If there’s one thing we know about summer, it’s that the season screams “effortless backyard barbecue.” The problem is, bringing together the perfect barbecue isn’t always as laissez-faire as it might appear in your post-event Instagram.

There’s no need to sweat over the perfect summer party—here’s how to make it as easy and breezy as it looks:

Specific Invites

Wording an invite is tricky, but mastering the verbiage is the perfect way to concisely let guests know what to expect. To keep follow-up questions at bay, be sure to cover the 4 W’s of party planning: where, when, what you’ll be eating and what to wear!

Where and when are straightforward, and the last two are the perfect opportunity to have fun. A cheeky saying such as “Get it while it’s hot! Grill is lit from 7–8,” will dissuade a fashionably late crowd, and donning it a “black flip-flop affair” will let everyone know they’re not expected to take their outfits seriously.

The Perfect Lighting

The days are getting longer, but dusk is a difficult time to see. No need to shine a spotlight on your guests, but some ambient lighting will go a long way.

This is the perfect excuse to reuse your Christmas lights by stringing them up for an artsy flair or to break out those antique lanterns you scored on clearance. Any subtle glow will help everyone’s eyes adjust as the sun goes down, and as a bonus will make for the perfect backyard photo op.

Multi-food Menu

Planning a menu is where many people get dissuaded—but remember, most guests will just be grateful you’re providing food at all!

No backyard barbecue is complete without a grill, so think brats, burgers and grilled veggies. It’s also good to have some auxiliary goodies such as chips and cheeses for the casual snackers.

While ice cream is the dessert of choice at many barbecues, it can get complicated, quickly. Bite-sized goodies in a refreshing summer flavor are just as tasty without the sticky cleanup!