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.
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!