Its’ the perfect time of year to host a backyard get-together around the old BBQ. The sun is shining, the beers are cold and there’s quite simply no better place to be! Here are our top 10 tips on how to host one of the most memorable BBQ patio parties of the year!
1. Prepare Your Backyard
Prior to hosting a party on your patio start by cleaning up your backyard. Make sure that the lawn is green and mowed, the trees and bushes have been pruned, and the patio has been cleaned.
2. Consider the Type of Party
The setup of your barbeque should reflect the type of party you want to host. Are you planning for a formal dinner with a firm start and end time? Or, is your party more of an open house?
A more casual party might have a potluck style to it with esky’s full of drinks, and scattered seating meant to create small conversations. A scheduled, formal party may offer assigned seating, catering, and a centre dining table.
3. Create the Guest List and Send Invitations
Remember to give your guests time to respond, and let them know what to wear, whether children are welcome, and what will be provided at the party.
Today the easiest way to send out invitations is by creating an event in Facebook. You can add all the party details and your guests can easily RSVP.
4. Plan the Menu
Once you have decided what type of party you’ll have, created a guest list, and sent invitations, it’s time to plan a menu and start shopping.
You can hire a caterers, order pre-made food from a local store, ask guests to bring food and drinks for a potluck, or make the food yourself. Consider who your guests are, where the food will be, when it will be served, and how much you might need to have.
Children will be happier with simpler comfort food, while adults might be more open to a creative menu. Foods that need to be cold might be better handled by a catering service, or they will need to be maintained on ice, in the shade, or indoors.
And just remember, noting beats a good old Aussie sausage sizzle with tomato sauce and onions!
5. Prepare to Host Children
If you have children at your party, remember that their tolerance to everything is low, whether it’s the heat and sun, unusual food and drinks, or boredom. Children will likely appreciate entertainment like balls to play with or a sprinkler to run through, or a shady spot under a tree. You can buy cheap inflatable pools from places like Bunnings for under $50 these days. Just remember to make sure someone is supervising kids around water if you do opt for this type of activity.
6. Keep Your Guests Comfortable
The heat of the Australian summer sun can be overwhelming, especially around this time of year. Providing patio umbrellas, a marquee, shade sails, or seating under a backyard tree in addition to sunscreen will keep your guests out of the midday sun. Cold drinks, access to a pool if you have one, or fans can help keep everyone from overheating.
7. Decorate your Backyard
Set the scene for your party with festive decorations! Streamers, balloons and themed desserts will give your party that extra special touch. Flowers and potted plants also make great decorations, and can be given away as party favours as your guests go home.
8. Consider Lighting
If you plan to party into the evening or night, party friendly mood lighting can really make a difference. You can choose strings of lights, candles, lanterns or flood lights depending on the mood you want, the size of your backyard, and your budget.
9. Eliminate Bugs
Another risk of partying into the night is the critters that come out. Feel free to pass around the bug spray. Strategically placed fans are one of the best ways to eliminate small bugs like mosquitoes, but they can only reach so far. Be careful of using flames if alcohol is abundant or children are running around.
10. Patio Activities
Hanging out and chatting is always a good time with friends and families, but if you want your party to really stand out, consider providing games, swimming, a late night movie, or even a trip to the beach during your party.
And most of all, have a fair dinkum good day!
This article was written by Marcus Fulker is the Managing Director of Great Aussie Patios – Western Australia's family owned and run patio builder and design company.