Hosting an Upscale Cookout

The weather is warmer, spring is officially here and it is time for cookouts! Cookouts  are always a great way to catch up with friends and family in a relaxing and casual setting. As a host, of course the great part of a cookout is the low maintenance in the planning and execution of it all. However, while it is a low maintenance event, there’s always room to scale it up, make it a cookout that stands out among the many we will all be attending this season.

No matter the occasion, graduations, Father’s day, birthday or just a get together with friends and family you can turn your cookout into a upscale yet casual event!

When planning your next cookout, keep these simple enhancement techniques in mind:

Presentation, Presentation, Presentation

Keep food cold and decorative using planters.

Keep food cold and decorative using planters.

The easiest way to enhance your event, is with the food display and presentation. Most of us tend to just grab a mix and match collection of bowls and platters for our salads and burgers. For your upscale cookout, try using color coordinated serving platters and bowls. If at all possible, choose serving ware with covers, keeps the food fresh and insect free. (Photo: http://www.southernliving.com)

Great example of covered serving ware and great signage.

Great example of covered serving ware and great signage.

Also, you want to make sure you have clear signage for each food dish. With the increase in food allergies it’s even more important to identify the dishes you are serving. (Photo: http://www.4men1lady.com)

Keep Everyone Comfortable

Beyond the Essentials Events - Hosting an Upscale CookoutCicadas, mosquitoes and brisk evenings can cause your party to end quicker than you wanted to. Plan ahead and have a hospitality basket available with bug repellent, sunscreen and hand sanitizer. Having the basket in a central location (and an extra one in the bathroom) prevents everyone from asking if you have any of these items and where they can find them. (Photo: http://www.hisugarplum.blogspot.com)

Beyond the Essentials Events - Hosting an Upscale Cookout

As the day moves into the evening make sure you have your citronella candles and stakes set out for easy lighting. These will provide some extra lighting and keep away the insects. (Photo: http://www.thingsfestive.weddingstar.com)

If you have the budget for it, you can buy a few pashmina scarves to have on hand for any ladies who may get cold in the evening.

Keep them hydrated! 

Signature drinks are the perfect addition to any event. It keeps your budget down, makes event set up easy for you, and guests love it! Get creative with one or a few non-alcoholic/alcoholic drink and serve them with infused waters and let your guests enjoy. Creative signature drinks + classy glassware = perfection! (Photo: http://www.blueplatechicago.com)

Beyond the Essentials Events - Hosting an Upscale Cookout

Invite your friends, start up the grill and have a great upscale cookout!

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