You've got your barbecue fired up, and you've called everyone you know to come over. You've got the grocery list covered, but there's more than food to consider when hosting a successful shindig. Think outdoor accessories!
Here are a few extras to consider to make your barbecue parties a real hit.
Outdoor furniture: There's a great variety of comfortable and affordable outdoor furniture available, with cushions that are weatherproof so that you don't have to drag them indoors at the first warnings of rain. You can think bigger than lounge chairs; outdoor furniture comes in sofa sizes so that you can essentially recreate your living room in the great outdoors.
Waterproof speakers: Sure, your uncle might be great at karaoke, but you're going to want to spin some tunes that everyone will enjoy. Luckily, there are outdoor waterproof speakers that are wireless and offer great sound. What's even cooler is that you can get creative with your outdoor speaker choices — they can look like rocks to blend in with the garden landscape, or you can hide speakers in woodland creature sculptures.
Lemonade dispensers: The hot sun will surely make some of your guests thirsty, so let them serve themselves in style by setting up a drinks station. You can also designate one of the dispensers for grown-up drinks, but be careful to make it obvious which dispenser is which when there are kids present.
Large umbrellas: While the sun is nice, too much of it will make your guests sweaty and grumpy, and potentially put them at risk of sunburn. Invest in some good-quality patio umbrellas that are well-weighted at the bottom to keep them from skipping across your backyard when it gets windy.
Tiki torches: These will give you the “dining on a remote island” feeling, and will help light up your party into the later hours. The flame and smoke may also help to keep flying pests at bay.
Plastic plates: You don't necessarily need to go the disposable dish route, but having decorative and durable plastic plates and cups will take away the possibility of ending up with shattered glass on your patio from a mishap.
These are just some of the great outdoor accessories to liven up your gathering. Now, get those burgers and steaks on the grill, and enjoy your company in comfort!