How to Host an Epic, Yet Effortless, Backyard Summer Party.

Can you think of a better way to beat the heat than by throwing an epic backyard summer party? Oh, wait, how about convincing your neighbor to throw an epic backyard summer party? Planning, prepping, and cleaning up after a party often makes playing host more effort than it’s worth. And often better parties mean more work. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

summer party

You don’t need to spend days scouring the web for vintage outdoor furniture, hours baking up the latest Pinterest creations, or the whole party following guests around with a mini-vacuum to host a fun party and stay sane. So, before you throw in the towel on throwing another party, consider some creative ways to make your next backyard bash both epic and effortless.

1. Find Fun Finger Foods

Finger foods are some of the best party foods. Not only do they cut down on the number of dishes you need to wash and disposable plates guests need to use, they are delicious and fun to eat.

  • Depending on how much you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, you can focus on picnic-inspired finger foods that don’t take much prep time such as chips and dip, an antipasto platter, or hummus and pita, or slightly more elaborate hot appetizers like mini-empanadas, shrimp and cocktail sauce, or BBQ sliders. Need more ideas? Check out this list of 26 Easy Outdoor Appetizers.
  • For dessert, s’mores are always a huge hit and since guests can make their own, you simply need to provide the chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers, and fire source. Set everything out using a tiered cookie plate for a more beautiful presentation.

2. Choose a Signature Drink

Find an easy punch recipe or two that you love and can make ahead of time to throw into an insulated beverage cooler. At party time, simply add ice. Your guests won’t be able to stop talking about your signature drink. Make sure to have on hand other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages too for those who aren’t into punch.

Here are 2 foolproof tips for making easy, crowd-pleasing punch every time:

  • For (ahem) spiked punches, follow this simple ratio: 2:1:1:1. That’s 2 parts spirit, 1 part sweet, 1 part sour, and 1 part sparkling wine, water, or soda—which is the ratio you’ll find in these 7 simple punch recipes.
  • It’s always a good idea to offer non-alcoholic options too, especially when it’s hot outside. Just because you aren’t adding liquor doesn’t mean you’re stuck serving club soda and sparkling water though. Balance is the key to making more impressive non-alcoholic punches too. Consider balancing sweet, sour, and bitter ingredients. Take a look at these other tips for mixing up fun non-alcoholic drinks at home.

3. Make Clean-Up Easy

Clean-up has to be the biggest disadvantage to hosting a party. Of course, throwing a pool party in your backyard cuts down on the mess. But while it’s easy enough to enlist the help of guests to toss their Solo cups in the trash, who’s going to help you clean the carpets after the whole neighborhood tromps through in their chlorine-soaked clothes to use the bathroom?

Fortunately, Blue Ribbon Restrooms can help. No, we won’t come and clean your carpets, but we do rent high-end restroom trailers that won’t blow your entire summer party budget. Save your carpets and save on clean-up time by having us place one of our luxury restrooms for your party.

4. Send Bugs A-Packin’

Not even great food and high-end restroom trailers can save your summer party if your guests are constantly battling pests buzzing in their ears. Follow these tips to keep bugs at bay:

  • Get rid of standing water. Because mosquitoes breed in standing water, one of the best ways to avoid having these pests spoil your fun is to get rid of any sources of standing water. The week before your party, empty the kiddie pool, clean out the rain gutters, and empty any flower pots where rainwater may have collected.
  • Plug in fans. Mosquitoes are weak flyers, so even a fan set on low will help to keep them away from guests and food. This technique works best for a small area like a deck or patio where you can set up a few box fans to create a bug-free zone.
  • Offer bug wipes instead of spray. That smelly fog of bug spray will kill the mood faster than cousin Lou’s karaoke rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” So, instead of getting that spray with DEET that can damage clothing, look for anything with picaridin, a natural bug repellent. Stick the bug wipes in a basket by the door or in the luxury restroom trailers you smartly rented.

5. Don’t Stop the Music

No summer party could be truly epic without great music. But who wants to play DJ the whole time? A little planning will ensure that the music doesn’t stop and everyone keeps dancing.

  • First, don’t blast the speakers. The best set-up for a backyard party is 4 speakers spread out and set at a lower volume. Place speakers above ear level, so they aren’t blaring in everyone’s faces. Also, if you can aim them toward the side of the house, you can turn up the volume and distribute the sound more broadly.
  • As for your party playlist, you can’t go wrong with the classics: the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, and Michael Jackson are all solid choices. Anything that’s upbeat and memorable can be tossed into the mix. Create a playlist that’s about 5 hours long. Most parties don’t go longer than 5 hours and anyone who notices that the playlist has started over after 6 hours probably needs another drink.

It’s true. Throwing a summer party that will keep friends, families, and neighbors talking until the holidays takes some effort. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Let Blue Ribbon Restrooms help put hosting an outdoor party back on your list of fun things to do before the cool fall breeze rolls into town.

Children at Weddings — How To Make Your Wedding Fun for All Ages!

One of the quickest ways to start an argument amongst your girlfriends is to bring up the subject of whether kids belong at weddings. On one side are those (often parents themselves) who believe kids add magic to weddings–think of all the Hallmark-worthy moments you’ll miss out on if you exclude kids! On the other side are those who see voodoo more than magic when they think of children at weddings.

children at weddings

The most important thing to remember is whether you invite kids to your wedding is entirely up to you. But one thing that everyone seems to agree about 

when it comes to children at weddings is that you need to let guests know early (i.e., when you send out Save-the-Dates) who is invited.

If you do choose to invite kids, you can avoid any scenes fit for reality TV by taking the time to consider how to help the children in your life have a great time. Follow these guidelines to make sure your wedding really is fun for all ages.

1. Seating for kids

If possible, seat parents and kids together at one table or nearby tables during the reception. While it’s okay to have a kids’ table, keep in mind that many parents like to be near their kids to help them eat, especially if you invite anyone with younger children. Also, an unsupervised table of kids is a really good way to make your wedding reception feel like a preschool.

One great option, if you want parents to be able to totally relax and enjoy the party is to hire a chaperone for the kids’ table. Teenagers or other young adults are often available for a reasonable price for these kinds of gigs. Think of them as less like babysitters and more like camp counselors–someone to keep an eye out for bumps and bruises, while giving the kids (and parents) a little freedom to enjoy themselves. But please, for the love of all that is good and decent, do not stick your single friends at the kids’ table!

2. Offer a kids’ menu

In case you’re wondering, kids don’t like lobster, at least as a general rule. But they love mac & cheese, pizza, chicken nuggets, and applesauce. So be mindful of your menu. Most caterers offer children’s options for a reduced price. So skip the foie gras for the little ones and save yourself some money too. Additionally, if possible, make sure the kids get served early or offer finger foods like fruit, cheese, and crackers during the cocktail hour. Hungry kids get restless fast!

A candy table is always a big hit with children at weddings. But unless you want parents spending the rest of the reception chasing their kids away from the candy, you might not want it to be the first table guests see when they walk into the reception site. Instead, bring out the candy with the cake and other desserts. Remember: hell hath no fury like a hungry kid denied readily available candy!

3. Keep the kids entertained

Besides making sure that the kids are fed in a timely manner, making sure they don’t get bored is also important for maintaining peace. Children have short attention spans. Children at weddings and other mostly adult functions have miniscule attention spans. So, keep the kids entertained during any lull in the action by setting up an activity table full of art supplies, board games, and a special goodie bag with the same fun gift for each one.

4. Make sure everyone is comfortable

If you are having an outdoor wedding, it’s extra important to consider your guests’ comfort and if your guest list includes kids, it’s extra, extra important. Just like hunger and boredom, discomfort can cause all kinds of nightmare scenarios with children at weddings. Believe it or not, one important comfort factor that often gets overlooked is the restroom facilities.

No one likes the idea of having to hike up or down their fancy wedding frocks in a smelly port-o-potty. But kids, especially those who have recently given up wearing diapers can become downright catatonic over the idea. With our rentable high-end, luxury restrooms you can ensure that all your guests feel right at home. Plus, with our VIP package, you can really show parents you care by adding kid-friendly amenities like wet-wipes, diapers, and superhero bandaids.

5. Don’t expect kids to behave like adults

Above all, it’s important to have a healthy attitude about children at weddings if you’re going to invite the little ones. So, don’t freak out! Try to have a sense of humor–good advice for all other aspects of wedding planning too. If you expect kids to act like cute little wedding cake toppers the entire time, you’re going to be disappointed.

When all eyes are on Sophie as she walks down the aisle dropping petals and she starts crying for her mom, laugh it off. And when Max runs over and sticks his little fingers in the cake, ask the photographer to capture the moment.

Kids can really add to the fond memories, as long as you keep things in perspective. Chances are that you and your guests are less likely to remember the not-so-cute moments, like the ring bearer picking his nose during the ceremony, than the cute moments, like the ring bearer doing the Electric Slide with your grandma. So let everyone be themselves and enjoy your role in bringing everyone together for an epic dance party!

At Blue Ribbon Restrooms, we won’t help you decide whether to invite kids to your wedding, but we can help to make your big day go like clockwork. We have luxury restroom trailers of different types and our facilities can accommodate weddings of any size. Contact us today for your custom quote.