Each year I have the best intentions of throwing a big 4th of July party in our backyard, but time always sneaks up on me and before I know it it’s the weekend before, I’ve planned nothing, and one of our neighbors has beat us to the punch. So this year, backyard and deck ready, I’ve started planning well in advance – and on a budget!
Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned while researching and planning…
Don’t Splurge on Décor
Let’s face it – one of the best things about the 4th is watching the fireworks after the sun sets. So, why spend a ton on décor when half the party will be in the dark! Keep it simple with colorful, inexpensive place settings and serving ware. If you’re having more than 8-10 people, or entertaining small kids, don’t be afraid to go with disposable plates and silverware. Often times discount and dollar stores will have solid red or blue plates, cups and utensils that you can mix and match to set your 4th of July theme!
Make Your Food Do Double Duty
If you’re having a more intimate, family-style gathering, let your food shine and serve as the centerpieces as well! Pinterest is filled with fabulous recipes for red, white and blue foods, all of which would make great centerpieces and conversation starters.
(Bonus – less cleanup and trying to figure out where to store those DIY pinwheels you spent hours making that you’ll inevitably lose or forget about before next year.)
Don’t Be Afraid of BYOB
Ever been to a party where the only (adult) beverages were ones you weren’t the least bit interested in (whether too strong, too sweet, etc.) and you just wished you’d brought along your favorite bottle of Chardonnay? Worrying about what drinks to serve your guests can be exhausting and expensive, so don’t be afraid to host a BYOB event. You can supply mixers, non-alcoholic favorites like tea, lemonade and water, have corkscrews and ice buckets handy, but let your guests bring their drink of choice for the evening if they so choose.
Let the Kiddos Help Out
4th of July celebrations are some of the most family friendly events of the year, so if you’re house (or party) is full of little ones, let them help with party decorations and setup! (Bonus – hopefully these projects will keep them occupied long enough for you to finish party prep!)
Once again, handy dandy Pinterest has a plethora of Independence Day inspired kids crafts that would make great centerpieces, door and window decorations, and more.
Leave The Pyro To The Pros
In 2014 it’s estimated the average Joe spent more than $100 on at-home “fireworks” – everything from sparklers and party poppers to full blown fireworks. While they can be beautiful and fun to watch, they’re often dangerous (especially with little spectators) and illegal in many states (and no one wants to end their holiday with a ticket following a neighbor complaint). If your party must have pyro, keep it simple with sparklers and then head out to watch the awesome shows around town!