, and make a list of all the things that will need to be done by the time the party comes. Start by listing simple tasks like cleaning the house and the backyard, designing the menu, and selecting music. Then make a detailed grocery shopping list, making sure to add all the essential non-food items like napkins, paper plates, plastic cutlery, and citronella candles. Then as you get closer to the date, you can start checking things off the list when you have time. This way you don’t have to rush to get everything done all at once.
3. Create A Fun Theme
Themes are really a great way to add a personal touch to your BBQ. Picking a great theme can also make your party planning simpler because it helps you narrow down what you need to make or purchase. Here are three of our favorite themes to inspire you:
4. Plan Some Fun Party Games
Party games are a great icebreaker and really help your guests get to know one another. They also make the event unforgettable and ensure everyone is having a great time. Here are our three of our favorite backyard party games that guests of all ages will love:
5. Send Out Invites
Once you have your guest list together, send out invites as soon as possible. That way, people do not book something else for Labor Day weekend. There are many great ways to send out invitations. You can mail or hand out traditional paper invitations, or text and call people directly. Though our favorite way is to send out e-vites. E-vites are digital invitations that are quick and easy, but still make the event feel special. There are hundreds of websites that offer free e-vites, here are three of our favorites:
6. Get Your Family Involved
We often think as moms we have to do everything ourselves. This could not be further from the truth. Whether you get your kids to help you pick up around the house or set up a craft night to make decorations together, your children will love the opportunity to show off how they helped when the guests arrive. So don’t be afraid to include the whole family in the party planning process.
7. Decorate Early
One of the best ways to simplify your BBQ planning process is to start by prepping everything ahead of time, including your decorations. If the weather is going to be nice, go ahead and decorate your yard a few days before the event. You can also set your table the day before. If you decorate early, not only will you have a jumpstart on the day, if you forgot to get anything, you have the time to run out and grab it without hassle.
8. Make Your Dishes Ahead Of Time
A great way to ensure a stress-free BBQ is to plan a menu that has lots of make-ahead dishes. That way you can spend your week cooking a dish at a time, instead of trying to cook everything the morning of the BBQ. Here is a complete BBQ menu of make-ahead dishes to help you plan an easy cookout:
9. Go Disposable
Post-party cleanup can often be as stressful as planning the BBQ. So save yourself the hassle and go disposable. Paper plates and cups, plastic cutlery, and aluminum pans can help make cleanup a breeze. So even though it can be a bit of an extra expense, the money spent is well worth it.
10. Relax And Enjoy Your BBQ
You’ve worked hard on your BBQ; you deserve to have as much fun as your guests. Don’t spend your event worrying about making everything perfect. Instead take this time to really enjoy the company of your loved ones and make some great memories.
Always remember: A relaxed host is the best way to guarantee a great party.