Show your independent spirit with a celebration that's patriotic but posh.
patriotic party blue picnic table tent
Credit: Kate Headley

If you're getting married on (or around!) July 4th, chances are you've been toying with the idea of a stars-and-stripes motif or red-white-and-blue color palette. But can you pull it off without giving your wedding a party-store vibe? Definitely! There are plenty of ways to make this festive theme feel tasteful and charming. Here, our best tips for throwing an Independence Day-themed wedding with a fresh, modern look that's liberating!

Be subtle with color.

If the iconic Independence Day colors are well represented in your place settings-white dishes, red striped tablecloths, blue napkins-adding blue glasses and red-white-and-blue flowers, for example, would be overkill. A little goes a long way when dealing with such strong hues.

Use a flag as a backdrop.

Pose for thematic wedding photos in front of a giant American flag hung on a wall or even a clothesline. Rental companies offer them in various sizes and to fit different budgets. It would also make a great backdrop for an open-air photo booth.

Think outside of primary colors.

Instead of the traditional tones of red and blue, be original and choose different shades, like sky blue and burgundy or cerise and deep twilight. You can even push what "white" looks like: How about silver or gray?

Wear star-spangled jewelry.

If you want to add some July 4th spirit to your persoanl look but don't want to go with anything that's red, white, and blue, wear a star pendant or earrings in gold or silver for a pretty punch of patriotism.

Dress up the bridal party.

Put your bridesmaids in blue dresses and ruby necklaces, and have them carry small white bouquets. If your wedding isn't formal and the groomsmen are willing, dress them in red pants and light blue shirts with a white boutonniere.

Carry a blue bouquet.

Blue flowers aren't as abundant as other colors, so a bouquet of blooms in various shades, in addition to a few white flowers, will make quite a statement. Some combos to consider: grape hyacinth and lavender florets; azure miniature irises; hydrangeas, delphiniums, and muscari accented with hyacinth, sea holly, and pale-blue tweedia. As a finishing touch, tie your entire bundle to blooms together with red ribbon.

Feed them "country" fare.

Turn your cocktail hour into a celebration of iconic American foods like fries, fried chicken, and mini hot dogs. Skip the buttercream or fondant-covered tiered dessert and serve pies-apple, cherry, blueberry-and warm chocolate chip cookies instead.

Do a candy bar.

Fill clear dispensers with red, white, and blue sweets for a reception pick-me-up. Mini red Twizzlers, white M&M's, and blue jelly beans would make a sweet addition to the dessert table-and not just for young guests!

Bring in holiday-inspired textures.

Just as you're using various shades of red, white, and blue, bring in shapes and textures that are evocative of the holiday, creating a more interesting setting overall. One shining example: glittery silver stars hung from the reception ceiling.

Set off fireworks.

When you think "July 4th," you think "fireworks." Surprise guests with a colorful light show at reception's end. Not in the budget? Give guests sparklers instead and have them line up as you make your exit.


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