Adrienne Leigh Photography


Freelance photographer, mother of two average children and one above average husband. Trying to bring no fuss sophistication to the inelegant art of motherhood.  

Style Tips: Backyard 4th of July Party

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4th of July…a time for hot dogs, sparklers and backyard parties!  Hosting a 4th of July party has become a tradition at our house. My husband became a US citizen in 2014 so we go all in when celebrating ‘Merica. Below I’ll break down how I go about putting together a fabulous and casual 4th of July party.

STEP 1: Come one, come all

You can’t have a party without a few friends.  To start, pick your day and time and put together your invite list.  I love using paperless post when sending out invites. They have beautiful templates and the system for messaging guests and receiving rsvps helps me throughout the planning process.  



STEP 2 : Stars & stripes

The easiest part about hosting a 4th of July party is the theme is dictated for you. Embrace the red, white and blue! It’s easy to go tacky when picking decorations for the 4th, so try to find the right balance of fun with classy for a balanced decor.  To achieve this, pick a few areas to bring in the decorations with little details. I recommend picking 3-4 items from the list below.

Ideas for decor:

  • flags
  • festive plates
  • flower arrangement
  • buntings
  • banners
  • fun straws
  • festive signage
  • table runner

STEP 3:  Busy bees

These days half the adults at our parties are parents.  I always try to have activities to keep kids busy so that the adults can enjoy themselves and have adult conversations. Kid-friendly snacks and a variety of age-appropriate toys and games always do the trick.  When in doubt, a bubble machine goes a long way. My other favorite go-to is buckets of chalk or coloring pages. Crawling baby in attendance?  Set up a blanket and a few toys on the grass.  

STEP 4: Cheers to the USA

Food for a backyard 4th of July party should be no-fuss. Think hot dogs, chips and a salad.  Have beer and wine in a cooler with some non-alcoholic options.  Go fun with sweet treats, like s'mores, ice cream, popsicles, strawberry shortcake or apple pie.  



Let people help: 

People always ask, what can I bring? Through paperless post you can write a message telling everyone you’re excited to see them and to comment with an item of food they will bring.  This way the guests attending can help with the food but you won’t end up with four potato salads and no veggies.

Lead a horse to water:

Make sure to always have plenty of water out for people.  If the option is there they are more likely to drink what is right in front of them.  If what's accessible is beer then they will grab a beer, if they see a sparkling water or water dispenser maybe just maybe they will remember the "one for one" rule.

Create a Backdrop:

Chances are your guests will have showered or at least brushed their hair and would love the opportunity for a family photo. Create a great photo backdrop to encourage them to do just that. #familyselfie

Drink it all in:

When throwing any party I recommend finishing set up 15-20 min before guests arrive.  This allows you to enter ‘party mode’ so you are more fun to be around. Joe and I usually pour ourselves a glass and sit back with our feet up. We spend 5 min talking game plan …put the hot dogs on the grill at this time etc. This way we both know what needs to happen when guests arrive.

FINAL STEP: Celebrate!

Your work is done. The guest have arrived. Mingle, relax, eat and enjoy.  Your planning will keep your guests well fed, hydrated and entertained so you can relax and enjoy your own party.  Because HONESTLY what’s the point of hosting if you don’t have any fun?!

Happy 4th Everyone!

xo- Adrienne

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