What a weekend! So far we’ve hosted a killer BBQ, cleaned the house after said-BBQ, and are heading to hot yoga. Oh and it’s beautiful outside. Who could ask for more?!
Dan and I love to host and entertain, this is no secret to those in our life. We regularly host game night, drinks on the patio, or invite some friends over for a casual dinner. Given that this is our first summer spent together (we got a whole 5 weeks!) we thought we’d host a proper BBQ for our circle of friends here. We held one similar to this last year in Gagetown before we left and it was just as much of a success, however it was held in drastically less glamorous circumstances.
Below are our guidelines to hosting a pretty snazzy event
Timing: We set off planning the event by nailing down a prestigious saturday, in what is turning out to be a busy summer. Keeping in mind the split audience for the event, we opted to start things off a bit earlier to allow for those with kids to enjoy the party before bedtime.
Format: Given the sheer number of people we were hoping would come, and our limited resources ( hello budget, I’ve missed you…not) we decided to make it a Bring Your Own Meat/ Beverage/ Husband/ Kids kind of event. We provided buns, condiments, desert, and everything in between. It allowed us to work within the confines of our 125$ budget, while still providing quality and an experience for our guests.
I even got a chance to bust out my two tier drink dispenser! I was put to good use too.
Styling: I think I’m one of the only people who actually cares if all the paper plates, napkins, lanterns, and glasses coordinated. Yup, I am. BUT it meant that everything look beautiful! Since I knew we were having the BBQ at some point this summer, as I saw good deals on hosting essentials pop-up, I took full advantage. No target sale, or trip to Dollarama was left unscathed. We came out of it with some great finds, and pieces that are reusable throughout the year.
I started slowly picking things from the Oh Joy! line, and mixing them with other RE party supplies. The lanterns recently put on sale for Target’s 1year anniversary were a great last minute addition to the decor.
One of my favourite finds was 4 sets of outdoor patio lights from target, on sale for 6.49$ each (down from 15$). They are just what we were looking for in terms of outdoor lighting for the summer, and will be an essential for the holidays this year. I tok full advantage of the sale and bought many sets of light-bulbs. I plan on getting several seasons out of these.
Although we don’t smoke, some of our guests do. To accommodate them, we provide some custom ashtrays: repurposed mason jars! Surprise! Using the same vinyl chalkboard stickers from the house, I labelled the jars and off we went! I think they’ll be a good addition to the house, regardless.
we made sure to create a flow in the backyard, and even had to open up the gates to allow for the party to spill out into the PMQ common area. It was something I was hoping to avoid, but I’m glad I did.
Music: We don’t have a sound system of any kind at the moment. It’s really quite unfortunate, and is at the top of our list of things to buy. We had to settle for my laptop, and the dancing mix from our wedding last summer. Not too shabby if you ask me.
Fire: We had planned on having a fire once the sun went down, and people started filtering out. It worked-out perfectly! All of the families with kids seemed to leave within a 20 minute window of each other, which allowed us time to transition from dinner and food into the fire with a beer or two… and some marshmallows. We got the party going with a giant game of cards against humanity, which kept us all enthralled until it was time to wind down because of the quite hour.
All in all, it was a great party. This posting is starting to be defined by a great circle of friends, and I couldn’t have asked for more out of it. t this point it’s no longer a question of being “far from home,” home is where you make it, rather moving every 12 months means you’re starting fresh every time. If you had told me a year ago that I would have 45 people and kids running through the place on a saturday I would have laughed at you. This time around, I’ve had the joy making friends with families, not just solitary units like us, floating around the CF.
I am sad to see some of my friends leave on postings, but given how small the CF family is I’m sure we’ll all see each other again soon.
To see more photos from the BBQ check-out my pinterest board.