Memorial Day BBQ Recap

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Now that we’re married (can’t believe it’s already been a month! Time flies when you’re having fun :)) and have more entertaining utensils (like a full set of place settings and a ton of serving bowls, all thanks to our bridal shower), we can kick our hosting up a notch. L. Smith and I decided to host a Memorial Day BBQ this past weekend, to make use of the grill and the nice weather. (I know that what we had was not really a BBQ in the authentic sense of the word, but that’s what I grew up calling it. I’m super excited to try real BBQ on our road trip honeymoon, which starts next week!) I also love grilling. It’s my favorite part of summertime, and I have fond memories of my family grilling every Sunday in our backyard during the summer.

This was a great chance to give back to our lovely friends, who have helped us out in so many ways, especially for the wedding.

But let me tell you, hosting is hard work. There’s the planning, the shopping, the prepping, the cooking, and oh yeah, the mingling with your guests. That part is hard to do when you’re busy trying to get last minute things (I forgot the plastic cups!) and cook. But it all worked out in the end, especially since our friends are so willing to pitch in and help out.

Here are the steps I followed to get ready for hosting. They are general timelines, and should be adjusted for your specific party based on size and formality of the event.

2 weeks in advance:

  • Send out the invites & request RSVPs 3 days before event (you should give more lead time the larger the party or the more formal the event)

1 week in advance:

  • Plan the menu
  • Ask guests to bring specific items (side dishes, desserts, drinks, cups, ice, etc.)

2-3 days in advance:

  • Do grocery shopping, based on RSVPs

1-2 days in advance:

  • Start food prep (in this case, it was chopping, but it can be things like marinading or assembling side dishes that can be stored in the fridge.)
  • Assembly of all serving-ware (plates, dishes, utensils, cups, glasses), if you have the space to store it assembled, like on a tabletop


  • Last minute food prep
  • Cooking
  • Mingling & enjoying!

Here’s what we served:

  • Homemade Guacamole with store-bought tortilla chips
  • Mango Cucumber Mint Salad (recipe coming soon!)
  • Grape Tomato and Zucchini ribbon Skewers, seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil, and rosemary
  • Grilled tomatoes seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil, and basil, and tossed with mozzarella balls
  • Homemade Grilled Potato Salad, seasoned with dill & honey dijon mustard
  • Zucchini & Asparagus Pasta Salad (brought by a friend)
  • Pizza Pasta Salad (brought by a friend)
  • Homemade Cole Slaw (brought by a friend)
  • Beef and Turkey burgers
  • Italian pork and chicken sausage
  • Grilled peaches, served with vanilla ice cream
  • Strawberry Trifle (brought by a friend)
  • C/Mojito Cocktail
  • Beer

It was a blast, and I can’t wait to host again!

What’s your favorite part about hosting? Let us know in the comments!

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