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BBQ Party: Plan Your Summer Cookout with This Ultimate Guide

BBQ parties are the highlight of warm-weather events. Whether you're kicking off the summer with a big Memorial Day shindig or celebrating America's birthday, also known as National Barbecue Day, with a backyard BBQ, there's...

BBQ party: friends drinking while grilling outside

BBQ parties are the highlight of warm-weather events. Whether you're kicking off the summer with a big Memorial Day shindig or celebrating America's birthday, also known as National Barbecue Day, with a backyard BBQ, there's always a reason to gather friends and family for a fun day in the sun. In this ultimate guide, we'll show you how to plan the best BBQ party and make it a memorable occasion.

How to Host the Best BBQ Party in 6 Steps

BBQ party: group of people having a toast

The best thing about BBQ parties is their simplicity. You can put a lot of planning and thought into your event, but you can also pull one together at the last minute and still have a blast. Here's a step-by-step guide to planning the ideal BBQ party for any celebration.

1. Choose a Location

Every memorable BBQ party starts with a great location. You can host it in your backyard, borrow a friend's sprawling garden, or find a local event space. Consider public venues like parks, lakeside pavilions, or local beaches. If you're looking for jaw-dropping views, you can even host a BBQ at a national or state park. Contact restaurants or local breweries to discuss menu ideas, event spaces, and availability for hosting your BBQ party.

2. Decorate the Space

Once you've chosen the location, it's time to think about decorations. Set the scene with classic party decor like balloons and streamers. For a fancier dinner party, add summery floral centerpieces with sunflowers, daisies, and gladiolas. If it's a casual BBQ party, use gingham fabric as tablecloths and set out small picnic baskets with condiments and silverware. Enhance the ambiance by hanging string lights in the trees or using fairy lights on the tables. Lanterns and candles can create a cozy and bright atmosphere as the party stretches into the evening.

3. Plan Games

Keep your guests entertained with fun backyard games like giant Jenga, cornhole, and wiffle ball. Cozy up around a firepit, roast s'mores, and tell ghost stories when it gets dark. If you have musically gifted guests, invite them to bring their instruments and lead a fun sing-along. You can also create a DIY scavenger hunt and have guests search for items in nature. For a baby shower BBQ party, hide themed objects like bottles and diapers for the scavenger hunt.

4. Send Out Invitations

Get your guests excited by sending out digital invitations. At Greenvelope, you'll find a variety of BBQ party invitation designs for every type of summer celebration. Customize the invite with the date, time, location, and any specific requests, such as bringing a side dish or main dish. Set up a website or spreadsheet where guests can sign up to bring a specific item and include the link in your invitation. This ensures a variety of dishes and avoids duplicates.

5. Create a Mouthwatering Spread

A BBQ party is all about the food. Grill up tasty options like hot dogs, burgers, and veggie skewers. Don't forget classic side dishes like potato salad, coleslaw, and pasta salad. Set out appetizers like watermelon slices, chips and guacamole, and crispy chicken wings. Offer refreshments such as sangria, lemonade, and punch. Finally, complete the feast with a summer dessert like an ice cream bar where guests can add their favorite toppings.

6. Send Guests Home with Memorable Gifts

Wrap up the evening by sending guests home with a party favor as a token of your appreciation. For a baby shower BBQ party, consider monogrammed hot sauce bottles or s'mores kits. For a birthday party, a small bag filled with snack foods and candy is a great option. Use burlap, twine, and gingham fabric to match the BBQ theme and give the gifts a personalized touch.

Discover Summer-Ready BBQ Party Invitations

Family having a BBQ party

Ready to invite guests to your BBQ party? Check out our collection of BBQ party invitations for festive, fun, and delightful designs that suit any type of event.

1. Gingham BBQ Invitation

Invite guests to your engagement party or wedding celebration with this charming BBQ invite featuring a gingham border and a cute pig. It's perfect for casual celebrations.

2. Backyard BBQ Grill Invitation

Get guests excited for your upcoming summer party with this colorful invitation. The design features a grill roasting cookout favorites like hot dogs, veggies, and burger patties.

3. Red White BBQ Invitation

Take your America-themed event to the next level with this bold and patriotic backyard barbeque invitation. It's perfect for the 4th of July, Labor Day, and Memorial Day celebrations.

4. Plaid Picnic Blanket Invitation

This sweet invite design is ideal for BBQ celebrations honoring a baby shower or a young child's birthday party. Customize the color scheme to make it truly unique.

5. Classic Cornhole Invitation

Vibrant and fun, this festive invite sets the tone for a day of yard games. It's a great option for birthday parties and corporate gatherings.

6. Pool Party! Invitation

Cool off on a hot summer day with a pool BBQ celebration. This punchy invitation is the ideal way to ask guests to partake in some splish-splashing fun.

Plan the Perfect BBQ Party

Whether you're throwing a BBQ party for a summer holiday or a special occasion, you'll pull off the perfect bash with this step-by-step planning guide. For more party planning tips, browse our Stationers blog for summer theme ideas and invitation wording inspiration.