If there’s anything you should know about me by now, it’s that I love having a reason to celebrate, and I excel in going ALL OUT with a party theme (anyone having flashbacks to Scottie’s rainbow & unicorn birthday party? Some of my best work, no doubt). Well, the 4th of July is one of the ultimate reasons to celebrate, and the ultimate opportunity to hone in on a theme!
I look forward to the 4th every year – it truly is one of the highlights of the summer for our family. And although the parties & decorations are fun, the best part is obviously spending time in the summer sun with the people you love most. That’s why this 4th of July, I wanted to curate a really easy tablescape that can be thrown together in the nick of time, so you can get back to your family & friends. I’m all about achieving maximum style while putting forth minimum effort, so I threw in several tips to make hosting a 4th of July Party as easy as possible for you!
Food & Drink
My first (and perhaps the most vital tip) for hosting an easy 4th of July dinner party is to outsource. everything. Sure, the DIY route sounds all nice and fun, until your to-do list could wrap around the earth 6 times and you’re pulling your hair out by 10 AM. Or is that just me during this 3-day work week? It’s my experience that people usually don’t question the hand that’s feeding them, so why not just keep things simple by ordering food from a local BBQ joint? Most places have a family style deal where you can get the BBQ, 2-3 sides, and rolls to feed a crowd. Boom. You spared yourself time, stress, and probably money, and you still have a delicious meal on the table.
You can also add your own domestic flair by cutting up some fresh fruit to serve alongside the meal. To me, nothing says 4th of July like watermelon. If you’re feeling extra, you can use star shaped cookie cutters like these for a patriotic touch (I’m just gonna go ahead and say you’ll get major bonus points for that). This is also a great way to get kids involved since cookie cookers don’t cause too much damage to the fingers.
Of course, no party is complete without an app board. I’m loving that charcuterie is such a thing right now. So much so that I’ve dedicated an entire Pinterest board to charcuterie inspiration and I really have no shame about it. Details on what I used to create this board are below!
My Go-To Charcuterie Board:
- Dry Aged Salami
- Summer Sausage
- Store Bought Mozzarella and Salami Wraps
- Heirloom Tomatoes
- Manchego Cheese
- Mild Cheddar Cheese (cut with star cookie cutters!)
- Water Crackers
- Chocolate Covered Almonds
Be on the lookout for a detailed guide on creating the perfect charcuterie board SOON! I have heard your cry for help and I’m answering, with cheese and pickles and jams, amen. In the meantime, you can get an app board of your own here. You will also want to have a couple of ramekins like these on hand to hold things like pickles, olives, etc. so the juice doesn’t get all over the rest of your board (a little pro tip for you).
Another great touch when hosting is to craft a simple, but refreshing, cocktail to share! I opted for a Red, White, & Blue Prosecco Sangria recipe that I found on Pinterest, and modified it a little bit to our tastes. I’m no mixologist but it was pretty dang good. You can find the recipe below and don’t forget the shatterproof glassware!
Red, White & Blue Prosecco Sangria
1 cup of fresh blueberries
1 cup of fresh sliced strawberries
1 liter of lemon lime soda
1 bottle of Prosecco or another sparkling white wine
1 cup of white grape juice (optional, if you like a sweeter sangria)
- The night before serving, pour water into an ice tray and drop in some of the fresh blueberries and strawberries & freeze overnight. The girls helped me with this and it was a such fun little 4th of July activity!
- Add the fresh fruit (chilled) to a large pitcher for serving. You can also use green apple or watermelon in this recipe, and it’d be delicious!
- Add the ice cubes you froze over
- Pour the grape juice, the lemon lime soda, and the Prosecco over top of the fruit and ice.
- Serve in shatterproof glassware and enjoy!
Another tip for serving drinks outdoors is to use acrylic wine glasses. I bought these at Home Goods but you can find similar on Amazon or Pottery Barn. They’re lightweight and inexpensive, and you don’t have to worry about your nice glassware getting broken or chipped!
Oh, and you can’t forget the festive straws (it’s all in the details, people). I searched the heavens and earth for American Flag straws, but ended up with these star spangled paper straws from Amazon!
For dessert, I picked up some red, white & blue donuts and petit fours from a local shop! If you were feeling bold, you could repurpose the berries you used in the sangria and whip up a trifle! One of you mentioned on Facebook that a trifle with angel food cake was your favorite dish to bring to a 4th of July cookout and I thought that was an awesome idea.
4th of July Tablescape
Did I already mention that I love to go ALL OUT when a theme is involved? When crafting this tablescape, I knew I wanted as much as possible to be red, white and blue, and I think I succeeded. I’m really happy with how it turned out – festive but not too overdone, and a lot of the items I used I already had!
When I saw these plates from One Kings Lane, I knew they’d be the star of this tablescape. They’re melamine so they’re built for outdoor entertaining and you could totally re-use them for a less festive occasion. Layer them over some simple white dinnerware, a woven placemat, a cloth napkin, and an American flag for an accent and voila! You have a beautiful place setting.
I mentioned this already, but it’s worth emphasizing again. You should absolutely invest in some quality acrylic wine glasses for entertaining outdoors! The last thing you want is a shattered glass all over your patio while you’re trying to enjoy your party.
For the centerpiece, I planted tiny, live herb plants and dispersed them with some little red lanterns! The herbs are truly the gift that keeps on giving, and they’re so fragrant I just might start cooking with them (TBD. Maybe don’t hold me to that). I also picked up the lanterns from the dollar section at Target and dropped in tea lights for some ambiance! The dough bowl pictured is an antique, but here’s a similar one.
And that’s how you host a festive and easy 4th of July Dinner Party! Hope everyone has a happy and safe day celebrating our country’s independence!