Backyard BBQ Rehearsal Dinner

I love a good party, no matter the reason. Better yet, I love to throw a good party. When Anthony and I were married back in 2012, we decided it would be a brilliant idea to do it at a resort over 2 hours away from our closest guests. Can you say Bridezilla?  Having a wedding so far away was actually a blessing in disguise for everyone, as it allowed for an entire weekend full of fun, relaxation, and quality time with family and friends. I loved spending so much time with all of my guests in a stress-free setting.

Since most people stayed at the resort for the entire weekend we had small events planned Friday through Sunday. On Friday night we threw a welcome dinner.  It was themed as a backyard BBQ complete with lawn games. It was a fun, casual way to welcome our 100 or so guests.  It would have been perfect had the lawn sprinklers not gone off in the middle of dinner, but luckily Anthony was able to shut them off quickly. Thank goodness my husband grew up in the suburbs because this country girl had no idea what was going on. I sure am glad our guests had a good sense of humor.

For this dinner I needed a quick and efficient way to serve almost 100 guests. I did not want them to stand around waiting after traveling for so long, and what is easier than a buffet with some grilled hot dogs and hamburgers? In addition we served fruit, chips and the best chocolate peanut butter cake I have ever had. I still dream about this cake. Thanks to my uncles and aunts, who put in so much time in the kitchen, everyone left with a full stomach.

This is the cake I was telling you about. It was a chocolate cake covered in peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache, and then topped with peanut butter cups. Yum!

Burlap and red plaid helped establish the theme while the baskets for the buns and the wood crates helped give the buffet table dimension. 

Putting mixed berries in waffle cones added a fun touch to the buffet and helped contain the mess. 

I set up a separate condiment table to help with the traffic at the main buffet.

It isn't a BBQ with out some s'mores around an open fire.

An old washbasin served as a cooler holding all kinds of craft brews. And yes, there were many with hangovers the next day. 

An old window served as the menu and added a vintage feel to the buffet line.