The Best-Ever Backyard Party Planning Checklist
Follow this easy party planning checklist to make sure your next cookout goes off without a hitch!
Backyard cookouts are a staple for summer, filled with cool drinks, big laughs and easy-does-it food that just tastes better in the backyard. Leading up to your party, space out tasks and prep food ahead of time (hello, slow cooker) so you can take it easy on the day of!
Get the Ball Rolling (3 Weeks Before)
- Send invitations
- Take inventory of your tables, chairs, plates, cups, napkins and utensils
Plan Things Out (2 Weeks Before)
- Build your BBQ menu — Here’s how much food you should serve.
- Sketch out a grocery list
- Create, cut and fold food label cards. Get the printout for BBQ food labels here.
- Buy any additional plates, cups, napkins or utensils
Tie Up Loose Ends (1 Week Before)
- Borrow any additional tables or chairs that you’ll need – Just ask friends or family members if you can borrow their extras
- Clean the house – To keep things extra-fresh, clean with vinegar
- Follow up with guests who have not RSVP’d
Go to the Grocery Store & Clean the Yard (3 Days Before)
- Double-check your grocery list
- Shop for your ingredients
- Wash the serving dishes you’ll be using
- Mow the lawn
- Clean your grill from top-to-bottom
Prep, Prep, Prep! (1 Day Before)
- Spot-clean the house – Here’s how to tidy up fast
- Buy a bag of extra ice
- Make as many mains, sides or desserts ahead of schedule as you can – This is key!
- Cut up any fruit and / or vegetables
- Put beverages in the refrigerator to chill
Set the Table (Morning Of)
- Put serving dishes/platters on the buffet table
- Set out plates, cups, napkins and utensils
- Set up extra tables with tablecloths
Final Prep (2 Hours Before)
- Prep any raw food you plan to grill
- Begin reheating any pre-made hot foods
- Stock coolers with ice and beverages
Get Ready to Eat (30 Minutes Before)
- Set out food with corresponding labels on buffet table
- Preheat the grill