How to plan a last-minute July 4th party in an hour

(BPT) – July Fourth is one of those holidays that can sneak up on us. With a chaotic summer schedule, it’s easy for you and your friends to forget to plan a gathering. So when you wake up this Independence Day weekend and realize you want to be the one to host a BBQ for your friends and family, what do you do?

Planning a last-minute, day-of July Fourth party may seem stressful and out of reach, but technology has changed that forever. Companies like Punchbowl, Instacart, Party City and others now offer “on-demand” services that make it possible to pull off an impromptu gathering in an hour. All you need is your phone and a few apps to get the job done.

Follow these steps and it will look like you’ve been planning your party for weeks:

Send text message invitations

Punchbowl, a top-rated app for online invitations, recently introduced text message invitations that allow you to easily send invites to contacts in your phone. Text invitations help eliminate the back and forth of group email threads and frustrating “maybe” responses from potential guests. You’ll start to receive guest RSVP notifications within an hour and can get a sense of how much food you’re going to need.

Order groceries

Services like Instacart, Peapod, and the recently announced Whole Foods Market Grocery Delivery make it easy to get groceries delivered to your door usually in less than two hours. Download an app to pick out the food and drinks for your party and easily checkout. Most of these services offer all your July Fourth grilling essentials like burgers and hot dogs, as well as ready-made dishes and party snacks.

Buy party supplies

Many retailers offer the option to buy products online and pick them up within an hour or two at your local store. Party City offers a huge selection of paper party goods, patriotic decorations and fun summer activities. Grab the app to buy online and pick up at your local store to set the tone and add a dash of fun to your party.

Find a playlist

No summer party is complete without a great soundtrack. Music streaming apps like Spotify, Pandora or Google Play Music all offer festive options for a July Fourth party playlist. You can find pre-made playlists you love or make your own from your music library. Hook up your phone to speakers, and you’ll instantly set the mood for your guests.

Start with free text invitations. Then get groceries delivered, order your party supplies and find the perfect music all within an hour. That’s all you need to be the person in your social circle who gathers your friends and family to enjoy July Fourth this year.