A Bryan Photo copy

As you can see from the lovely backyard reception above, you don't have to go backyard barbeque for a 4th of July bash. Try "picnic chic" with mismatched chairs, long tables covered in your grandma's vintage tablecloths, and plenty of white string lights.  Set place settings with bowls of freshly-picked berries (below) for your guests to enjoy in the warm weather.

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If you do want the quintessential red, white, and blue as your color palette, use layered garland (below) to decorate the front of your cake table, the backs of chairs, or empty barn walls.

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For your picnic-themed party, keep your food buffet simple with a sack lunch buffet. Especially if you decide to have an event with picnic blankets as seating (so cute, btw), this is a really easy and convenient way to serve your guests. Stack up wax paper-wrapped sandwiches, plastic containers filled with different salads, bags of chips, and boxes filled with crudites and dip. Provide brown paper bags, trays, or small baskets for them to carry their goodies.

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Or maybe you want to go traditional American hot dog bar. Put out every topping you can imagine and post recipe suggestions on mini-blackboard signage (below).

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When it comes to dessert, nothing belongs at a 4th of July event like a slice of fruit pie. Forget the traditional wedding cake (your buttercream might just melt in this heat anyway), and opt for a drool-worthy buffet of peach, strawberry rhubarb, blackberry, and lemon meringue.

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If you want more dessert variety (and when is more sugar ever really a bad thing?), fill paper cones with yummy caramel corn (below) or caramel-flavored Chex mix.  Individual strawberry shortcakes (below) or fresh scones with jam are also a sweet choice for summer weddings.

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At your 4th of July wedding, keep your dress code casual so that your friends and family can enjoy an assortment of lawn games. We love these wooden signs (below) to point guests in the right direction!

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It's not just badminton and horseshoes anymore. Today's lawn games even incorporate modern tabletop games like Jenga, Yahtzee (below) or even Scrabble!

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Most of these are simple DIY projects that even your soon-to-be spouse will enjoy putting together with you!

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The best part about the 4th might just be the sparklers and the insta-joy they bring to a party.  These heart-shaped ones are really darling for a wedding exit send-off (below).

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If you are in an area that is super dry right now and can't use sparklers, find eco-friendly confetti poppers instead (the ones below actually dissolve in water).  Use them at sunset, rather than after it goes dark, for a beautiful, sparkly effect.

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Credits:  A Bryan Photography   |   Phillip Van Nostrand Photography   |   Elisabeth Nicole   |   All Things Heart & Home   |   Catch My Party   |   Shiny Happy Sprinkles   |   Lia Griffith   |   Lovely Little Kitchen   |   One Cooped Chick   |   Momtastic   |   Better Homes and Gardens   |   Paper Heart Photography   |   Thimblepress