The spring and summer months are the prime time to host the perfect garden BBQ. To make the party the best it can be, you can’t just throw it together at the last minute, however. The perfect BBQ requires lots of careful planning to make sure you get everything just right.

Use the following tips to ensure that your BBQ goes off without a hitch and is a fun, memorable event for all your guests.

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Food

Everyone shows up at a BBQ expecting perfectly cooked meat, so you better have plenty of it. Your menu can range from Sausages in Rolls and Beef Burgers in Crusty Rolls to Steaks and Chicken Satay Kebabs. Just make sure you have a little bit of variety. Don’t forget about the sides either. Mixed Leaf Salad, Potato Salad and Coleslaw are all traditional side dishes – if you need alternative ideas, have a look at our Sides and Salads. Since it will probably take a while to get all the meat grilled, why not offer some Canapes for your guests to snack on. Seasonal Berry Cheesecakes or Fresh Fruit Salad with Fresh Double Cream also makes an excellent dessert. If you are stuck for menu inspirations have a look at our BBQ Menus.

Drinks

Look to traditional summertime drinks to quench your guests’ thirsts. If you plan to serve alcohol, keep a variety of beers and wines on hand, along with several refreshing cocktails. Mojitos, Sex on the Beach and Margaritas are all warm weather favorites. Iced tea, lemonade and sparkling punches are also all great non-alcoholic refreshments.

Seating

Make sure you have plenty of seating available for your guests. Don’t worry about trying to fit everyone at one big table. Several smaller seating areas work just as well and create a cozier eating environment. Outdoor table sets and white garden chairs all work well.

Decorations

Your garden BBQ decorations can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. While tablecloths aren’t necessary, if you decide to use them then look for the traditional red and white checked tablecloths. If you want something a little different, consider covering your tables with butcher block paper and providing crayons. It’s a fun activity for kids and adults alike. Top tables fresh flowers and covered citronella candles if you anticipate your BBQ lasting into the evening hours. Fill planters with bright flowers and space them around your deck or patio area for a nice pop of colour.

Music

Make sure you have some type of music playing throughout the party but keep it low enough that it’s still easy to carry on a conversation. If you have a stereo that works with MP3 players, invite your guests to bring their own music devices and let different guests be in charge of the music throughout the day. Everybody will have the opportunity to play music they enjoy and you may get introduced to some new bands in the process.

Games

There is no shortage of easy, backyard games that are perfect for a BBQ. We have Traditional games like Giant Connect, Giant Jenga and Croquet are all favourites.

Good food, great company, fun games, and festive decorations make a summer BBQ a get-together to remember.