Preparing the perfect bbq

With your chosen menu complete, invitations sent and final guest numbers confirmed it’s time to think about the finer details of your upcoming BBQ. Making the difference between a casual summer gathering and a BBQ party your guests will never forget, the following points outline our top tips to perfectly prepare for your big day.

Plan ahead for the Great British weather
Due to the wonderful wet weather we often experience here in Britain, rain is something we all have to consider when planning social events outside. However creating sheltered areas in your garden using, a marquee or a number of tents filled with cushions or bean bags will allow you to keep the party going in comfort and style come rain or shine.

Create a theme
Providing a concept that ties all the separate elements of the day together will play a key role in making your guests feel as though they are attending an event to remember rather than an informal get together. Why not consider implementing something that reflects the sunshine you’re hoping for, such as a Hawaiian theme? Or, if you prefer something a little more subtle, consider simply focusing on a specific colour scheme that runs throughout; from your furniture to the disposable cups and plates you choose.

Consider your seating arrangements
Perhaps an obvious point to make, however you may find that additional furniture is needed to accommodate all those attending in order for everyone to sit comfortably throughout the day, therefore consideration will need to be paid to the possibility of borrowing certain items from family and friends ahead of your BBQ. Remember, you don’t want your guests to be sat so far apart that they cannot easily socialise with one another, whilst you also do not want to find that everyone is uncomfortably squashed together with no room to enjoy the BBQ masterpieces appearing from the grill.

Create the perfect playlist
We’ve all been subjected to it at one stage or another; that looping playlist for hours on end. Take some time to sit down and consider what music will best suit all your guests' tastes so you can ensure that the right atmosphere is created, whilst building a playlist that will play over a 5 hour period will prevent any unwanted repetition during the day.

Don’t forget the snacks
Having carefully considered your main BBQ menu it can often be easy to forget the added extras that go hand in hand with a summer event.

Try to ensure that a range of crisps and dips are on offer as your first guests begin to arrive, as well as a variety of other small treats in order to keep them happy whilst you finish cooking on the grill.

Get your guests involved
It may be hard to accept, but you don’t need to do it all! Consider asking your guests to bring a couple of items with them such as snacks, desserts or drinks; that way your load will be lightened and your guests will be glad to feel that they have made a contribution.

Prepare your drinks menu
If you have asked your guests to contribute to this you may find that you do not need to purchase a large amount of beverages. Always make sure that you have a large range of soft drinks and bottled water available alongside any alcoholic beverages, especially on hot summer days, and of course, don’t forget the classic taste of summer - a Pimms punch!

Consider organising a range of activities
Creating a schedule of games is not only the perfect way to keep the kids entertained but will also help to keep the party spirit going throughout the day. This will also provide a topic of conversation, entertainment and a way in which to unite all your guests, preventing from them splitting into separate groups - after all BBQs are the perfect opportunity to socialise.

Enjoy yourself!
Finally, remember that BBQs are all about having fun! Don’t let all your planning and preparation go to waste on the day by failing to socialise or enjoy the event you’ve worked so hard to create. Never be afraid to ask for help from your guests and leave the vicinity of your BBQ (ensuring there is a responsible adult present in your absence) to join in with the fun around you.