Summer is just a stone’s throw away and the celebrations have already begun. If you haven’t yet, soon it will be your turn to host the next backyard ‘BBQ blowout’ but don’t fret. Here are a few tips on how you can make your next celebration a win for both you and your guests and take out the stress of summer socials to do what you REALLY want to do; enjoy yourself!
Planning is essential to making sure that a quick reasonable event goes off without a hitch. Three weeks should be enough time to prepare your guests, plan the food, decorations, entertainment and enjoy! But before you start calling folks to come over, you want to think realistically about what you want the event to look like. So plan now and start doing something every day toward making it the best event you can. Start shopping for the décor idea’s online or at the store, and cleaning the area where your guest will be. Before you know it, the day will arrive.
Now about those folks…
Nobody wants to do it alone, so who are you going to invite first? Think about the most helpful and the most social and make sure they are at the top of your list. Send out invites to encourage all ladies to bring a dish and the men to bring a dessert or the drinks. So what’s left for you? Well your signature side dish of course! This will round out your menu to accompany the meats that will be grilled by the ‘Grill Master!’
We all have a cousin who swears he is the ‘Grill Master’, and for that day he might as well be because who better to be on the grill all day! If all he wants is to hear how good his burgers and ribs are, or if he and Pop’s want to get into a challenge over who’s the best, let em! Then that’s less stress on you and you’ll have two cooks on the grill.
Plus, it makes it fun for both of them. Just make sure you have plenty of water ready. You don’t want anyone passing out over the grill.
As for the décor, make sure your good girlfriend that is blessed with decorating skills makes it to your place 1 hour before the event starts. Between you, she (and cuz, the ‘Grill Master’) can get the party started early, getting those decorations up and food started before people start rolling through. But, don’t forget the ‘clean up stations’ in the décor. That’s right! Make cleaning up pretty and if a mess were to occur you won’t have to run all the way to the kitchen or basement to get a mop or a wipe. This will also encourage your guest to assist in keeping their area clean too. Dependent on the size of the room consider having a few clean up stations in strategically placed locations and decorate them. Keep trays around your home with paper towels, hand wipes or Lysol wipes and cleaning sprays readily available for cleaning as you go.
Once your food and décor are out of the way, it’s time to get the entertainment going. Now remember this isn’t suited to be an extravagant event, so again having the television available with a classic movie or something for the kids to watch would be fine. Because it’s nice outside you always want to make sure you have good outdoor easy games, like badminton, horseshoes, or at least a ball that the kids can throw and kick around the yard. It’s always nice to have water balloons handy too for a quick game of dodge ball on a hot summer afternoon. And it always gets people out of their seats and everyone running around like kids. And don’t forget the MUSIC!!! There is no fun without music, so get those good ole’ go to tunes like Frankie Beverly and Maze, Mary J., and L.L. on rotation. Also free on Pandora.
Now this is my favorite part. Right before the first guests’ arrive, place a cooler at the door full of cold drinks, whether it be Kool-Aid with real fruit in it for the kids, soda for the teens, or coolers and cold beers for the adults, it’s a great way to greet your guests and take their dishes from them handing them the drink as they come in. Everything else will fall in place because once they have something in their hands they’re more likely to start socializing or head to the table for food (to try those ‘Master Grilled’ cheese burgers), and let the fun begin! Letting them get through that door with nothing in their hands could cause them to be on the lookout for somewhere to sit. Then trying to get them off of that sofa as others walk in just looks like the party is already over.
Now that the party is in full swing, know that folks will come later than you probably prefer, but be flexible & understand that if party is going go on at least an hour past your scheduled time, it is actually a good thing. You wouldn’t want folks leaving before it’s over? So for those late comers, recruit them for the clean-up team. Remember, you’re not in this alone so accepting help from those who offer is okay as well.
And finally, don’t forget to reward yourself with a day off after the event. For instance, Memorial Day is on a Monday, take Tuesday off to rest and prepare for the rest of the week. You’ll go back to work on Wednesday refreshed and ready to hear all the chatter as folks reminisce on the best Memorial Day event they’ve been too. So you don’t have to avoid hosting because it can be a lot of work. Make it a ‘Blowout.’ Don’t bow out.
By all means, these are not the golden rules of having fun, but it’s something to ease your mind and ways to avoid the possible stress and mess that come with hosting. Add your tips in the comments section. I can’t think of it all. And I am taking my own advice and planning for my backyard Memorial Day Soiree!!! Enjoy!
Contributing blog written by Cynikka Minor. She is a Sexy Mom of a teenage son and resides in Maryland. She is a writer as well as a talk show producer for Radio One. Follow her on Instagram @nikstar216 & Twitter @nikstar161