Before you fire up the grill this summer, here are a few tips for weather proofing to keep in mind when hosting an outdoor gathering.

1. make friends with mother nature

Stay tuned to weather forecasts and always have a solid Plan B just in case. That means not being afraid to relocate the party to your living room at the last minute, even if you have to clear out some existing furniture to create the space.

2. don’t get blown away

Wind can really wreak havoc on an outdoor event, so be sure to invest in some oversized clips to hold down your tablecloths. You’ll also want to anchor umbrellas and other unstable objects that could blow away Mary Poppins-like.

3. avoid a meltdown

Make sure your gathering includes shading over the tables so the sun doesn’t beat down on them, causing butter, birthday cakes, or your guests to melt.

4. set some boundaries

Just because it rained recently and you have some muddy patches doesn’t mean you have to call off your backyard bash. Simply use your bar, buffet tables or even tiki torches to hem in the party and keep guests from stepping in a sticky situation.

Cheryl Says

I like to add the words ‘rain or shine’ to the invite so guests know I have a backup plan and won’t skip out on a backyard bash due to bad weather.