Labor Day is less than a week away but you still have time to throw the best barbecue ever. Labor Day is the official holiday that brings summer to a close. Therefore, there is no better way to say farewell to summer than throwing a Labor Day cookout in style. By keeping things simple, you can pull this shindig together in no time. Here are my no-fail 9 tips for throwing the best Labor Day barbecue.
1. Send Out Invites
OK girl, since you have less than a week to pull this together, there is no time for formal invites. Send out an evite and/or create an event on Facebook. This will allow you to see your guests RSVP responses in real time.
Here is a cute one you can customize over on Evite.
2. Keep Décor Neutral
via Belle & Chic
Elevate your décor beyond the kitsch stars, flags, and checkered tablecloths. Instead choose neutral fabrics such as burlap or linen. Let your food add pops of color. Leave teak tables uncovered, the wood tones will add some rustic warmth to your décor. Top tables with floral centerpieces using flowers from your garden or potted plants. If you’re like me and don’t have a green thumb, no worries, grocery stores are usually stocked with affordable flowers. Shop your own house for serveware, candles, candle holders, and other simple décor.
3. Choose Convenient Dinnerware
Listen, it’s Labor Day and just because you’re going to be the hostess-with-the-mostest, doesn’t mean you want to spend the after-party laboring in the kitchen. As an alternative to formal dinnerware, use festive paper goods, plastic utensils, and melamine instead. Not only will cleaning up be simple but you also wont have to worry about guests breaking your dishes.
Here are some options that are shatterproof and dishwasher safe:
4. Keep The Menu Simple
I’m sure you or your significant other doesn’t want to be spending the entire day on the grill. Therefore, keep the menu simple and easy. Serve some simple snacks that can be made in advance. Choose to serve one meat that has a short cook time, such as chicken breast or hamburgers. Add a few simple side dishes and you’re all set.
Try these recipes (click for recipe):
Pimiento Cheese-Bacon Burgers via My Recipes
Cajun Burgers With Spicy Remoulade via Serious Eats
California Grilled Chicken via Delish
Caprese Pasta Salad via Delish
Easy Summer Pasta Salad via Two Peas & Their Pod
Corn with Garlic-Herb Butter via My Recipes
5. Set Up A Personal Care Area
Stock a table with personal care essentials such as bug spray, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and a small first aid kit.
6. Don’t Forget The Drinks
Set up a drink station to keep your guests hydrated during the party. Stock it with fruit infused water, iced tea and/or lemonade, and citrus garnishes. Set out cocktail glasses and be sure to label each drink.
Sparkling Raspberry Limeade via Food Network
Berry Splash via Myrecipes
Lemonade Iced Tea via Myrecipes
7. Create A Playlist
What’s a party without music? Put together a playlist on your smart phone or tablet and hook it up to Bluetooth speakers outside. Choose a variety of music to keep your guests upbeat and entertained.
Here are a couple articles on creating music playlist:
8. Let’s Play
Don’t forget the games, there are so many fun outdoor games that can be played. Kids and adults alike love games such as jenga, corn hole, badminton, and pictionary. Kids also love bubbles and hula hoops, which you can find cheap at the dollar store.
9. Transition The Party From Day To Night
Chances are your guests will be sticking around well into the evening. Transition your party from day to evening by turning on outdoor string lights and by lighting tiki torches and candles. Offer sparklers, which are a surefire way to make kids happy.
Here’s hoping that you have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!