If you are anything like me, hosting parties and get togethers give me total and complete anxiety! I’m a mess trying to pull it all together; get the food, prepare the food, clean the house, decorate the house, and everything else that goes into party planning. The pressure is certainly on especially when it’s a holiday weekend like Labor Day. In the end, it always works out and the party turns out great but it takes me a lot to get to that point.
This Labor Day, I want to help relieve your anxiety and give you 5 things to do to make your Labor Day Cook Out a complete success. I’ve also put together a check list you can download to make you feel more prepared and confident.
Prepare a Guest List
You may not think it is a big deal but having a set guest list and getting RSVP’s will help you when it comes to preparing food and seating. How stress inducing is it to have 5 extra people show up and they have no where to sit and you didn’t make enough food…embarrassing. Try to get those invitations or E-vite out 2 weeks before Labor Day because it is a big holiday weekend–People book up fast.
Setup and Seating
Do you have a covered back porch in case it rains or if it’s really hot and sunny? You may consider renting a small tent or buying a few outdoor umbrellas to provide protection and shade. Also, rent some tables and folding chairs if you don’t have enough. You can usually pick them up pretty cheap from a party rental company. But again-Reserve them ahead of time!
Potluck your side dishes
I love potluck style functions, especially if I’m hosting. All I usually have to do is concentrate on the main dish and whatever meat that we want to put on the grill. Have your guests bring sides to insure they have something they like at the party, too. This also gives guests with special dietary needs (Diabetics, dieters, vegetarians, etc) the opportunity to make sure they won’t go hungry! It does take a little extra work because you have to find out what they are bringing and maybe assign some people desserts or sides. This is where your guest list and RSVPs sure do come in handy!
Make sure you have outdoor games or activity
Some of the best Labor Day celebrations I’ve been to have had two things: great music, and something fun to do. So be sure to have your music playlist set up and ready to go. If you have a pool, you are set for entertainment. If not, at least have a kiddy pool for the little ones-It’s usually still pretty hot Labor day weekend. For the adults, have some lawn games like corn hole or ladder ball golf. If you can find any patriotic themed sets extra points for you! And as always, have a contingency plan in case of rain! This may be a charade type game or maybe a beer pong table set in the garage. It all depends on the group you’re entertaining.
Have a fun bonfire
When it starts to get dark, start a bonfire! I don’t think there’s any better way to end the summer and kick off the fall than an epic bonfire. You’ll have to do some prep work in advance, of course: getting some fire wood set aside for reserve and build the fire ahead of time. And you’re definitely going to need to check the weather forecast periodically. The families with small kids don’t usually stay late enough to enjoy the bonfire for long, so be sure you’ll have people who will stay to make it worth while. Get some marshmallows, chocolate, and gram crackers for S’mores and dessert will be covered. Your party will be the talk of the town for months to come.
Keep coolers outside for Drinks
If you want to make sure that your guests stay outside and not just nest in your house, make sure drinks are outside in a cooler. If you only have one cooler, you can ask your guests to bring extras. Have at least one cooler for alcoholic beverages and another for non so kids don’t go venturing in the naughty cooler. Trust me, there will always be adults by the beer cooler to make sure kids don’t go wandering to their turf!
I love you guys and I want to do anything I can to make sure you have a great holiday! So I’ve created a checklist for your Labor Day BBQ. It will keep you organized and let you know when things need to be completed.
You are going to have an amazing Labor Day Weekend. I hope you can enjoy it with amazing friends and family. We are saying goodbye to summer and hello to my favorite time of year: FALL!
Which day of the weekend do you usually have your Labor Day Cook Out?