You’re recently married and about to host your first barbecue. When it comes time to get your grill on, you want every part of the event set up for a fun, memorable experience. Here are some tips for your backyard bash to go off without a hitch.
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Grilled food is obviously going to be your go-to for your BBQ, but you should also take into account the nuanced elements of the entire meal. Show-stopping side dishes are important for the meal, as they will balance out the heaviness of the grilled protein and can pack a lot of flavor. Plan your party menu ahead of time and consider the flavor profile that you will aim for. If your menu is created around Vietnamese-style barbecue, integrate flavor-appropriate side dishes that stand in place of the traditional go-tos. For example, instead of a mayonnaise-based pasta salad, accompany the protein with a chilled, fresh vermicelli noodle salad.
Another special touch that will wow your foodie friends are homemade condiments. When you make your own condiments from scratch you have complete control over quality and flavors. If your friends love a little heat with their food, you should make Sriracha ketchup or a cayenne aioli. When you tend to the details of the meal, your food will have a memorable impact and make your barbecue stand apart from the rest. â€‹
Similar to the design of the food menu, you should also have a thoughtful and planned-out drink list. It is best to keep it simple with beer, wine, one cocktail and one non-alcoholic beverage. Given that your BBQ will be outside on a (hopefully) sunny day, you should choose drinks that are refreshing and seasonal. For example, a craft lager will pair well with any food and is a light beer suitable for an outdoor event. When it comes to wine, stay away from heavy, high-tannin reds and opt for a crisp white or rose with minerality.
For your cocktail, keep it simple and serve it pre-mixed, which will reduce the amount of time you spend tending the bar. You can easily put a margarita or Pimms cup cocktail into a drink dispenser for your friends to self-serve. Do not keep ice in the dispenser, but instead have it in a separate tub, as it will dilute the drink if added to the drink dispenser. Since it is your first party as a couple, don’t over-serve your guests as they will only remember the raucous inebriation and not the thoughtfulness of your impeccably planned event.
Decor and Activities
When your friends first see your backyard bash, they should immediately be in awe and feel the festive spirit. Your decor can create an atmosphere that will make the food and drinks taste better and add a little something special. Your backyard should have the appropriate amount of tables and chairs and other patio furniture for lounging, so your friends will be comfortable. Pay attention to the small details, as well. Make sure you have the necessities like cute flatware, fresh tablecloths, containers for holding dining accessories, labels for the food and specialized napkins.
Invest in some lawn game sets that will keep the event active and fun, like croquet, corn hole, bocce ball and ladder golf. The more unique your lawn games, the better. Bring in an obscure, yet enchanting and exciting game like Mölkky, a Finnish game that requires players to knock down wooden, numbered pins called skittles.
When the daytime fun dwindles into nighttime relaxation, you must have accommodating decor for the evening. Bring in a fire pit that will keep you and your guests cozy, once the sun goes down, and also serve as a s’mores station. Bistro lights will also make the nighttime portion of your barbecue feel magical and just as special as the daytime excitement.
The ingredients are simple when it comes to throwing an unforgettable barbecue. Your new family will make quite an impression, when you carefully curate your event with thoughtful compositions of flavorful food, refreshing beverages and festive decor and activities.