This is a collaborative post
Right, the weather forecasters are telling us that Easter weekend in the UK is going to be hotter than Marbella so that means one thing, invite everybody round to ours and have the first barbecue of the year. It can then be a good practice for the two bank holiday weekends in May, God, don’t you just love this time of year?!
Here are my top tips for planning a bank holiday party
Don’t be the person that does everything, or provides everything. When people say “Can I bring something?” be ready with a list of things that they might be able to bring. Even if it something simple like French bread, or some jars of Ketchup and brown sauce. Guests genuinely want to bring something and feel good when they turn up with something so be ready with a few ideas.
We always make sure we have a larger selection of soft drinks than we usually would. If people are coming for an all afternoon party, particularly if there are children around, they will get through more soft drinks than you could imagine. It is also good to have them on offer so people don’t fall into the trap of being thirsty and sticking to wine. We even get no alcohol drinks for the drivers so they don’t feel like they are missing out too much.
That said, you do need to have some booze on offer though you have to be mindful of how much you spend, and that you don’t end up buying bottles of alcohol that you will then be left with and will never drink. We have found that having things like whisky miniatures works well. We aren’t whisky drinkers so don’t really want to invest in a couple of large bottles so we always have some miniatures around. In fact we do it for all sorts of drinks and have them in a big fruit bowl so people can make their own selections!
We make sure these days that we cater for our friends by remembering who is veggie or vegan, or who is gluten free. There is nothing worse than turning up to a barbecue and finding you cant eat anything when you are gluten free. It seems like a such a simple thing but it is something we have tried to for years. And now as more and more people are on special diets, either by choice or medically, it is an important point to remember.
Also good to make sure there is a stack of bread and salad and not just burgers and sausages. Particularly if people are coming for the whole day. You will be amazed how quickly kids get hungry again.
And think about desserts. We have some friends who do a big 100+ party every year and they always ask everybody to bring a pudding. It is great way of not having to think about it and people have bought some amazing home made creations (especially amazing if you have people of all faiths and ethnicities because you end up eating things you might not have done before).
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It is all very well people having a fabulous time but if you are then left to do all the clearing up it isn’t much fun. We make sure that we a dustbin outside (not exactly on show but at least so people know it is there) and every so often we clear stuff into it. That way we can stack the dishwasher as we go along too. Or at least have plates left in the general vicinity of the sink. Again, people like to help and if they ask if they can do anything, a simple “could you carry that in for me” is not a mean thing to ask.
And remember to enjoy yourself! Parties are meant to be fun so do make sure you sit down and toast your own hosting skills!