Of all the holidays we’re celebrating this year, we must admit: We’re really looking forward to our Independence Day. Not only does it take place when the weather is warm, but its patriotic theme makes it a super bright and colorful occasion. Plus, who doesn’t love a good barbecue and fireworks show to finish off the night?
In theory, most of what you need to throw a good Fourth of July party is a grill, pack of beer, and a group of friends. That said, we’ve never shied away from the opportunity to make our parties extravagant with a party theme, all-out décor, elaborate meals, and fun activities. To help you do the same, here’s a complete guide from Sophistiplate on throwing Fourth of July parties.
Pick a Venue
Choosing where to throw your party will go a long way in setting the party mood. Your backyard is a traditional — and, in most cases, expected — setting for a Fourth of July cookout. That said, if you want to elevate the event, then we’d consider looking at some other outdoor venues.
Some of our favorite venue ideas include the beach (with a grill and picnic tables), a beautiful park, or a swanky rooftop bar.
Choose a Theme
It may seem like Fourth of July party themes are limited — after all, there is only one color scheme (red, white, and blue) and one pattern (the American flag) that go along with the holiday.
However, the key to picking a Fourth of July party theme is focusing on the details. By paying attention to the subtle design elements, you can pick a unique Fourth of July party theme that is sure to impress your guests. Here are some of our favorite ideas.
Is there anything that screams “party” more than confetti? By introducing this element to a red, white, and blue color scheme, you’ll have a playful and modern aesthetic that will look incredibly festive. Once you have your red, white, and blue decorations, you can customize them with large pieces of confetti by pasting them on with glue.
The sky is the limit here. You can add confetti to your drinkware, your tablecloth, your cutlery, and any other party element you can think of. Luckily, when it comes to your tableware, Sophistiplate’s got you covered. Our Patriotic Confetti Table Setting comes in a red, white, and blue design with more than enough confetti to lift anyone’s spirit.
The gingham print can bring instantly preppy vibes to your Fourth of July party. Our Patriotic Gingham Table Setting combines elements of this print with various shades of blue, classic white, and bright red. We’d combine it with a checkered tablecloth, a lighthouse centerpiece, and any other nautical decorations to make your Fourth of July party reminiscent of New England summers.
Stars & Stripes
To really get your guests in the patriotic spirit, consider decking out your space in vivid red, white, and blue colors. We’d really go all out with this one. Your front lawn, your fence, your walls, and any other empty space can be instantly spruced up with this color scheme. When you create your tablescape, our Stars & Stripes Table Setting is perfect for setting the scene.
Make a Guest List
For your Fourth of July party, you need the perfect amount of guests. If you invite too few people, then it’ll feel like a dinner celebration and not like a party. However, too many guests can take away from the laid-back vibes that we associate with this holiday.
For this reason, we’d keep your guest list to at least eight guests. As for the limit, we think that anything more than 20 guests can make the party feel crowded. However, if there are people that you absolutely must invite, then don’t let limits get in your way.
In regards to who you should invite, make sure to have at least some people who love entertaining others with their jokes and stories. After all, a Fourth of July party involves lots of mixing and mingling, which you want to flow naturally without any awkwardness. However, after a few hot dogs and beers, we’re sure that all of your guests will be having a blast with one another.
Send Out Invitations
While it’s super convenient to send out a text message with the party deets, we’d recommend going the old-fashioned route with physical invitations. If you can get these in a patriotic theme, then all the better! Include details about the party’s time and location, the party dress code, and your rules on plus-ones. You can also take this opportunity to ask your guests to bring something along with them, such as their favorite craft beer to share with everyone.
If you don’t know all of your guests’ addresses, then you can send a customized e-vite through email or text. Some of these even come with special effects, such as the Star-Spangled Banner playing on full blast when your guests open the invitation.
Deck Out Your Space in Décor
Your options are basically endless when it comes to Fourth of July party decorations. Instead of keeping it low-key, we recommend going all-out and decorating every space in your party with patriotic décor.
You can hang up an American flag on your wall, place a patriotic wreath on your door, and drape red, white, and blue garlands around your fence. And although balloons don’t make a common appearance on Fourth of July parties, we’d definitely blow up lots of these to make your party feel super festive.
Grill Your Heart Out
A Fourth of July party is synonymous with the grill. Fire yours up this year to make some unique BBQ dishes.
If you’re going for the classics — such as burgers and hotdogs — then we’d spruce it up with a toppings bar. Set up a table with various festive serving bowls filled with unique toppings, such as bacon jam, pineapple-jalapeño salsa, and blue cheese. You can even experiment with serving different types of hot dog and burger bans, such as sourdough, challah, or whole grain.
Serve Red, White, and Blue Cocktails
Beers are an absolute must on the Fourth of July. That said, we’ll never decline a refreshing cocktail on a hot summer day. Fortunately, whatever concoction you choose to serve up, it can be customized with red, white, and blue colors.
One of our favorite ways to accomplish it is with berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Throw some in a glass of prosecco, vodka-and-soda, or white sangria for a healthy (and yummy) patriotic boost.
You can also experiment with making layered red, white, and blue cocktails (we promise, this is much easier than it looks!), colorful Jell-O shots, and some plain ol’ cocktails with food coloring added in. Ditch the plastic straws that are wrecking our environment in favor of our eco-friendly paper option.
Get in the Patriotic Spirit With Fun Activities
While getting together with friends can provide you with (almost) all the fun you need, we think that adding some fun activities to your Fourth of July party can really get things started. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for you to consider that will put all your gets in the patriotic spirit.
Going for any all-American pastime is sure to be an instant hit. You can arrange a baseball game, host an apple pie baking contest, learn how to hang up the American flag, make a patriotic music playlist, and learn about U.S. history by visiting a historical site.
Whatever you choose to do during the day, make sure that you finish off the night with a fireworks show. If your city allows for it, you can set off some fireworks from the comfort of your own backyard. However, we’d recommend taking your guests to see an official fireworks show. Not only is it much safer, but it’ll be truly a sight to behold.
To a Patriotic Independence Day
To really get in the patriotic spirit this Fourth of July, we recommend picking a patriotic party theme, decking out your space in all kinds of red, white, and blue decorations, serving up some yummy grilled dishes, and engaging in fun patriotic activities. With our Fourth of July party ideas and our high-quality party supplies, we’re sure that this will be your best Independence Day yet.