Tying the knot this July and still thinking of a fun theme for your wedding rehearsal dinner? Why not a patriotic motif, marking the 4th of July! All the decorating supplies you will need in red, white, and blue and in stars-and-stripes patterns will be everywhere leading up to this huge holiday. Even food items, baked goods, sweets, and drinks go all-American this time of year, as do novelty items and memorabilia plus packaging materials. So, simply assemble, personalize a bit, and welcome your guests! (*this post contains affiliate links)
Selecting a Sunny, Yet Shaded Venue
Since it will be the height of summer, an open porch, a large gazebo, or a roofed veranda would be ideal for your rehearsal dinner. It will allow natural sunlight to brighten the scene, while shielding guests from direct heat and glare.
If you choose an open-air location like a home garden, hopefully it will have some large trees to provide shade. Or you could set up a tent where the main event and the dining will be held.
Festive Americana-inspired Tablescape
Now for the fun part! Getting your venue all decked out in snappy red, white, and blue – focusing on the tablescape. With crisp white as the base in the table cloth, plates, and chair cushions, we laid out yards of blue-striped fabric as a striking table runner. Then, all the other table elements, plus the ceiling decor, just added the pops of red and more blue (seen in detail below)!
Patriotic Place Setting Details
Up close, the place settings pull out all the stops for the July 4th theme! The flag motif is repeated on the personalized menu cards, the favor bag thank-you cards, the beer bottle labels, and even the very Americana-style table number standing in a display of corn cobs.
See from another angle, notice the continuing themed touches around the place settings. The paper napkins are red gingham with blue stars, the cylinder candle holder is filled with layers of red, white, and blue beads, little packets of star-shaped cookies are tied with red ribbon, and red carnations are tucked into bottle vases.
Ceiling Decor: Paper Lanterns
Overhead, an assortment of paper lanterns in the same all-American color scheme of red, white, and blue create an instant festive air. You can hang them from the porch or gazebo ceiling, or from the trees in a garden setting.
These lanterns are great because they can be opened and hung in minutes, come in varied colors, sizes, and patterns (you can choose starry ones, if you like), provide great visual impact, and are reusable for many other occasions!
A Welcome Wreath You Can DIY
Some DIY accents, perhaps? Try out this patriotic themed fabric-scrap wreath that you can make by just knotting strips of fabric all around a large embroidery hoop or even a mini hula hoop. The appeal lies in choosing a mix of solid red and blue fabric, plaid, checkered, and striped. Then, add a round printed sign to announce your event.
DIY Chair Decor to Match
Here’s another super-simple DIY idea for your party chairs! Using the same fabric strips as in the wreath, tie about 5 assorted strips to the backrest of each chair around your party table. So easy-peasy, you’ll want to create more matching decorations using this technique – like the fabric tassel banner you see hanging in the background above.
July 4th-inspired Favor Bags & Fillings
You’ve seen the neat little favor bags positioned by each place setting? They are plain white paper bags filled with goodies and treats, then trimmed in red, white, and blue via thank-you cards and ribbon ties.
For such a beloved holiday as July 4th, the choices of favor fillings can be anything from yummy edibles and fun tokens that are available everywhere to DIY gift items for a personal touch. We had a blast choosing these examples that you can buy in bulk or in sets, then divide up to fill your favor bags.
Here are the filling ideas:
2 – July 4th Patriotic American Themed Flag Fans (1 dozen) – Sold by Amazaque and Fulfilled by Amazon.
4 – American Sunglasses USA Flag (2 pairs) – Sold by palebluedot and Fulfilled by Amazon.
All-American Rehearsal Dinner Menu
With this delightful display of grilled corn on the cob greeting guests as they come to the table, they know something delicious is cooking!
Now, here’s our suggested Southern-inspired menu that’s certain to be a hit (recipes are in the links). For main dishes, serve up Classic Southern Fried Chicken and Southern Shrimp and Grits. On the side, pair these with Cornbread with Caramelized Apples and Onions.
To end the meal, you could offer your favorite patriotic-themed desserts or set up a 4th of July dessert table for guests to choose from. Among the goodies, consider including these classic Southern confections: Best Homemade Red Velvet Cake and Homemade Beignets.
Southern Americana Beverages to Serve
Of course, what’s a summer outdoor meal without ice-cold beer? So, that’s definitely on the table both as refreshers and as part of the patriotic decor.
In addition, why not set up a beverage station offering a variety of drinks? To continue the Southern inspiration of the food menu, we suggest the signature Sweet Tea and Homemade Lemonade for the non-alcohol drinkers. While for those seeking a little kick for the occasion, you may serve classic Mint Juleps and Southern Moscow Mules.
All ready now to salute the red, white, and blue through your wedding rehearsal dinner theme?