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One of the first steps you could consider when hosting a summer BBQ party is a theme. Picking the perfect BBQ theme sets your party in motion, helping you decide what kind of decorations to put out and the overall food choices.

A few of the most common summer BBQ party themes are the following:

  • Traditional Country BBQ Party. Sticking to a classic theme that you can put your own twist on.
  • By The Sea Party. Looking for a unique summer BBQ party theme? Then tap into your seafood side with a ‘By The Sea’ grill party. Instead of the usual red meat and chicken, you can feature some of your favourites like grilled shrimp, scallops, salmon, seafood skewers, and more.
  • S’mores Camping Party. Summer BBQ parties are the perfect opportunity to enjoy other summertime favourites too, like s’mores and campfires. Between fireside chats and tasty treats, no one will want to leave the party.

Other great themes include:

  • Garden tea party
  • Tropical; think floral shirts & flower garlands
  • Decades: 70s, 80s, and 90s are crowd-pleasers
  • A fiesta
  • A favourite film

2. Don’t Forget About Making the Guest List

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Table linens help to convey the theme of your BBQ party. One of the most common tablecloths for decoration when it comes to outdoor parties is gingham fabric.

This type of tablecloth is usually made with white and another colour, creating a check or plaid design. Layering gingham linen with a whimsical floral tablecloth on top will add an unexpected twist.

If you want to go for a rustic, country chic theme, you can even re-purpose some old cans and put something floral in them for a centrepiece.

4. Set-up a Fire Pit to Keep the Party Going All Night

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If dining alfresco in the evening is something you have in mind for your BBQ party, string lights are an essential piece you don’t want to miss. Hang string lights around your garden on the fence or even trees to set a romantic mood.

To create a cosy, inviting environment, you can put sheepskin throws over benches. Add some candles on the tables as well and your alfresco is set.

6. Deck Out the Bar Cart

Drinks and barbecues go hand in hand, so you might want to consider adding a bar at the corner of your alfresco area, and stock your outdoor bar with a variety of beverages. For adults, make sure to add an amazing selection of beer and wine.

If you’re serving a summer cocktail, you can also use a bar cart as a simple storage for your signature cocktail recipe. In addition, soda with a variety of colours will make super fun additions to the bar and will be enjoyed by all!

7. Use a Wheelbarrow to Store the Beers

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Nothing beats homemade popsicle sticks in the summer. Whether it’s apple juice or orange flavoured ice pops, both kids and adults will be hooked with some popsicles for dessert.

Top tip: Consider adding keto-friendly popsicles on the dessert menu for your guests who are on a diet.

9. If You Own a Pool, Pull Out the Floats

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One of the important things you need to keep in mind when hosting a BBQ party is to prep up the food before your guests arrive. Prepare as much as possible beforehand so you can enjoy the cookout with your family and friends.

With this, you’ll want to make sure the menu is ready to go and on the grill even before the guests come in. Any side dishes should be cooked as needed and assembled out on display.

You don’t want your guests to see you scrambling to chop lettuce and tomatoes, do you?

11. The More the Merrier: Ask Your Guests to Bring Side Dishes

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Whether you’re using a BBQ charcoal grill or gas grill, it’s important that you have spare charcoal or propane in case you run out in the middle of your grilling session. 

If you don’t want to end up serving half-cooked burgers, triple check your essential tools to make sure you have enough charcoal for your charcoal grill or gas in the propane tank.

13. Step up Your Outdoor Movie Night BBQ

Hosting a BBQ is always a fun time, and it’s a perfect excuse to throw an outdoor party! To make the most of your BBQ summer party, why not extend it until night and have an outdoor movie night barbecue sesh?

With popcorn, s’mores and cold drinks, you and your guests can cosy up on the lawn in front of a big screen while showing off your all-time favourite movies. Don’t forget to grab your burgers and dogs, and create some gourmet popcorn!

14. Soda Float Buffet Sounds Fun!

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They say the grill is the heart of a great barbecue, but without the right equipment, it would be pointless. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced barbecue griller, a good set of BBQ tools is a worthwhile investment.

Grilling equipment includes stainless steel spatula, tongs and grilling fork, basting brush and some handy flame-resistant glove and apron.

16. Serve Ice-Cold Drinks for Everyone

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Condiments, spices, and sauces can add extra flavour to your barbecue. You can create a designated area for the condiments and sauces so your guests can experiment with their own sauces and touch up their BBQ.

While there are lots of BBQ sauce choices available on the market, you can make your own and give your grilled meat a custom touch. It could be a fruit-based BBQ sauce or chicken barbecue sauce, just to name a couple.

As for the BBQ condiments, you can add salsa, French onion or ranch dip, hummus, or simply salt and pepper to the table. You may want to add sauce or condiments for burgers and hot dogs, too, such as ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, and more!

18. Add a Simple BBQ Centrepiece on the Table

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If you don’t own a pool, no problem! There are lots of alternatives to keep the kids occupied, and lawn party games are a great plan!

Here are a few classic, fun DIY outdoor game ideas that will surely keep the BBQ summer party fun going.