●     Serve both meat and vegetarian options.

Sure, most of us think of hamburgers and hot dogs when we think about barbecue foods. But times have changed and it’s possible that some of your guests are vegetarian. To make all of your guests feel welcome serve both meat and vegetable options. The world has grown far beyond the day of the veggie burger too, grill up some eggplant or shiitake mushrooms to put on a toasted bun. There are some easy and delicious vegetarian recipes online to help you if you’ve never grilled veggies before.

●     Offer seating for both comfort and dining.

Hosting an outdoor barbecue party means that you will be hosting guests who are both eating and relaxing, so you have to plan the furniture accordingly. Make sure your backyard is set with both deep seated loungers and dining furniture to meet the needs of your party goers. There are some wonderful sets of patio furniture that are not only weather resistant, including UV protected, but also modular. Modular furniture is perfect for the host or hostess that wants to rearrange lounge seating specific to the gathering their hosting.

●     Keep the bugs out of the food and out of your hair.

Spring and Summer don’t only bring warm weather but also a new crop of pesky bugs. Be prepared at your barbecue by not only covering foods but also having repellants. Tiki torches work as great bug repellant whiel still keeping the flare of a fun, outdoor party. They also lack that gross smell that sometimes resonates from a citronella candle. As for covering the food, not many things are more gross than the luke warm potato salad with grazing flies. Have clear covers for skewers, veggies and meat. Also think about putting side dishes into flip open mason jars so they can be sealed when not being dished out.

●     Let them have games!

Break the ice and pick up the dull moments by having lawn games available. Conversation between friends is wonderful, but sometimes a good old fashioned game is the best way to unwind. Set up some croquet on the lawn with mallets readily available. Bean bag toss, ping pong and bocce ball are all also great options for daytime fun. Not only will the adults have fun playing games but it will also keep the kids occupied and entertained if you’re throwing a family affair.

●     Lighting is everything.

Many barbecue parties go on well past sunset, be prepared for the long haul! Set up twinkle lights before guests arrive so that you can flip a switch when the sun is setting. Tiki torches from the above point will also work great to provide a vibrant but relaxing light scape. There are other fun options for evening summer lighting. You can buy some extra mason jars and make fast, easy tea light votives decorated to a desired party theme. Pick a lighting scape and run with it, intimate evening lighting is key to throwing the perfect barbecue party.