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How to Host a Summer BBQ

Summer is quickly approaching, so what better way to celebrate than having a summer BBQ? If you want to host a successful BBQ kick-off for the summer that will leave a big impression on your guests, check out some of these stress-free ideas to plan a fun, enjoyable summer party. 

How to host a summer bbqvia Country Living

Go Low-Key with Food

When it comes to a summer party, people are excited for a season of low-stress and relaxing vacations. This means that with just a little bit of advanced planning, you can serve dishes that are easy and delicious. You don’t want to get too bogged down in planning dishes that require lots of prep and performance. With a summer party, your guests would much rather see that you are having a good time relaxing, too! Here are a few ideas for keeping the food stress-free:

Do a potluck. Ask guests to bring specific things like a vegetable side dish or a dessert. This way, you won’t have to worry about providing all of the food for the party. 

Plan ahead. Prepare quick dishes, such as a summer salad or a fruit and cheese tray, in advance.

summer bbq foodvia hayneedle.com

Stick to the grill. You can’t go wrong with grilled food as it’s perfect for the summer season. While you cook, you can still be outside enjoying the party! Favorites like ribs and chicken are always a hit, but you may want to switch it up and try some tasty marinades to make them extra special. Add spices to the burgers, and try different meats to offer guests a new take on the classics. Instead of regular hamburger buns, use artisanal buns and grill them along with the meat. Other items to grill might include vegetables such as corn on the cob or Portobello mushrooms, as well as shrimp or fish on skewers. Providing a few options is a sure way to keep everyone happy.

Set up a fixings station for the burgers. Include basics like ketchup, mustard, and lettuce, but also include sauces and items like spinach, pesto, different cheeses, and even bacon strips! Adding decorative labels to each of the fixings is a great way to show guests your creative side while letting them know what they’re in for. 

Drink stationvia Style Me Pretty

Prep the bar. Make sure to have a variety of drinks on hand. Beverage dispensers are a great way for guests to easily help themselves. Some drink ideas to consider would be iced tea, lemonade and bunch. Fun summer cocktails might include sangria, mojitos, or classic margaritas. Don’t forget the garnishes! Slices of lemon, lime, or cucumber are a refreshing way to add a bit of flavor. 

Add a few Creative Elements

When it comes to setting up for a summer party, you can usually host your party outside which means you won’t have to worry too much about getting the house party-ready. You still might want to add a few small touches to the yard and a few rooms that guests will see – like the living room and kitchen. 

Flowers in jars
via Cedarwood Weddings

Order seasonal arrangements of flowers to place around your party. For example, you could place matching arrangements on all of the food tables in the yard and on the kitchen table. Or you could set up small mason jar arrangements of flowers to place around the house.

If you will be having a pool party, consider purchasing some floating pool toys. These will be fun for the kids, but if you stick to a certain theme for pool toys – such as all floating flowers or pink flamingos – they can also act as decorations. 

Hang a few simple decorations like tiki torches or cloth flag banners.

Plan a few Games and Activities

Yard games are a great way to get everyone involved.  Classics for all ages include games like volleyball, croquet, and beanbags. Other cost-effective games could be three-legged races or wheelbarrow races.

Keep it Simple!

Your best bet for a fun and stress-free summer kick-off party is to keep things simple and low-key! The focus of your party should be making sure everyone gets plenty to eat and feels relaxed. It’s a great way to welcome in the easy summer season.


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  1. Such a great post! This sounds like the makings of a perfect party! :D

  2. I love summer barbecues and can’t wait to host several.

  3. Alissa Apel says:

    I should really have a bbq. We have a lot of outdoor games that we hardly use. We need to get them out, and have some fun!

  4. liz says:

    Love these ideas & decor items you used!!

  5. Such a great post! I love your photos <3

  6. Joanna says:

    I love potluck BBQs:) you always end up with the best variety of food and drinks!

  7. Alicia says:

    This all looks amazing! I love the decor, the food looks delicious too. So many lovely ideas :)

  8. Bethany says:

    Hmmm I’m considering doing the bbq we planned this week at our house instead of a park. I think you just convinced me!

  9. Lena says:

    Beautiful elegant post !
    Especially love the flowers in the jars idea.

  10. Claire says:

    Oh I just LOVE Summer barbecues! Thanks for the tips!

  11. Ashley says:

    these are great tips! I just need a bbqer and I will be ready!

  12. Tina Marie says:

    Thanks for the wonderful tips and beautiful pictures. We live outside in the summer on our grill. We use it a lot in the winter, but it’s my husband that stands our there in his winter gear not me. :)

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