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One of the best things about summer is having a barbecue party with all your favorite people. Even though it’s a relatively more laid-back occasion compared to other parties, it still requires careful planning and great execution.

If you’re in charge of hosting your family’s next barbecue party, then you’re in luck. Here are some helpful tips that can guide you in organizing a successful barbecue party at home:

1. Start With a Solid Gameplan

Hosting an at-home barbecue party requires a lot of brainstorming. Make sure you go over the important elements, which are:

* Time and location

Make sure that your backyard is suitable for a barbecue party. In terms of time, try to set your party on the weekend. However, don’t make it too late in the day so people can freely gorge on as much meat as their stomachs can handle.

* Food and drinks

Although it’s good to stick to the classic burgers and sausages, keep in mind that your guests may have to attend half a dozen other barbecues. So, you’d probably want to spice things up with different toppings. Now, if you want to make things easier for yourself, you could also outsource food from places like

As for drinks, stick to the simpler options like beer, wine, and juice boxes. However, if you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, you could also whip up pitchers of cocktails or freshly squeezed juices.

Now, if you’re planning on throwing a big party, it may be a good idea to ask your guests to bring some side dishes or desserts. This will help you focus on preparing and cooking the main meats.

* Guests

Knowing who you’ll invite will help you have a more focused approach in planning. For instance, if you have a lot of vegan friends and relatives coming over, be sure to have a lot of veggie options for them. The same goes for your meat-lover guests.

* Miscellaneous items

In most cases, it’s better to have more, so don’t skimp out on utensils, plates, and cups.

2. Prepare what you can before guests arrive

An excellent party host entertains guests and attends to their concerns during the party. To make sure that you could do this, try to prepare what you can before the party starts. These include:

* Food and drinks

Appetizers, side dishes, and mixed drinks should be done and put on the table before your guests arrive. Prepare things like burger toppings and utensils beforehand as well, to allow your guests to start eating and having fun as soon as they arrive.

* Decor

Be sure to set up your backyard in advance. Put up enough lights so it won’t get too dark once the sun has set. If you’re planning on putting up other decorations such as banners, do so when your space is still empty.

* Music

Nothing signals a stale party quite like silence. Ensure that everyone’s having fun by choosing good music. However, be careful not to make it too loud, since your guests would also like to socialize.

* Emergency kits

Since you’re cooking food on an open flame, keep emergency kits on hand, which contain first-aid for burns and cuts. Additionally, keep a spray bottle or fire extinguisher near the grill in case the flames get out of control.

To ensure safety of you and your guests, consider taking first aid online classes and you will always be prepared for an emergency.

3. Make sure there’s enough food for everybody

As mentioned, excess is better than scarcity, so there should be more than enough food for all of your guests. Generally, two or three servings of one dish should be enough per person.

Aside from quantity, the menu itself should also suit your guests. For instance, if you have no kids coming over, maybe it’s better to do it without the hot dogs, but if you want to be sure, you could keep a few pieces handy in case someone suddenly craves for it.

4. Buy enough materials

Don’t compromise the taste and quality of your food by leaving them out on the heatless grill while you go purchase some more charcoal or propane. It’s also important that you have enough ice for the drinks because it’s bound to get hot out.

5. Encourage guests to participate in party games

While eating by itself is already fun, there’s no harm in trying to take it to another level by organizing some party games. Here are some suggestions:

* Treasure hunts

* Jumbo ring toss

* Eating contests

* Obstacle courses

* Nerf wars

Barbecue parties contain the two best things about summertime — good food and great company. You can make yours successful by coming up with a well thought out plan, preparing what you can beforehand, and making sure there’s enough of everything for everybody. Above all else, however, you should make sure that your guests will have a blast, and one way to guarantee that is if you have fun as well.