Style Expert

How To Plan A (Really) Last-Minute BBQ Party!

You wake up one weekend to a beautiful day and think, “Ahh ..wouldn’t a bbq tonight be perfect?” Don’t fret if you haven’t planned anything a week or two in advance. After many years spent living in Miami I became a self-proclaimed pro at the last minute bbq. Here’s why it’s not that hard; the people you wanted to invite usually had the same idea and they’re just glad you beat them to the punch!

Make your calls, send your texts. If you invite 8, plan for 6 extra people. “Hey, I’m going to a bbq tonight, wanna come?” are very enticing words on a balmy Sunday night after a day at the beach … trust me!

Once you have a gauge on who’s coming, hopefully you’ll get the “What can I bring?” questions. Don’t be shy – last minute shindigs require reinforcements. Delegate. Ask them to bring the most annoying things on your list: dessert, ice, cranberry juice, etc. Make a quick checklist.

Set out the plates, utensils, and BBQ tools. Keep all the tools you’ll need handy so you won’t have to ditch your post and run inside to get something.

If you’re grilling any veggies, prepare them before guests arrive and wrap them in foil if necessary. Remember that corn on the cob and potatoes should be on the grill about an hour before your meats. Timing is key in grilling!

Keep your menu simple. Burgers, hot dogs, steaks, chicken and a few simple sides should do it. If you don’t have the time or the skills to make it all, just buy it. It doesn’t have to be expensive and if you go to a good market, it may be better than yours would have come out.

Set up a bar area and tell guests to feel free to serve themselves. I like to fill a large steel tub with ice and canned drinks. I also have a really cool bar cart on wheels, which is worth it’s weight in gold. I like to keep the beverages simple in cases like this. One signature drink is my motto. Something fruity, light and summery. One of my friends gave me this great recipe I’ve listed below and it’s a big crowd pleaser. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

When possible, always try and use plates that are a cut above paper plates. Nowadays, there are so many cool options from bamboo to melamine. If you entertain a lot as I do, it’s so worth getting a few cute sets.

Set the iTunes to some upbeat summertime music and get that party started! There’s the doorbell, gotta run!

XO Courtney

Peach Sangria Recipe


  • 1 bottle white wine (don’t cheap out here because the hangover will be brutal)
  • 3 ounces brandy
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil for 2 minutes in a small saucepan) and cooled (leftover syrup can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 month)
  • 3 ounces white peach puree (peel peaches, remove pit and puree in a blender with a small amount of water) OR Goya peach nectar (all grocery stores have this in the Int’l aisle and tastes just as good as the real thing) Fresh peaches, oranges, and apples sliced

Directions Place all ingredients in a pitcher and stir to mix. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 48 hours. Serve over ice.


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