With summer in full swing, now is the perfect time for a backyard barbeque. Fire up the grill, invite a few friends, and leave the stress behind. Here are ten easy steps to help you throw a memorable bash.

  1. Invitations
    On the invitations, be sure to let people know when the main course will be served, what attire to wear, what items to bring, and if the event will be held rain or shine.
  1. Go Potluck Style
    Assign each guest a dish (appetizer, salad, side dish or dessert) to bring, while you provide the main course.
  1. Serve Pitcher-Perfect Drinks
    Beverages that can be made in large quantities are the perfect complement to a backyard bash. Lemonade and/or iced tea are always refreshing and economical non-alcoholic options. A signature cocktail is also a nice touch.
  1. Keep Bugs Away
    Set up citronella torches or candles to keep bugs at bay. In addition, it is a good idea to have a few cans of bug spray available for guests to use.
  1. Light it up
    Ensure you can keep the party going after sundown. Subtle ambient light can keep everyone safe without disrupting the ambiance. Hang up a few strings of white lights on deck rails, fences or tree branches.
  1. Supply Enough Seating
    Folding chairs are relatively inexpensive to rent if you don’t have enough on hand. A few blankets on the ground can be used to supplement seating. Also, consider asking guests to bring a lawn chair or two.
  1. Simplify with Disposable Tableware
    Make clean up quick and easy by using paper or plastic plates, cups and silverware. Be sure to place a trash can in plain sight and provide a marker for people to write their name on cups to avoid misplacing them.
  1. Provide Entertainment
    Break out the lawn games like croquet, horseshoes, corn hole, bocce ball, ladder golf and badminton. Don’t forget the classics like sack races, water balloon toss, and egg races. Keep music at a lower volume, and place speaker up high to avoid blasting music directly at guests. Create a playlist ahead of time so that you can press play and walk away.
  1. Create a Kids Corner
    If small children are on the guest list, be sure to have an area with activities to keep them busy. A sprinkler on a hot day, bubbles, and a craft station will keep them entertained for hours.
  1. Be Weather Wise
    Help guest beat the heat during the day with fans, cold compress and access to shade. Set up canopies if natural shade is not available. Have blankets on hand or light a fire to keep guests warm into the night. Don’t forget to have a backup plan in case it rains. Be prepared to move the party under cover or indoors if necessary.

It’s always a good idea to check to see if you have enough liability coverage whenever you are hosting an event at your home. Contact a Cole Harrison agent to review your policy to discuss whether you have the right coverage.


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