While a big BBQ isn’t possible this year, we can still celebrate Independence Day in style. With a pre-set color palette and naturally casual vibe, the 4th of July is the perfect opportunity for easy, intimate entertaining. As always, there’s no need to build a party from scratch. For this gathering, I relied heavily on things I already own, filled in the holes with budget-friendly finds, and delegated the rest.
Let me first mention that almost everything on the table is disposable, so clean-up is a breeze! Now onto the fun stuff: design. I love a layered look, which I think is easiest to achieve by starting with my tried-and-true decor as a base. I took a lot of inspiration from the quilt I hung as a backdrop, which my grandmother made for me when I was a little girl. I echoed the checkerboard pattern in my Napkins, Placemats, and Dessert Plates that feature geometric almost quilt-like designs.
For added interest and even more pattern play, I used striped accents on the Table Runner, Dinner Plates and Flatware Holders (from the Target dollar section, which helped create visual layers on the table. I also love this decor as it’s not “too theme-y.” You can certainly tell that we’re celebrating Independence Day, but most of the pieces could be used for other events, not just this specific holiday. Mix all the red and white with green in December, and you’ve got a country Christmas tablescape. Re-use and repurpose friends- it’s the name of the game.
Now back to “themed decor;” I found fun large-washed-denim Pillows with quilted stars on sale at Pottery Barn. The wicker stars are actually string lights from the dollar bin at Target, but instead of hanging them up, we threw them on the table to add dimension to the runner. National Anthem-inspired “Kids Cups” are great party favors and prevent spills
To keep the flowers simple, I cut hydrangea from the garden and used my favorite Crow Canyon enamelware Pitchers as vases. Many of the Crow Canyon pieces in this shoot also made an appearance Last Year. I say it all the time: find things you love and reuse them in different ways.
I talk more about the food below, but don’t miss the delicious and beautiful Cherry Pie from Southern Baked Pie. Since you can never have enough dessert, this was one of three offerings, but it was so picture-perfect that it doubled as décor. Southern Baked Pie is my GO-TO almost always now when I send people food. They have the most delicious savory and sweet pies shipped right to your door!
The Bar Cart
My tried and true Serena and Lily Rattan Bar Cart served double duty as a drinks and dessert station. I love drink dispensers; they’re festive and make cocktail service a breeze. I especially love this blue and white enamelware Beverage Dispenser and Stand, also from Crow Canyon. Since our cocktails from our Party Box (see below) were made with Whiskey, we pulled out some of our own bottles to use as décor on the bottom of the cart. In addition to our two pies, I offered a boujee s’mores bar for dessert, which looked festive and SO yummy. To assemble the tray, I made the graham crackers a focal point, then arranged everything else in a mirror-image pattern. I used Oreos, Pop-Tarts, chocolate, marshmallows, M&Ms…just go nuts with whatever your grocery stores come out with seasonally for the holiday!
Y’all know I don’t cook, so once the table’s set I call the experts. In this case, I turned to Strategic Hospitality’s The Party Line, since they are offering awesome pre-made meal packages for (small) special events. Their 4th of July “Special Occasion Box” includes everything from burgers and hotdogs to beautiful side salads, a pie, and pre-mixed whiskey punch. Toppings and garnishes are included and everything is cleverly packaged so you know which trimmings go with what dish. They even include fold-over cards for the food table so everything is labeled. It’s perfect for the hostess who wants elevated meals that look good and taste delicious… but don’t require any cooking or baking on her end- ha!
For casual holidays like the 4th of July, I prefer serving the food buffet-style (indoors, to cut down on bugs). To keep things easy while also creating a sense of continuity between the buffet inside and the outdoor table, I used the same hydrangea, table runner, and enamelware for décor.
Well, this years 4th of July celebrations will most likely look very different for people than they did last year, but that’s not always a bad thing. I’m excited to host a smaller more intimate holiday cookout at our home with family and close friends this year with a few sparklers and early bedtimes- ha! I wish you all a very happy and safe 4th of July!
*All Images By: Lele Fain Photography