As summer comes to an end, we have one last chance to go out with a bang to celebrate! Whether you’re planning a small get-together with friends or a party with a big crew, here are my five tips to feel prepared for the ultimate Labor Day party:
Write it Out
Before you start extending invites to people or steaming your white shorts for the last time, write down what you have in mind for the party. Make an approximate guest list to count how many people may be coming, figure out location, timing, and theme (if applicable) and brainstorm what you need. Getting these details on paper will help with determining the food and drinks, shopping and decor.
If you’re going to prepare all the dishes for this Labor Day party, start your recipe research now to get inspiration and piece together the appetizers, main dish, sides, dessert, and drinks. If you are going for a specific theme, make a Pinterest board or bookmark links online for ideas. If you’re going for a traditional barbecue route, find a way to add your own twist to classics like hamburgers, hot dogs, and pasta salad. Since you’ll be a one-woman show, I recommend looking for a few recipes that you can prep ahead of time like these watermelon cucumber bites for appetizers or a couscous salad as a side.
Asking for a Friend
Don’t be shy to ask friends to contribute if you want this to be potluck style, just be sure you’re clearly communicating what’s needed. Start a group text thread or even make a shared Google Spreadsheet to ask friends to fill in what they will bring. You can enter the number of main courses, sides, appetizers, drinks, and desserts needed to make sure there’s enough food for everyone!
Shop for nonperishable items ahead of time so you can relieve stress from the day of the event. I like to get chips, crackers, beverages, or other items that can hold up the weekend before the event. Once you have a menu ready or know what part you are contributing to the potluck, break it down into two shopping trips: things you can purchase ahead of time and things that you need to buy fresh.
Take a trip to the dollar store, the $1 section in Target, or your local craft store. Grab a few items for decor that fit your theme, and when in doubt, you can’t go wrong with some red, white, and blue. Whether it’s a few props for a photo area, cute detailed napkins, or a statement fabric to use as a table cloth, the simplest things can really pull a party together.