HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS

Hello dear friends, thanks for stopping in today. Last weekend my husband had another birthday. Birthdays come around far too quickly just at a time you’d rather stop counting the years. It seems like it was yesterday when we were celebrating Brad at my new/old log cabin. Where does the time go??  A lot of work goes into the planning and executing of any party, so since I’ve already done a lot of the legwork, let me show you how to host a birthday BBQ bash to impress.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I do love that Brad’s birthday is in July when we can celebrate outdoors in lovely California weather. And, since this was one of those milestone birthdays I wanted it to be extra special yet intimate. An intimate backyard BBQ for 12 of our closest friends was what he wanted so that’s what I delivered.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Since it was also the 4th of July weekend I wanted it to be a bit in keeping with the appropriate patriotic holiday color scheme, so I decided on a blue, tan & white with galvanized metal accents.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So, here’s what I used for the table decor with clickable links to the resources…

I made simple flower arrangements using inexpensive galvanized corrugated metal flower pots that I purchased from DirtCouture on Etsy. The flowers came from Costco.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The mason jar water glasses that I purchased here on Amazon did double duty as place card holders as well. I used Avery Shipping Tags as place cards.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

In addition to the string lights overhead and candles on the tables, I added these darling hurricane lanterns that are actually battery operated and have a dimmer switch as well.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

This provided just the right amount of light as night fell during the dinner service.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

For an added celebratory touch I strung white pom poms at a variety of different heights from the string lights.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I always start my parties with light appetizers. I found the darling tin tray at Chip & Joanna Gaines’ (of HGTV Fixer Upper fame) shop, Magnolia Market.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

All was ready to go as the guests arrived. This dinner would be served buffet style so all of the chafing dishes, serving vessels and serving utensils were set out and labeled with what food item would go where. This way there would be no need to search at the last minute for a needed service item, and my helper would know just where to put each menu item.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Although I had not told people what to wear, it was funny how many of the guests came dressed to match the decor, purely a coincidence but a nice one!

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I set up a self-service bar in the backyard where my guests could help themselves to beer, wine, champagne and soft drinks.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I also designated a spot where guests could place their gifts. Funny, the gift wrap even matched the decor!

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Sadly, all of our children & grandchildren were on the other side of the country, unable to join us for the birthday party. So, when we gathered in the bar for pre-dinner cocktails I played a video that my son filmed and edited for Brad, with all the family sending him birthday wishes from afar. That was certainly one of the highlights of the evening.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Eventually my helper and I placed all of the food on the preset buffet table where guests would help themselves to a variety of BBQ cuisine. By the way, if you can find yourself a great helper it’s worth every penny to have someone to help serve, bartend, clear plates and do dishes. This allows time to be a great hostess, and you’ll have far less cleanup after all your guests have gone home.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

When I entertain I always try to prepare foods that can be made ahead of time. Everything on my menu was prepared up to 3 days ahead, spreading the workload over several days, and allowing me to enjoy my guests come party time. I also ordered the BBQ Brisket & Ribs from our Country Club, where the chef is a master BBQer. This freed up my husband, as I didn’t want him to have to man the BBQ on his birthday! Also, our local gourmet market makes my husband’s favorite cherry pie, better than I can, so I picked up the pies instead of becoming a pastry chef as well.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Here’s what I served along with some clickable links to my original recipes…

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

  • BRENDA’S 4 BEAN BAKED BEANS (Recipe Coming Soon!)

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

  • GARLIC & HERB CORN ON THE COB (Get the tin tray by clicking here)

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

  • BBQ’d SMOKED BRISKET
  • BBQ’d SMOKED SHORT RIBS

All of the guests saluted the birthday boy with toasts…

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

As the evening wore on it was time for desert, Brad’s favorite Cherry Pie in lieu of birthday cake.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Earlier in the evening I had also presented Brad with a surprise birthday gift. He has been to every state in America except Alaska, and he has always longed to go. So…

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I gave him a cruise to Alaska, with the trip planned out from start to finish and organized in a travel binder.

HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So stay tuned and in the near future I’ll be taking you to Alaska with us!

Here’s an update on our Alaska adventure. Read all about the birthday cruise in these posts:

In closing I want to tell you how you can enjoy extra savings when you shop the things I have featured in this post and most everything else you buy online. By signing up for Ebates you receive a cashback rebate on the things you’d be buying anyway. For example, the Cake StandGalvanized Chargers and Tray all came from Cost Plus World Market. Since I’m signed up for Ebates, I got an extra 4% back on my purchase and you can too. To me it’s like free money!

Ebates gives you 4% cash back when you shop Cost Plus World Market

Galvanized Cake Stands from Cost Plus World Market | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comGalvanized Charger from Cost Plus World Market | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Galvanized Tray with Jute Handles from Cost Plus World Market | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I got the String Globe Lights from Target who also participates in Ebates and I received a 2% cash back rebate when I purchased the globe lights at Target.com.

Ebates gives you 2% cash back when you shop on Target.com

Globe String Lights From Target | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The Corrugated Galvanized Flower Pots came from Etsy.com. They too give a 2% cash back rebate for shopping at Etsy.com.

Ebates gives you 2% cash back when you shop on Etsy.com

Galvanized Corrugated Zinc Flower Pot from Etsy.com | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The White Tissue Paper Pom Poms came from OrientalTrading.com. I enjoyed a 2% rebate from Ebates when I purchased them. Every little bit of savings helps!

Get 2% Cash Back When You Shop at Oriental Trading from Ebates

White Pom Poms from Oriental Trading | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So there you have it: HOW TO HOST A BIRTHDAY BBQ BASH TO IMPRESS

Express Yourself!

No blog post is truly complete without a word from you. I’d be so delighted if you’d leave a comment below. 

All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise credited, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission. This post contains an affiliate links.

Comments

  • The Enchanted Home

    WOW!! This was some party….love what you did with the decor, it was gorgeous but still inviting. Blue and white rules! The food…yum yum yum. I must try that red potato salad as my kids love that and anything that starts with the best gets my attention:) What a beautiful gift you gave too….my hubs is overdue for a party. You have inspired me, for next year!

  • Kathy B.

    This was such a festive event and I love your table setting and all your choices – I’m inspired now to plan for our next celebration! Speaking of planning, I can see how organized you are and I remember seeing the binder you used to renovate one of your properties but it would also make a great blogpost to see how you stay organized on an every-day basis because you seem to get an awful lot done!

    For my husband’s 60th, I gave him a trip to a couple of national parks because that’s his new interest and also gave him a binder as a keepsake. He loved it and loaned it to friends who wanted to do the same trip. We haven’t done the Alaska cruise so I will be very curious about that. Enjoyed this post!

  • Hi Kathy, Glad you liked my party. It was such a fun evening! You know, I do tend to be perhaps overly organized, maybe to a fault, but it’s the only way I am comfortable. Otherwise I can’t relax and enjoy my events and trips. Plus, I can’t seem to remember anything anymore so I find it imperative to write everything down. I will also admit that I’m a procrastinator and often get these projects done on the fly. It’s how I roll…

  • Thanks so much Tina! I appreciate your comment, as it means alot coming from you, the lady with impeccable taste. Speaking of taste, I guarantee you and your family will like the red potato salad, everyone raves about it. So, do try it and let me know what you think.

  • What a fabulous party! I’ve saved several of the links as we love to entertain as well. This looks like a really delicious and fun-filled party!
    xo,
    Karen

  • Hi Karen, I’m so delighted to hear that this post provided you with some inspiration for another one of your own garden house parties.

  • Thanks so very much for your very kind words. And yes, stay tuned for Alaska!!!