With Independence Day fast approaching, you may be scrambling to put your July 4th barbecue together. Maybe you’re not quite sure on what to serve, how much food to buy, and which accommodations you should have, but one thing is certain: you are likely to be caught off-guard by a guest’s behavior or expectations. Whether you’re a veteran host or a first-timer, here are eight types of guests you should expect at your outdoor bash.

1- The picky eater

If you’re still planning the menu for the soirée, you may want to think beyond just burgers and hot dogs. Especially if you’re expecting many people over at your house, you may want to consider your guests’ dietary restrictions, allergies, and general preferences. Nowadays, more and more people adhere to specific diets. Some would just like to stay at least moderately healthy, even if it’s a holiday. Others are just professed picky eaters. It can be discouraging to cook and prepare food that not everyone will enjoy, but there are solutions to the problem. In your invitation, you can open up the floor and request that guests tell you if they have food preferences so that you can accommodate them. Add that, if they are not willing to put their health at risk (in the case of allergies), they are welcome to bring their own snacks. As a host, you are responsible for at least trying to please all, if not the vast majority of your guests — but you are not responsible for reading their minds!

2- The clumsy guest

While you’re tending to your guests and their needs, you won’t be able to keep an eye on everyone. They may wander in and out of your house, perhaps to use the restroom or to stay out of the heat. Regardless of the reason, you may want to be prepared for human error: anyone can easily trip or accidentally knock down a valuable. If there’s anything in your house that you absolutely want to keep safe, like an expensive vase or a glass trinket, it may be a good idea to put it away before your event takes place.

3- The child guest

Don’t leave your youngest guests out of the festivities! If you know that there will be children at your gathering, you may want to have a few essentials on hand. Items such as juice boxes and child-friendly snacks can go a long way when trying to appease a crying child. If you want to go the extra mile for a family attending your barbecue, have some toys on hand!

4- The unexpected guest

Once you got the number of guests who would be attending your Independence Day blowout, you bought food and supplies to feed all those hungry mouths. But you may want to go back to the store for more: some guests may have forgotten to notify you that they will be bringing a plus one, two, or even three! While you may consider this a little impolite, it doesn’t hurt to nevertheless prepare for the unexpected guest with extra food and drinks.

5- The ghost guest

On the opposite end of the spectrum of the unexpected guest, you have the ghost guest. While there’s no way to physically prepare for a person’s absence, you can do so mentally: there may be one or two individuals who RSVPed to your event who seem very excited to attend — but when the day comes, they fail to show up. Don’t take this too personally: the reason behind this disappearing act may have nothing to do with you.

6- The demanding guest

You can’t please everyone, but you may have one guest in particular who may cause you headaches: the demanding guest. For this person, it’s not enough that you thought about everything from the lighting to the ambiance to the food and their comfort. In such a situation, take criticism with a grain of salt. You already took on the responsibility of hosting a fabulous party — now enjoy it!

7- The tired guest

If you anticipate your party continuing late into the night, you may want to prepare for the somewhat likely event that someone will fall asleep at your party. After all, the excitement is likely to tire out a guest or two! Prepare for those guests by having a sleeping bag or pull-out sofa ready, or by dusting off your guest bedroom if no one is staying in it. Your tired visitors will thank you later!

8- The guest who really likes to drink

The safety of your guests at the end of the night should be a priority: everyone should have a safe way to get home. And if they don’t, you may want offer your home as a safe haven. In addition to having a couch or sleeping bag available, you may want to invest in a phone breathalyzer to ensure that those who are driving are indeed sober enough to do so. Nothing can dampen the festivities more than a friend of family member injuring themselves.

Independence Day isn’t just about food and parties: it’s about celebrating freedom with friends and family — but don’t forget to do so responsibly!

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