I'm Lisa Kirk, a wife, mama, writer, and founder. Since 2010, Something Pretty has been home to my favorite memories, reflections, and inspirations. Thanks so much for reading!

A Fourth of July Garden Party


One of my favorite summer traditions is attending a Fourth of July parade with Emily and her family. I found myself feeling pretty bummed that this would be our first time in three years missing out on the parade and, more importantly, some sweet time together on this festive holiday. Happily, we found a fun solution–one that I hope provides some inspiration if your usual Fourth of July plans have also been canceled. In lieu of the usual big parades or cookouts, we pulled together an intimate Fourth of July garden party, perfect for just our two families, in Emily’s beautiful backyard. Read on for all the details, plus an overload of photos by the wonderful Christen Smith Photography (who, fun fact, bought our previous house!).

I sprung this idea on her just a few days before our shoot, so if you’re looking for ideas, I promise you still have time to pull something together by the weekend! Almost every piece that made up our tablescape was from our own collections: Emily’s block print linen, floral melamine plates, and bamboo flatware, and my blue glasses, taper candles and candlesticks, champagne coupes, and red scalloped napkins. Even the gardenias and jasmine we put together for the centerpieces came from our respective backyards.

Navigating any type of gathering this summer is a challenge. While we felt comfortable getting just our two healthy families together in an outdoor setting, we did want to take some extra precautions with the food and drinks we put together. Instead of a big shared charcuterie board, Emily compiled red, white, and blue-inspired individual charcuterie boards. Adorable, fun, and delicious! We also went with individually mixed cocktails rather than a larger batch in a drink dispenser. While I usually prefer the latter route for a party, having only four adults present meant a more labor-intensive drink was no big deal.

We were excited to create a sweet, starry little space for the kiddos! Sturdy melamine plates for the win once again, plus blueberry lemonade with tinsel stirrers and pizza studded with star-shaped pepperonis (just pick up a cheese pie and add your own pepperonis, cut with a star-shaped cookie cutter.)

My cocktail strategy may as well be called “just add bubbly”…it makes everything feel more celebratory! I did some digging to find a non-Christmasy-red cocktail and landed on this summery raspberry mint recipe, which was as easy as it was delicious.

Loved this chance to dress up in red, white, and blue! A garden party made for a fun excuse to go with something a little fancier than what we wear to the parade :)

Continuing our theme of minimal-contact food, we opted for blueberry hand pies in lieu of a big pie. No complaints there–they are so cute and kid-friendly! Like I mentioned in last week’s Love List, I used this recipe from Elisabeth & Butter.

After months of quarantine, it felt nothing short of magical to create something beautiful alongside a dear friend. While I certainly hope there are many more Fourth of July parades in our future, I know this is one year we’ll remember in an extra special way.

What are your Fourth of July plans this year? How are they the same or different than usual? I’d love to hear and be inspired by you! And don’t miss Emily’s post here :)

P.S. To get the look, a few products we used and similar items are linked below!






  1. Mary says:

    How fun!! Charlie looks so big with his haircut! And I love your dresses!

    • Lisa says:

      Dave cut it! I think he did a pretty good job…much better than I would have done :)

  2. Happy 4th of July week! I love that you and Em put your old SW hats on for this festive shoot – such a good idea!! We typically are in Ohio for the 4th of July (I’ve only missed three years in my whole life!) for the most nostalgic, patriotic day filled with a parade, cookouts, family time, fireworks, and so many happy memories… and I’m admittedly sad to be missing that and our family this year. It’s one of my very favorite holidays, and the traditions we’ve enjoyed over my lifetime are so treasured!

    On my blog yesterday, I shared our own “stay at home” 4th of July inspiration (red, white, and blue tabletop decor, festive desserts, and favorite patriotic homes) since we’ll also be doing something much more low-key this year. We’re still going to wear our favorite blue and white outfits (with a pop of red), make homemade firework popsicles, grill burgers, and light sparklers (leftover from various weddings!)… and we’ll make some new memories along the way! Enjoy yours!!

    • Lisa says:

      Your typical Fourth of July sounds absolutely idyllic, but I loved your at-home inspiration too! Love that you have the perfect source of sparklers :)

  3. Dana says:

    Cute!! What a lovely garden party!

  4. Lara says:

    This is the sweetest! Makes me so happy seeing you two make magic together again! It’s all so lovely and fun!

  5. Em says:

    The best!! Love seeing how you put everything together, and always love creating with you, friend!

  6. Caley says:

    Such a beautiful garden party – love this at home idea x

  7. KNW says:

    You know my heart beats a little faster when seeing these sweet images and two of my favorites working their magic. Off to buy those melamine plates and add some pepperoni to our shopping list. The star pizza is genius…


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