Labor Day is considered as the unofficial last day of summer in North America. That is why the weekend leading up to this Monday holiday is filled with parties from coast to coast. And even if Labor Day is supposed to be a celebration of the American labor movement that started in the 80s, this does not stop returning students, adults, and families alike from going all out on this supposed last day of summer bash.

This article is a comprehensive guide on how you can organize a Labor Day BBQ themed party! (Most party planning tips included in this article are applicable in any type of Labor Day party too.) It is filled with various tips, hacks, and examples that you can follow to ensure that you throw the best Labor Day BBQ party that will be imprinted in your friends’ memories and will be written down in your family’s history book. But really, just sit back, learn on, and you will be preparing your Labor Day BBQ party in no time.

1. Choose a Party Theme

The fact that you have chanced upon this article, you most likely have been searching for Labor Day party themes. This article focuses on a BBQ themed party for Labor Day celebrations, but most information here can also be applied to other party themes. Barbecue themed parties are the most common theme for parties held during the Labor Day weekend next to beach and club parties. They are often held by families who have elder members and small children. They are also generally more wholesome compared to disco and beach parties that have more mature attendees.

Deciding on a party theme early on in the planning process works to a party planner’s advantage because he or she will be able to streamline the tasks that will need to be done for the party to be a success. For example, when designing breakfast parties, you will already know what type of food to prepare, what decorations to create or buy, and what type of event invitation designs to create just by deciding on your party’s theme.

2. Create a BBQ Theme Coordinating Invitation Card

At about 3 to 4 weeks before Labor Day weekend, it is ideal to already have finalized on the event’s invitation card designs and have subsequently created the invitation cards. A key rule to follow when creating invitation cards is that you should incorporate the party’s theme and colors into the card’s design. Here are other tips that you should follow when designing Labor Day BBQ party invitation cards:

  • Write all necessary information on the card like Event Theme, Venue, Time and Date, Contact Person Name and Number.
  • Also include RSVP cards or wording instructing invitees to confirm if they are able to attend the party or not.
  • Include option/s to send replies through text, email, or a phone call.
  • Opt for simple invitation card designs.
  • Try to avoid making changes on the party details (like start time or venue once the invitation cards has been set up. If it is unavoidable for changes regarding the party to occur, make sure you can contact all the prospective partygoers to inform them of the change.
  • Also make sure to send out the invitation cards at least 2–3 weeks before Labor Day weekend. This will give invited guests enough time to plan out their holidays and give you notice if they can attend or not.

DIY Labor Day Invitations or Printable PSD Invitation Card Templates

As the party planner and/or host, you have the power to decide how to make your Labor Day BBQ invitation cards. There are three options available for you: (1) handmade invitation cards, (2) pre-printed invitation cards, and (3) printable invitation card templates.

Handmade cards, as the name suggests, are the invites that you may personally create by hand. These types of cards are ideal for events with fewer attendees since you will need to manually create each card. However, if you have friends or other family members who can help you with the job, you may create as many invitation cards as possible.

Pre-printed invitation cards are those we can usually buy from bookstores and craft stores. This type of invitation cards will have a pre-printed design and a black portion where you will need to write down the party details.

Another option for any Labor Day invitation card is by using Photoshop or PDF templates. These design templates are available through online graphic design marketplaces. You may personalize these templates to match your party’s theme and then print them out.

Of the three invitation card sources, handmade cards will give you the most creative freedom. While invitation card designs in PSD will allow you to save more time in the invitation card design process. Just remember that when choosing invitation cards for a Labor Day BBQ party, you also need to factor in your free time, craft skills, art materials, and allotted funds.

Embedded below are ten different Labor Day BBQ party invitation cards. Feel free to browse through them and be inspired to create your own themed Labor Day party invitation card design.

Labor Day BBQ Invitation

Labor Day BBQ Night Party Invitation

Burlap Labor Day BBQ Invitation

Workers Labor Day BBQ Invitation

Labor Day Invitation Card Template

Vintage Labor Day BBQ Invitation

Simple Labor Day Barbecue Party Invitation

Colorful Labor Day BBQ Invitation

Patriotic Labor Day BBQ Invitation Card

Pastel Labor Day BBQ Invitation

3. Plan What Food and Drinks to Serve

What food (and drinks) to serve is one of the main things to plan about in every party. And since this article is about Labor Day BBQ parties, it will concentrate more on grilled and barbecued food that are usually prepared during the event.

Choosing a BBQ themed party somehow narrows down your food choices and simplifies your task as party planner or host. However, there are still a lot of paths that you can take if you want to your guests to enjoy their end of summer party. Here are a few suggestions you can follow when selecting what specific food to prepare and cook:

  • Clean out your grill at least a day before the party.
  • If you are hosting a small-scale BBQ party, you may also ask friends and family to bring potluck meals in addition to the main BBQ menu that you will be serving.
  • Prepare food menu cards to make it easier for party attendees to identity the different dishes that you are serving. BBQ menu cards will also go well with any BBQ themed party.
  • Marinade and season any barbecue meat at least an hour before the party. This helps the meat become more flavorful.
  • For drinks, you can prepare non-alcoholic punch or fruit juices and assign someone to refill the punch bowl all throughout the party. You may also add a few bottles of wine and beer for the adults.
  • You may use disposable utensils if you do not want to frequently do the dishes throughout the party.
  • Choose finger foods and drinks that can easily be served during the party. Sample recipes include vegetable and meat kebabs, grilled burgers, grilled fish, beef, pork, or other seafood.
  • You can also offer salads by creating a portable salad bar complete with the necessary condiments and leafy greens.
  • For Labor Day celebrations that will also be attended by kids, try to incorporate colorful food items (like fruits and candies) for their meals.
  • Check with the RSVP cards or replies that you have received and calculate the number of food and drink servings will you need for the duration of the party.

4. It’s Time to Decorate!

After creating and sending invitation cards and then planning the food menu for the party, it is now time to brainstorm decorating ideas for your Labor Day party. Do not fall into the trap of relegating party decoration planning the day before the event. It is better to be prepared ahead of time so that you will be less stressed on the day of the party.

Party decoration should match a party’s theme. In line with this article, having a BBQ themed Labor Day party will allow you to use rustic and retro design ideas well. For instance, you can scatter retro furniture and vintage floor lamp designs all throughout your backyard where the party is going to be held.

But you are not limited to these design options. A BBQ themed party mostly concentrates on the food that will be served during the party. You are still free to choose different party decors according to your preferences. You can even incorporate a classic floral design to help increase the party’s end of summer vibe. And if you want to go to the extreme, you can start put up living room bookshelf designs into your backyard and get into a “back to school, stay bookish” theme.

The details will matter when it comes to decorating for parties. And if you intend to throw The Labor Day Party, you will also need to look into its smallest details. An aspect that you should turn your discriminating eyes at is the food table.

Labor Day BBQ parties will usually utilize buffet tables where all the food are spread out before you for ease in obtaining food. Spice up this table by creating food label designs. You can also add little flags, differently colored flowers in mason jars as centerpieces, and even frozen fruits in ice cubes. Hang Christmas lights for when it gets dark at night, set off fireworks (if allowed). There are million little ways to spice up your party’s decorations. For more decorating ideas, a quick browse through Pinterest will do you wonders.

5. Figure Out the Labor Day Party Games and Timeline

Another fun task to do when party planning is to prepare the games and determine how the event will flow. Even if you are only planning a small Labor Day BBQ get-together among friends and relatives, it is still better to have an idea how the day will unfold. This allows you to estimate what time to start cooking, what time to start playing games, or when to serve booze.

Just like how a tea party invitation incorporates a tea ceremony timeline, your Labor Day BBQ party invitation may also include a time interval for when the party will take place. Small Labor Day gatherings may take two to three hours while Labor Day parties held in clubs or beaches may go on until everyone drops. In both events, though, games and contests may be held to keep the attendees engaged.

Here are a few Labor Day games and activities that can be incorporated into a Labor Day BBQ party:

  • Mini golf, mini bowling, corn hole throwing, and other parlor games
  • Play Frisbee, volleyball, tug-of-war, badminton
  • Inflatable pool games for kids and kids-at-heart
  • Song and dance number from the grandkids
  • A play, musical, or comedy skit prepared by the children of the family
  • Drinking games for parties attended by adults

Some family circles also use their Labor Day weekend to jointly celebrate the birthdays or anniversaries of a family member/s. If you intend to do this for your clan’s Labor Day party, you can add a birthday song singing and candle-blowing session into the party. You may also let the birthday person to make a short speech.

In some backyard Labor Day parties, the highlight of the party is the grand meal and other activities may not be as important. If you intend your Labor Day party to follow this format or timeline, attendees will naturally gravitate toward groups and start talking. This is absolutely all right. But if you want a shared activity for all attendees, you can plan a simple tug-of-war game before the main meal. To cap off the event, you can also organize a lantern-lighting event or have short fireworks display ceremony.

6. Don’t Forget the After-party Clean-Up

This last step in party planning is an often neglected aspect of the entire process. Whether you are organizing a family-only Labor Day BBQ party or you are spearheading a corporate-sponsored Labor Day party, you still need to plan ahead about the after-party clean-up process.

For Labor Day family gatherings, you can delegate this task to the teenagers ahead of time. They can clean up the morning after the party or right after a party occurs. For parties held in music halls or beaches, you will really need to hire a cleaning crew. Some venues’ rent fee will cover the clean-up while others do not. So make sure to clarify this aspect before signing a contract with the venue landlord.

Sending thank-you cards is also something a party planner needs to decide ahead of time. As part of the party clean-up process, the host will need to take note of the attendees’ names and contact information if he or she still wants to send thank-you cards after the event. This task is usually done by those who planned intimate Labor Day BBQ parties with close family and friends only. It is not applicable for corporate-sponsored Labor Day parties.

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