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16 Tips for an Effortless Outdoor Party

Here’s how to create a backyard oasis where the revelers are satiated and no one gets eaten alive.

Red and yellow invitations
Annie Schlechter
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Spread the Word

The three things to include on the invitation:

 

When they’ll be eating. Avoid refiring the grill for latecomers with something like “The grill master will be slinging grub from 6 to 7. Come and get it!”

Attire. Everyone (OK, every woman) is wondering what to wear. Tank top? Sundress? Give guests a sense of the vibe: “You wear the flip-flops; we’ll flip the burgers” or “Bring your swimsuits!”

Rain plans. “I don’t think you need a rain date unless it’s a 600-person church picnic,” says Clark. “A 30-person barbecue at my house is going to happen no matter what.” But if you want to clarify, add a note: “Rain or shine.” Or “If it rains…game night inside!” Just be sure that you have room for everyone in your living room.

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