Looking for ways to enjoy a fun backyard BBQ this summer? Wait until you see these tips for hosting a stress-free summer barbecue with easy table decor and entertaining ideas.

Whether you’re looking to cook a quick meal or throw a party, there’s no better way to enjoy the warm weather than by grilling out on your deck or patio for a backyard BBQ.

Here are 7 simple tips for throwing the perfect BBQ in summer.

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This post is being shared as part of our monthly supper club. If you are coming from my good friend Rachel’s from the Ponds Farmhouse, welcome to my home and garden!

potager garden entrance in July with vegetable garden and hydrangea and zinnias with green garden fence

Is There a BBQ Season?


In general, backyard barbeque season typically begins in May and runs through October with weather permitting of course.

That said you can barbecue year round, but most enjoy the meals outdoors while the weather is still pretty seasonable.

backyard BBQ summer dinner party in the potager garden with peegee hyrangea and zinnias along green garden fence

What is the Difference Between BBQ and Grilling?

Interestingly, there is a distinction between barbequeing and grilling.

When grilling, food is cooked with the lid up so there is direct heat on the bottom instead of surrounding it.

To BBQ, the grill lid stays closed so the food is cooked evenly from all sides.

Do you have a preference?

I never thought about it before, but we prefer barbecueing to grilling.

backyard barbecue dinner party with farmhouse table set with fresh cut hydrangeas in galvanized bucket centerpiece for dining table

7 Tips for Making the Perfect BBQ Summer Party

Nothing says welcome summer than a BBQ party with friends or family.

Whether you are hosting a large or small backyard BBQ, there are ways to keep simplify how much work you do to prepare.

Host a stress-free summer BBQ with these simple tips.

backyard Summer BBQ dinner party farmhouse table set with seashell dishes and blue and green table cloth

Prepare Early for a Backyard BBQ Summer Party

One of the best ways to make a backyard BBQ party feel special is to prepare everything ahead of time so you are more relaxed as a host and can spend quality time with guests.

If you know you are hosting a party, plan the menu ahead of time, shop early, and gather table decoration supplies to make the summer BBQ stress-free and easy.

The table decorations don’t have to be anything complicated either.

Use what you have and pull an idea together.

outdoor dining in the potager garden for summer barbecue dinner party

Ask Guests to Bring Their Favorite Backyard Barbecue Recipe

Don’t feel shy about asking others to bring their favorite dish or spirit because that takes a load off you as the host.

And most often, guests enjoy helping make the event a fun one and love to add their spin on the menu.

I know I do.

Plus, the less dishes you need to prepare the easier it is to host a summer BBQ party.

Keep in mind, that just because you are hosting does not mean you have to do all of the work.

fresh cut hydrangea centerpiece for dining table for summer barbecue

Make Sure You Have Enough Propane Gas or Charcoal for a Barbecue

There is nothing worse than when you are grilling and the gas runs out to find you don’t have a back-up!

If you are hosting a BBQ summer party, stock up on charcoal or propane gas ahead of time so you have plenty in case there is an issue during the party.

You never know and it’s good to be prepared!

backyard bbq summer party idea with fresh cut hydrangeas and seashell dinnerware on blue white and green tablecloth in the potager garden

Set the BBQ Summer Table with Enough Seating

Whether everyone is dining together at one table or milling about, make sure you have enough seats for each guest.

Because not everyone enjoys standing around while eating.

While some do, many prefer to sit and enjoy a meal.

If you don’t have enough chairs in your outdoor dining room, consider purchasing some more folding chairs or borrowing from friends.

And if you need to make a table bigger for extra seating, try this weekend DIY.

backyard summer BBQ in the potager garden with farmhouse table and wicker chairs

Serve a Fun Cocktail and Family Friendly Beverages for Kids

While you don’t have to go crazy, I love a summer BBQ party where the host serves a fun cocktail or signature drink!

Whether it’s a take on a classic or your own personal recipe, offering more than beer, wine, or sparkling seltzer helps make guests feel that much more special.

And it looks like you put in so much more effort as the host!

toasting with a refreshing mason jar glass of blueberry mojito recipe easy in the zen garden by the koi pond
Cheers to the best blueberry mojito recipe that is so easy to make!

Here are some fun summer drink recipes that are perfect for a BBQ summer party.

Summer table decor idea with Watermelon Sangria, sliced italian bread, watermelon salad, sliced watermelon, glass pitcher with berries and watermelon on farmhouse table outside on deck with white railings under gazebo
Summer table decor idea with watermelon sangria

If kids will be attending, be sure to offer them something family-friendly like this refreshing strawberry lemonade recipe that can be made without the booze.

Be sure to label beverages separately and serve in different locations so there’s no confusion as to what is and is not appropriate for kids.

To keep drinks cold, toss them in a cooler with ice.

Or be creative and use a wheelbarrow, lobster pot, or other large waterproof vessel to keep drinks cold.

Refreshing Strawberry Lemonade in mason jars and glass pitcher with fresh cut lemons and strawberries
Strawberry Lemonade

Offer Indoor Seating Too

While most backyard BBQ parties are outdoors, sometimes it is just too hot to stay outside the whole time.

Make sure you set aside a space for guests to cool off indoors or get away from the party if they need a break from the outdoor festivities.

You don’t have to go crazy decorating or anything. Just make it look cozy and comfortable.

black lab laying on vintage area run in front of sectional sofa with houseplants and round coffee table with large window
Family Room Makeover

Summer BBQ Party Ideas for Entertaining

While a summer BBQ party is mostly about the good company and barbeque recipe ideas, be sure to offer activities for guests to partake in as well.

After all, what’s a party without something fun to do!

If you have a pool or hot tub, that’s a great start! But consider offering other activities as well.

Here are some fun activities to do at a BBQ summer party.

  • Bocce Ball
  • Horseshoes
  • Cornhole

And that’s it!

Thanks so much for hanging out with me to day in the garden for our summer BBQ party. I hope you got some fun ideas for your next summer barbecue from this post.

Next up in our virtual supper club is my good friend Michele from Vintage Home Designs.

view of backyard BBQ summer party in the potager garden with tree sculpture and green garden fence

Want to See This Backyard BBQ Table in Real Time?

Come take a quick tour of the potager garden with this beautifully decorated table for a summer barbecue with friends.

Looking For More Summer BBQ Party Ideas?

My monthly supper club got together to share decorating and entertaining ideas together with barbeque food and drink inspiration for your next BBQ summer party.

Wait until you see these incredible table decor, centerpiece and entertaining ideas!

Click on the blog name on the photo below to head over to the post.

Looking for More Supper Club Ideas?

Our supper club has been so much fun and we’ve covered so much over the last year.

Whether you are in a supper club or just want some dinner party theme inspiration, check out the themes we’ve hosted before.

And click here if you want to learn how to organize and host your own supper club,

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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

Want to learn more about me?

I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years and author of the best-selling book, The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy-Care Flower Garden. With a deep passion for gardening, I enjoy helping others find their inner green thumb with all things plants and flowers, as well as finding ways to bring the outdoors inside their homes.

Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.

stacy ling cutting dahlias in her garden
Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

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backyard bbq summer party table

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  1. The limelights are amazing!!! The table looks so pretty. I’m going on record that the anchor is my favorite tree sculpture.

    1. Thank you! We thinkg that anchor broke off the top of the chain tree sculpture when they relocated it to here because the top of the link is broken. It’s so neat that someone carved these!

  2. Oh my gosh. I love it, Stacy! Your table is beautiful and I adore the casual and summery vibes with the coastal accents. Perfect for a BBQ.

  3. Love your beautiful backyard tablescape. The hydrangea in the galvanized container is simple but so pretty. Pinned!

  4. Great tips. I didn’t realize that there was a difference between grilling and barbecue ing. Love the bucket of hydrangeas on your table. It is so pretty. Hugs to you, my friend.

    1. Thanks so much! Isn’t that so neat? I used to use the terms interchangeably but there is a distinction.

  5. I am loving your summer table with the gorgeous limelight Stacy! Who knew there was a difference between grilling and BBQ? Not me! So happy to be joining you ladies this month.

    1. Thank you so much Kim! I thought that was really interesting too – I used to use them interchangeably. I’m so glad you joined us! Loved your daisy filled table!

  6. Loved all these great tips for hosting a barbeque. Your table looks beautiful and that arrangement is amazing!!!