Do you want to be a backyard party superhero?
All you need is to prep it in advance and voila!
Backyard party extravaganza!
And get this:
Once you get your technique for backyard parties down to a fine science, there won’t be anyone who does it better.
Your friends and family will say “Oh, they throw the best backyard parties. I’m definitely going.”
You’ll need to throw a few parties before people catch on.
We’ve all been there before.
Someone sends an email that reads “You’re invited to my barbecue next weekend.” You think to yourself “Ya, but I’ve got kids and work, and there’s a game on. Plus, the house needs cleaning, and I have to get groceries blah blah blah.”
You see, that’s what everyone thinks when someone invites them somewhere.
Or if they agree to come, they do so planning to get out as soon as possible.
It’s called adult life.
But you can change that.
After you throw a series of amazing backyard parties, more and more people will look forward to coming.
Word will get out.
And by the end of the summer, your parties will be filled
Let’s get to it.
What Kind of Backyard Party Will You Throw ?
Different types of backyard party:
1920’s — flappers, straight-line chemise, lots of bling, high-waisted suit jackets, bowler hats
Prom — glamorous dresses, tuxedos, big hair
Western — cowboy hats, tight jeans, checkered shirts, big boots
English tea — sundresses, big-rimmed hats, semi-casual, polo shirts and slacks
So, what kind of backyard party will you throw?
The choices are endless.
A lot depends on your age. Also, your location can play a big part in the type of backyard party you’ll throw.
For instance, if you’re hosting in the middle of a giant city, chances are that you won’t be allowed to have a campfire.
On the other hand, if you’re out in the country, you’re pretty much free to do as you wish.
Take your location into account. Your backyard party depends on it.
Ready for the fun part?
This is where you figure out what kind of backyard party you’re going to host.
For your first few parties, I recommend you avoid theming the party. No togas.
Instead, concentrate your efforts on some key things:
- One awesome feature food
- Amazing music
- Super comfortable and accommodating
However, if you’re intent on a theme, go with something original and fun.
We’ve got some ideas.
Before we go any further, I need to stress that you shouldn’t hold a costume party when you’re first starting out.
However, once you’ve built a bit of backyard party momentum, have at it.
Until then, however, you’re just not ready for a costume party.
You see, they take a lot more planning, and managing.
Plus, fewer people typically show up to a costume party.
So ya. Don’t do it right away.
But get this:
Once you’ve got three or more parties under your belt, it’s time for a themed costume party.
There’s a catch, however:
You need to invite people the right way. And that means you need to get creative.
Make your invite fun and catchy to score more people at your backyard party.
Once you’ve got them hooked, it’s time throw a fun costume bash.
Party idea: The 1920’s
Hippies are so passe.
Take it back REALLY old school with a 1920’s backyard party.
Make sure you give some tips to people in your invite.
Check this out:
Following the bloodbath of the First World War, social classes were broken down. Women were finally liberated, and men were tired of politics and war.
Instead, they partied.
- Dress loose
- Straight drop-waist dress
- Show off the neck with hair up
- Lots of shiny necklaces and bling
- Suits and hats
- Double-breasted vest
- Bowler hat or fedora
- Gold-chain pocket watch
- Jazz jazz jazz
- Plenty of big band orchestras
- Paul Whiteman, Dorsey Brothers, Cab Calloway, etc
- Lots of gold and black
- Think art-deco with geometric shapes and orderly lines
- Also lots of varnished wood
Remember when you went to prom?
Chances are you had a whole lot of different priorities that night.
Things were simpler.
So why not recreate that feeling with a prom party?
And get this:
It’s a lot simpler to host a prom party than you think!
Check it out.
- Big hair
- Lots of glitter
- Frilly evening gown
- Heels and jewelry
- Shiny shoes
- Try on a moustache!
- 80s pop all the way
- Lots of synth and beats
- Michael Jackson, Madonna, Cindy Lauper, etc
- Blue and silver
- Lots of balloons and flowers
- A big sign that says “Congrats Graduates!”
Your backyard party doesn’t have to be all about dancing and partying.
Instead, you can keep it light and classy.
I’m talking about an English tea party. For this, you need cakes and pastries. And, of course, tea.
And don’t forget that everything is in bright colors with a lot of white.
But there’s more:
Everyone should be dressed like British aristocrats.
If you’ve ever read a Hello Magazine, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Sundresses, flowery hats, polo shirts, well-trimmed beards.
You get the idea.
- Light sundresses
- Well-groomed hair
- Light, stylish makeup
- Huge-rimmed hats and big sunglasses
- Slacks and polo shirts
- Polished shoes
- Clean shaven or well-groomed beard
- Hair trimmed neat or waxed down
- Chamber music
- Piano, cello, violin
- Find any quartet or even a duo and avoid symphonies
- Lots of pastels
- White silk or cotton streamers
- Large plates overflowing with pastries
- Flowers everywhere
You crave the intimacy and peace that sitting around a campfire with loved ones brings.
Maybe you also crave smores.
You don’t need to wait for your annual camping trip to enjoy it. Instead, make your backyard party all about the campfire.
The party can start as the sun goes down.
Get a nice fire going, put up some tiki torches and moonlights.
And don’t forget the bug spray!
What Every Backyard Party Needs
What’s the magic formula to a great backyard party?
When you’re prepared, you anticipate your guest’s needs.
And that will make your reputation as a great host.
Because hosting a party is all about making your guests comfortable and happy.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known them.
If you want to have the best backyard party, prepare for your guests in advance, and they’ll come back.
You know what else?
It doesn’t matter whether you choose to theme your party or not. Just have a few things prepped in advance, and it will work out.
Of course, a themed party takes a lot more prep work and costs a lot more too.
So if you stick with a casual come-as-you-are party, follow a few simple rules, and you’ll be all set.
Let’s dive in.
A good backyard party starts in the afternoon and continues into the night.
That means you’ll need good lighting.
Check it out.
Your lighting needs to not only be functional, but stylish as well.
And you know what?
Bare bulbs on a string are all the rage right now.
That’s good news!
Because it’s cheap and easy and looks amazing.
Make sure your lighting is higher than the tallest person’s head, and not in the way of where people will be traveling.
That’s especially true if alcohol will be served!
Put out some moonlights around walkways where lighting can’t reach or use tiki torches for a rustic feel. Just make sure to not light the torches until after any small children have gone home.
Talking about children…
If you or your friends have kids, set up your backyard to be a kid’s wonderland.
Imagine how happy your friends will be when their children are playing and laughing, and leaving their parents alone to enjoy some time with other adults.
Get an inflatable kiddy pool and fill it with three inches of water. Get a sand table, or even better, build an entire sandbox!
Put out toy trucks, toy strollers, balls, and things like that.
Here’s the deal:
Giving parents a break from their children will cement your reputation!
Do you know how many people will come to your backyard party?
Probably not, especially at first.
But, you should always have enough seating as if every single person you invited showed up.
And another thing.
Make sure your seating accounts for different people’s needs.
For instance, older people or those with disabilities may require softer, sturdier chairs.
They’ll be seated longer, and you want them to be comfortable.
On the other hand, kids will be fine with benches or plastic chairs because they’ll be up and down constantly.
That being said, remember that small children, such as infants and toddlers, will require high chairs or booster seats.
Do you want to know the secret to great backyard party food?
Don’t put on a big pot luck.
Don’t put out a million side dishes.
By now you’re probably wondering why.
But first, let’s see what you’ll do instead.
Master one massive dish, and make that every time.
I call it your Feature Food.
Maybe it’s amazing smoked ribs, or perhaps you rock the best homemade cheeseburgers this side of the Mississippi.
Whatever it is, master it to perfection, and then give your guests so much of it that their mouths will water every time they think of it.
Because it’s easier.
Pot lucks suck for all the guests.
Remember, this isn’t a parent-teacher meeting.
This is your backyard party!
Make it easy for your guests with BYOB, but nix the pot luck. Cook them your best dish instead!
By now you’re thinking that you’ve got this whole backyard party thing locked down.
And you’re almost there!
Take what you’ve learned so far and apply it to your guest’s beverages.
Just like how you’ll feed them one awesome dish, you’re also going to quench their thirst with one awesome punch.
They can bring as much booze as they want. But your punch will be the centerpiece.
Want to know a tip?
Put your punch bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice.
That will keep your punch nice and cool on a hot day.
Don’t forget to offer plenty of non-alcoholic refreshments as well.
Juice, soda, water…you get the idea.
Want to know the best part of any backyard party?
It’s the music!
Seriously, no matter what you choose to play, the music will set the tone of the party.
But playing music outdoors comes with some serious challenges.
That’s especially true if you’re using a single small Bluetooth speaker or a smart speaker.
And here’s a little trick not many people know.
Turn your speaker towards the wall.
The sound waves will bounce off the wall and amplify as they travel away.
Ta-da! Loud music!
The dance floor
Once you’ve got the music going, you’re going to need to make room for people to groove.
Of course, this doesn’t apply if you’re putting on an afternoon tea.
But if you’re rocking the Reggae or doing the foxtrot, your guests will want to dance. So make sure there’s a space where they can do that.
One more thing:Make sure wherever it is that they’re dancing is close to the music source.That means wherever your speaker is, that’s automatically where the dance floor is.See how easy that is?
Here’s another thing you need to think of ahead of time.
You see, on a hot summer day, with lots of people and alcohol, there’s a risk of someone coming down with heat stroke.
You don’t want that at your backyard party.
So set up a cooling station.
Make sure this is somewhere in the shade, or even indoors in the air conditioning.
Have cool, iced water available. Put some chilled fruits out to snack on, such as watermelon.
Here’s a pro tip:
Put some cold, wet, folded towels around the cooling station.
Think of those hot towels they give you on an airplane, but these are nice and cool.
How to Choose Your Guests
Are you ready for the hardest part of throwing a backyard party?
Ya, it’s the guest list.
I don’t mean to make it sound so formal.
After all, this is a backyard party, not a freakin’ wedding.
But the people who show are the ones that will make or break your party. And we all know someone like that obnoxious cousin of yours who ruins every family gathering.
You don’t want to invite that person.
But don’t worry, because I’ve got some tips for you.
Mix and match
So get this.
We all have different groups of friends, right?
There are the buddies from work, and then there are your friends from high school.
Let’s not forget the family members you get along with.
So how do you make sure that everyone is comfortable with each other?
With a Venn diagram!
You can make sure that each guest knows a couple of others so that they don’t feel like complete outsiders.
If Bob knows John and Sarah, and Sarah knows Bob and Rick, etc. then there will be enough familiarity as well as enough new faces to make for a great mix.
Do you have any single friends?
Why not hook them up?
Of course you can’t let on, otherwise, it won’t work. But you can facilitate the meetup by making sure that person A and person B meet and get to spend some quality time together at your party.
One way to do this is to mention something they both have in common when introducing them.
“Have you met my friend Scott? He also taught English in Japan!”
If you see the two of them aren’t spending much time together during your party, don’t force the issue.
But if they’re attracted, they’ll sort out the rest.
Let the Festivities Begin!
So it all adds up to this.
One amazing backyard party.
So far as your guests are concerned, you’ve thought of everything.
There’s seating for everybody, you have some awesome food, and the kids are having a blast.
Best of all, you even thought of a cooling station, and the lighting looks amazing!
You know what that means, right?
In the words of Beetlejuice, you’re the “..hostest with the mostest!”
Wait a minute.
We forgot something.
What to do if rain suddenly appears?
Here’s where you get extra points for being prepared.
Because if there’s any chance at all of a rainstorm or worse, then you should prepare your home to move the party indoors. That means clearing space to bring in the chairs and the food.
Make sure you have a room ready for the kids.
And don’t forget the dance floor!
Do you know what separates a good host from the best host?
The party never stops, no matter the weather!
So your guests will simply change scenery without losing any of the comfort or fun.
Hopefully, that won’t be an issue you need to worry about.
So get out there, and start planning for a summer of fun, one backyard party at a time!
Do you have any backyard party ideas? Let us know in the comments!