Although Memorial Day is a holiday that is generally associated with patriotic colors, I've decided to keep my bbq light, festive, and fun by using bright red and vibrant yellow (keeping in theme with the invitation). Just because the event is outdoors doesn't mean that I don't have to transform my space from everyday to party day. For my outdoor entertaining decorating tips,

  • The first thing you should consider when planning any outdoor event is the weather. If you live in a climate where it usually gets cooler in the afternoon, set up a fire pit or outdoor heaters. If it's really hot make sure there is plenty of shade for your guests to keep cool in. If rain is scheduled, you may unfortunately have to take your party inside.
  • My bbq begins at 4:30 and will most likely go until dark, meaning I'll have to consider outdoor lighting. Use a combination of candles, hanging lanterns, and electrical lighting (like Christmas lights). Place candles in taller glass votives or in areas where you know they will be shielded from the wind. Hide electrical cords under bark and along the bottom of the fence.
  • Set up stations for food and eating. A buffet set near the barbeque is essential to place just grilled food quickly and effortlessly. Place the salads, desserts, drinks, and grilled foods each on a different table area to encourage mingling and general flow of the guests.
  • Create eating stations by arranging chair clusters around the patio and grass.
  • Cover the tables and bar areas with yellow linen tablecloths.
  • Fill vases with red and yellow tulips.
  • Use either high quality colored paper plates and napkins or your white everyday china. If you have a set of plates/silverware specifically for outdoor dining, use this.
  • Don't bother with using your glass stemware, purchase a nice set of clear plastic glasses.
  • Next to the beer buckets place a few bottle openers.
  • Don't forget big trash bins - one labeled for trash and the other for recycling.
  • Designate a trusted friend to be in charge of bringing you a few bags of ice about fifteen minutes before the party is scheduled to start.

Got a great bbq decorating idea? Please share your ideas and inspirations with us below!