‘Tis the Season for Outdoor Gatherings & BBQ’s

Summertime brings with it a lot of fun outdoor activities, and one of the favorite things for many families to do on a bright summer day is host an outdoor barbecue. When planning your summer gathering to celebrate the 4th of July or just to get together with friends and family and revel in the glorious sunny days of summer, there are a few things you’ll want to be sure to include on your party invitations:
1.     Besides the obvious need for an address and party date, including the time you’ll be serving food can help keep the grilling expert from spending the entire day slaving over the grill to make sure everyone gets hot food. If your event is a potluck, this also helps ensure all the food gets there in time for people to be served everything at one sitting.2.     Theme/attire. If you have a pool, include a note for guests to bring their swimsuits. If you’re having a garden party, say something like “wear your favorite sundress and floppy hat” or if you’re planning an outdoor cocktail party, be clear that it’s a dressier event, so guests can come appropriately dressed and be comfortable knowing their attire is in keeping with your theme.3.     If you want guests to bring food or drinks, be sure to include a note to that effect on the invitation.4.     If you live in an area prone to summer rainstorms, let people know you’ll be partying rain or shine, indoors or outdoors.
If you have outdoor furniture, your patio table may be a great place to stage drinks or plates, cups, and flatware, but you may need more table space for all the food. One creative way to add some extra serving space without buying a new table is to place a hollow core door or thick piece of plywood over evenly spaced sawhorses and cover it with a plastic tablecloth or extra fabric from your sewing room.

For a fun alternative to coolers for keeping drinks cold, galvanized buckets or plastic buckets can be purchased from your local hardware or home goods store and placed strategically around your outdoor party area. Strings of colorful paper lanterns or twinkle lights are a great way to add additional lighting to your outdoor space. Last but not least, don’t forget the background music! A speaker or two and your favorite playlist will provide ambient music for those times when conversation lulls, help set the mood, and keep the party going.

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