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A 4th of July Engagement Dinner: Have a Blast Even on a Budget

4th of July engagement party

Remember when you didn’t want the summer to end? Let a 4th of July engagement dinner party bring together many of those exciting elements that make us hold summer so dear. The key to making this a truly memorable celebration is by incorporating stylish elements with a patriotic flair—and an eye on the budget. It begins with creative centerpieces that play a fun, interactive role. It goes on to a tempting dessert display and a cool beverage bar that are feasts for the eyes. Then it ends with delightful party favors that serve as a prelude to the bigger event—the upcoming wedding!

Look (No Further) for the Perfect Venue

For this casual yet elegant affair, a venue with an outdoor dining area would be ideal. It can be as elaborate as a restaurant with a sweeping garden veranda or as intimate as one’s own home. Yes! Your home may offer just the location where guests can dine and enjoy the outdoors even through the evening hours. Also, the more relaxed atmosphere would be great for encouraging guests to converse and mingle, and—if you’re lucky enough to have a large garden and patio—you could even opt for a fun BBQ party. A final plus: a home party is ultra-economical!

Choose a Chic and Patriotic Color Scheme

Red, white, and navy blue could not be more common for a 4th of July celebration. But why not recast this trio of colors in a unique fashion to suit this party’s stylish attitude? For example, try applying a blue monochromatic palette as the basic color scheme. This can mean a range of blues, from turquoise to sky blue to even navy blue. You can then work in a shot of red together with crisp white and glistening accents of silver. Hint: Do remember that navy blue tends to appear black in photos. So you may want to use it sparingly for your engagement dinner décor.

Apply Simple Yet Elegant Table Décor

Visualize a table display with a fresh and modern look. Set out centerpieces of romantic red flowers such as dahlias, interspersed with red carnations and marigolds. Display these arrangements in sleek, square silver vases filled with aqua or sky blue beads. As for the tableware, stick with a clean, chic look by using white porcelain plates atop silver plate chargers. Lay a pretty aqua table napkin on each plate, tied with an elegant red satin ribbon and finished with a tiny American flag. Then, for a patriotic finishing touch, scatter little sequin stars in colors of red, blue, and silver around the centerpiece and amidst the place settings. Just don’t go overboard with the 4th of July elements! Subtle accents are often more effective.

Give Nostalgic Party Favors in Style

Once this fun and festive celebration winds down, send guests off with extra-special favors. Put together a nostalgic candy mix consisting of everyone’s childhood favorites. Or bake a batch of scrumptious cookies made with candy-coated chocolates (e.g., M&Ms®) or frosted with icing in patriotic hues. And for a simple way to bring sparkle and style to your thank-you gifts, you can even fill silvery favor baskets with red, white, and blue bubblegum, chocolate coins, jelly beans, or other well-loved treats. Finally, tuck a pretty card into each favor that says “Engaged on the 4th!”

Offer Desserts For All to Enjoy

What says summer better than desserts made with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries? Besides, not only are fruits in season great budget-pleasers, the luscious reds and blues of these berries make them decor pieces in themselves. Consider a dessert bar displaying items such as fruit tarts topped with mascarpone cheese, vanilla ice cream topped with blueberries and served in stylish martini glasses, dishes of red, blue, and white jelly beans, a festive spread of cupcakes each topped with aqua-colored frosting and a sugared strawberry.

For kids, iced cookies shaped like stars would be sure hits; as would tri-color ice cream servings, using strawberry and blueberry ice cream topped off with a dollop of whipped cream. Another fun option would be to simply have vanilla ice cream with star-shaped sugar sprinkles served up in sugar cones wrapped in red and blue paper.

Serve an Array of Thirst-quenching Drinks

Infuse this Independence Day engagement party with a truly fashionable flair by serving up cocktails and refreshing summer drinks in enticing hues of blue and red. Consider attractive martinis and margaritas made with Blue Curacao liqueur, or equally fun non-alcoholic blue sodas such as those from Jones Soda®. As for drinks tinged with red, try iced drinks infused with grenadine syrup such as Shirley Temples, pomegranate iced tea, or tart cherry cocktails garnished with pretty flags. Even clear bubbling drinks with a piece of red fruit tossed in or perched on the glass rim are a wonderful option. Just remember—have lots of ice on hand, too!

Start the Party Planning With This Handy Checklist:

1. For a really fun engagement dinner, choose an outdoor venue that’s as inviting and relaxed as your own home. In fact, it could be your own home!

2. Put a stylish twist on the patriotic red, white, and blue motif—monochromatic blues, for instance, with a dash of red and the sparkle of silver.

3. Assemble a stylish table display using red floral centerpieces in silver vases, simple white dinnerware, aqua table napkins, and red and silver finishing touches.

4. Send off guests with thank-you favors that impart a sentimental feel. Nostalgic sweets in silver favor baskets are one great option.

5. Continue the red-and-blue scheme with a dessert display featuring luscious summer fruits and a cool drinks bar offering colored beverages.

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