A Patriotic Post-Wedding Party
Caroline and Kyle
The Sunday after their D.C. nuptials, Caroline and Kyle Crosby celebrated in patriotic style. After all, it was a holiday weekend and they'd just gotten hitched in the nation's capital. Their Sunday party, on July 3, 2016, took place in Easton, Maryland, at Caroline's family's house, with 100 guests joining to celebrate the couple's newlywed status and the country's birthday.
The relaxed, yet refined, picnic-style soiree, emphasized a red, white, and blue palette, and allowed close friends and family to gather once more over the long weekend.
The bride's parents' home on the Eastern Shore, known as Cedar Point Farm, was initially considered as a wedding venue. "We were really torn between having our wedding at the house or back in D.C., but having the Fourth of July party there allowed us to celebrate in both places," Caroline says. And Kyle echoes that sentiment. "Cedar Point Farm is a very special place to Caroline and I," he says. "It is a truly stunning location for a 4th of July party, but more importantly it is place full of joyful family memories." Adding, that he's happy to have another wonderful memory at the farm now.
As guests arrived, they received glasses of lemonade and iced tea to get them in the mood for the summery soirée.
Allison Jackson of Pineapple Productions showed the couple the blue Sperry tent with stars and they fell in love with it. Allison had used a similar tent once before, and when she started planning the Fourth of July party, she called the tent company to see if she could get one in the D.C. area for the celebration.
Down by the water, an equally charming arrangement of blankets under white market umbrellas awaited, with antique fruit crates used as side tables and vintage silver wine buckets holding bottles of rosé.
Nearly two dozen kids attended the party, and had a blast playing in star-studded tepees and other games like lawn bowling, bocce ball, croquet, and tumbling towers.
Caroline stuck to bridal whites, wearing a Self Portrait Swiss dot midi dress with lace trim. "This dress struck me as the right mix of being a special occasion dress and a bit more relaxed and boho," Caroline says. "I was really sold on it once I noticed it was dotted all over in small, white flowers—just like the bodice on my wedding gown."
But she added in hits of red and blue to round out the patriotic ensemble—navy tassel Vanessa Mooney earrings, a J.Crew striped wrap, Kate Spade ship-shaped clutch, and red lips courtesy of Nars' "Heat Wave" lipstick.
Kyle paired a polka-dotted navy J.Crew shirt with linen pants.
The event began in the late afternoon and people trickled in with their families all evening.
Baskets hung from the tent offering light as the sun set, and below, small tables covered in striped linens gave guests a place to sit and eat.
Most of the guests wore outfits in the patriotic color scheme.
Grab a Bite
A buffet of classic American fare like fried chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, and corn salad was set up by Susan Gage Caterers, and other options included Maryland coleslaw, bratwursts, heirloom tomato and burrata salad, and fresh berry baskets. Enamelware, colanders, and other in-palette bowls and platters set the scene.
Grab a Drink
Amaryllis Floral and Event Design provided a canoe to use as a beer cooler, which ended up being one of the couple's favorite features of the fête. "We love beer and were excited to offer some local favorites as well as some favorites from Colorado," Caroline says. "We also had some special Ohio representation—Kyle's cousin brought some delicious brews from his craft brewery, Wolf's Ridge."
The Hair of the Dog
"When I started working with Caroline and Kyle, they told me they really liked mules," Allison says of planning for signature drinks over the wedding weekend. "We considered incorporating them at the wedding, or including the ingredients for a Moscow Mule as part of the welcome basket. Ultimately, we decided that the best place for them would be at the Sunday party. We put a twist on the drink by calling it 'the All American Mule'".
The ultimate make-your-own Bloody Mary station was also set up, with three different vodkas, and fixin's like horseradish, hot sauce, Old Bay seasoning, celery, jicama, Worcestershire sauce, lemon wedges, cucumber, and Queen olives.
A Great Soundtrack
A bluegrass band provided background sounds for the gathering.
A Selection of Seating
In addition to tables inside the tent, picnic tables were set outside of the tent, as were picnic blankets and lounge areas.
The Kids Meals
Picnic baskets with cheese sandwiches, chips, fruit salad, and cookies were prepared for the youngest guests.
"It wouldn't have been a Fourth of July picnic without s'mores," says Caroline.
Ice Scream, You Scream
All the Toppings
Revelers could top their vanilla, coffee, and Buckeye Blitz ice cream with a multitude of toppings: hot fudge sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream, toasted pecans, caramel corn, Oreo crumbs, and Heath Bar crumbles were all set out.
Jars of homemade blueberry jam tied up in gingham ribbon and oar-shaped wooden spreaders were given as party favors.
Popcorn for the Show
Bags of caramel popcorn were handed out to guests to enjoy during the fireworks display. The bags were customized for the occasion by Cheree Berry Paper, with labels boasting interlocking wedding rings and witty wording like "hope you have an a-maize-ing time."
Lighting up the Sky
A fireworks display was the highlight of the night and capped off the evening.
Fireworks to Remember
"I don't think we've ever been so close to a fireworks display," Caroline recalls. "While we knew they would be 'professional level' fireworks, we weren't expecting them to be so spectacular. I'll never forget sitting with my new husband, parents, and closest friends watching those."
Photography, Kate Headley
Event planning and Design, Pineapple Productions
Catering, Susan Gage Caterers
Floral design and Décor, Amaryllis Floral & Event Design
Stationery, Cheree Berry Paper
Music, The High and Wides
Tent, Sperry Tents DC
Bride's dress, Self Portrait
Groom's shirt and pants, J.Crew
Groom's shoes, Allen Edmonds
Lighting and Fireworks, Digital Lightning
Valet Parking, MJ Valet