For all the fun you'll have once it's started, the vegan bbq planning process can be a handful. Luckily, there are some simple tips you can follow to ensure you guests will have a blast!

1. Make An Evernote Task List

The worst thing you can do when planning your vegan bbq is to be disorganized. You'll save yourself a lot of stress and ensure that everything goes as planned if you use the right tools upfront to create, and complete, your party task list. We recommend using Evernote to make lists of everything you need to do before a party, then you can set reminders for your tasks and mark them complete as soon as they're done. Your Evernotes sync across all your devices, so you'll know exactly where you stand leading up to the party.

2. Sent An Evite

As with any event, sending the invite early is really important. We highly recommend you send your party invites using Evite. When you use their platform, your guests will automatically get important information like the party address and what do bring, and you'll get automatic notifications when guests accept/decline the invite. Guests can also invite other friends if you so choose, and you can send out thank you notes to all attendees after everything goes down. Evite is an absolute must for vegan bbqs over 10 people.

3. Pick A Theme

Picking a theme for the party is often something people write off. Obviously its fun to decorate, create a playlist, and dress up to match the party theme, but that's not why we recommend it. We always pick a theme because it helps us understand our guests' frame of mind when they walk in the door. Are they dressed in costume? Are they making theme references? Being a great host is about more than just the food, music, and decor; it's about making sure everyone has fun, and the party theme is another tool to help you do that.

4. Design A Menu

As caterers we're obviously biased to think the food is the most important part of a vegan bbq. :D There are so many ways to design a menu to match your theme, and we have a lot of fun picking vegan meat alternatives like our very own tempeh bacon that will leave guests with a traditional barbeque feel. Feel free to check out our vegan dinner party menu tips for general strategies on how to set up your menu to absolutely wow your guests.

5. Create A Kids Area

Vegan bbqs are like any other party, the more the kids have to do the more fun the adults can have doing adult things. The key here is to remember what it felt like to be a kid, and have fun with it. The kids will feel included, and the parents of those kids valued, if the kids area that you set up at the party includes things like games, toys, seating and kid-friendly snacks that stay aligned with the broader theme of the party. A great host knows that kids can make or break a party, so be sure to prepare for them.

6. Set Up A Self-Serve Bar

Setting up a self-serve bar is the best way to make sure you actually have fun at your vegan bbq, and you're not always focused on serving your guests. When we set up bars and buffets, we focus on three factors that contribute to a visually stunning display: colors, shapes, and elevation. Cutting the food in different shapes, getting artistic with how you arrange the dishes, serving them on boxes and stands above the table, and using a variety of napkins, table cloths, and trinkets will really affect how guests perceive the food.

7. Hire Help

If you really just want to kick back and enjoy your vegan bbq, outsourcing is the way to go. The best experience you can have as a host is to relax knowing that you've got a pro by your side to take care of the details! At Naturally Niko we're experts in events of all kinds and sizes. Please feel free to reach out if we can help with the vegan food itself, the styling, and even the flower arrangements!