Fourth of July Entertaining Tips

Fourth of July Entertaining Tips

Fourth of July Entertaining Tips

The high holiday of summer entertaining is upon us, *wink! Who can resist an Independence Day party? If you are hosting this year, this guide is for you.

Fourth of July Decor & Table Setting

If you know me, you know I *love* any excuse to decorate! Red, white, blue, stars, and stripes are the mood of the day but that does not mean you have to go out and buy a whole set of 4th of July themed decor. Classic patterns such as gingham and stripes evoke a summer feeling without being too on-the-nose.

4th of July Table Decoration

Your choice of flowers will bring your design together, too. For this table, I chose red anemones, courtesy of my dear Fairbanks Florist, for a pop of color. Plus, those bold centers feel a bit like fireworks to me! 

Now on the subject of bunting… There is never enough! *wink 


Outdoor Entertaining Tips for the Fourth of July

Outdoor Entertaining on the 4th of July

Chances are, when you picture a Fourth of July party, you are imagining an outdoor gathering.  Independence Day is peak summer entertaining which means a few considerations should be made:

1. Avoid burns and bites.

Have sunscreen and bug spray on-hand and easily accessible to your guests. A cute basket filled with helpful products will go a long way in keeping guests safe and comfortable.

2. Keep Guests Dry.

Provide plenty of fresh, fluffy towels for guests to use if swimming is involved.

3. Prioritize *Cold* Beverages.

Coolers and ice buckets are a summer entertainer’s best friend. Pro Tip: an ice bucket is more effective when water is mixed in as it is a better conductor than ice alone. Adding a pinch or two of salt to the mix is even better!

4. Make Food Safety a Top Priority.

Take care with foods that can go bad in the heat. Keep cold foods cold, especially seafood and dairy-based dishes. Covering dishes to protect them from bugs is an additional precaution, primarily for guest comfort over contamination!

5. Comfort is Key.

If the party is going into the evening, have blankets available in case guests catch a chill. This is certainly not necessary here in Orlando, but more northern states will cool off when the evening comes.

6. Practice Mosquito Control.

Is your yard mosquito-proofed? No one wants to spend the evening being bit by hungry mosquitos. Treat your yard prior to the party and be sure to place some citronella candles or mosquito prevention tech around the yard.

7. Ask your guests about dietary requirements in advance.

And plan your menu accordingly. For example, thoughtful purchases such as veggie burgers and vegan cheese for your plant-based friend will help them to feel included and valued.

8. Avoid cross contamination when grilling.

When choosing what goes where on the barbecue, take care with allergens where possible. If a friend is allergic to shellfish, cook the shrimp after the burgers to avoid a medical emergency

9. Include non-alcoholic drink options.

For your friends who may choose not to imbibe, have plenty of fresh iced tea, soft drinks, or similar alcohol-free drink options on hand. If you are making a signature cocktail for the party, consider making an alcohol-free mocktail version too! Remember, it is never acceptable to ask why a person is not drinking.

10. Plan activities for children.

If you are hosting a child-friendly party, make sure to include games, activities, and kid-friendly foods to keep them happily occupied.

 

Flag Etiquette 

Independence Day and the American Flag are practically synonymous and you will surely want to include one in your 4th of July decorating. Keep these flag etiquette rules in mind to avoid a faux pas. 

  1. The union (stars), should always be in the upper left, whether on a flagpole or hanging vertically. 
  2. Ensure your flag is in good condition, not faded or tattered, as a sign of respect.
  3. The flag should never be flown after dark, unless illuminated by a light source. 
  4. Never let the American flag touch the ground. 

A Note On Fireworks… 

First and foremost, respect the law. If fireworks are illegal within your city limits, do not use them. Often there is good reason for these rules, such as areas where brush fires are common or population density and safety concerns. 

If fireworks are legal in your area, be considerate. Excessively loud fireworks can frighten pets, children, and adults who suffer from mental health concerns such as PTSD. 

Sparklers are forever my preference as they are quiet and very safe when used correctly. Attending a fireworks display is the safest way to enjoy (and the fireworks themselves are much more impressive, anyway!)

If you do choose to light fireworks, do so with utmost safety in mind for yourself, others, and nearby property. Your window of acceptable time for lighting fireworks is the evening of July 4th. Fireworks should end between 9-10pm out of courtesy to your neighbors and should not be lit for days before or after the holiday. Be sure to clean up any debris caused by your fireworks. And remember, inebriation and pyrotechnics are certainly not friends.

 

Driving Safely

Encourage guests to Uber to and from your party if you know it will be a big drinking day.

 

Pool Safety 

If children are present and using the pool, the best possible option is to hire a lifeguard. This will allow everyone to enjoy themselves with less worry. However, if this is not possible, consider having parents trade off with each other to monitor the children in the pool. Having a designated “watcher” is much safer than a joint effort where responsibility is shared. 

Young children who are not strong or experienced swimmers should be in proper safety gear, including life vests and floaties.

White Hot Fun

White Hot Fun

Not too long ago our Lisa Stoner Events team was asked to plan an Orlando wedding industry event for our colleagues at The Knot. 

We chose  a “White-Hot” theme and we loved every aspect of it.   White  really lends itself perfectly to Welcome Receptions and provides for a fun wedding weekend and also to summer events.  

Start with a beautiful location; in this case the all-white tented space at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando was the perfect blank canvass for our design. We started with a dramatic entrance feature: a show-stopping white balloon arch combined with lush white greenery.


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The next design element was the layout of the space itself. A beautiful white orchid chandelier hung over the dance floor area in the center of the tent.  An abundance of modern lounge furniture was spread across the room, providing ample seating for guests.




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Our design team incorporated multiple  food stations, enticing the guests to sample delicious, lite, bite sized samplings while mingling and dancing. Speaking of dancing, we were sure to bring in an amazing DJ to keep the dance floor packed.



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Another element not to be missed was a refreshing signature cocktail, uniquely presented from a feature bar, by our energetic bartenders.  The mojitos were refreshing and plentiful.




For some interactive entertainment we drew guests into the party with a vibrant acapella flash mob and a fun photobooth with props.

 


Last, but certainly not least, we cannot forget about the sweet tooth.  Guests were treated to some delicious, miniature sweet treats.



Remember to invite some stylishly dressed guests to help with the authenticity of the theme.



We know your family and friends will have as much fun with a fabulous White-Hot Party as our colleagues did.

 

Be sure to call our Lisa Stoner Events team to discuss designing your upcoming wedding, milestone family event or corporate gala. 

.      Venue, Catering & Bar: Waldorf Astoria Orlando 

.      Event Planner: Lisa Stoner Events 

.      Floral Décor: Raining Roses 

.      Photography: Wings of Glory Photography 

.      Videography: Jeffrey Stoner 

.      Draping: Swag Decor 

.      Furniture: AFR 

.      Linens: Wildflower Linens 

.      Flash Mob: The Vocal Company 

.      Balloon CompanyGuy Rexford, Balloon World Orlando 

.      Lighting + Music: DJ Jacob Towe, LLC 

.      Photo BoothOmarvelous Productions 

.      Stationery: Dogwood Blossom 

.      Beauty: LeJeune Artistry  

 

 

A Fourth of July Brunch

A Fourth of July Brunch


There are BBQ’s, parades, concerts, 5K’s and later-evening firework displays, but if you’re looking for an option for something in between, consider this chic alternative to celebrating Independence Day.

I was feeling like celebrating in a more subdued manner this year, and after I caught the morning patriotic concert in Central Park and bicycle parade down Park Ave. in Winter Park, I had some of my favorite dames celebrate with a little bit of rose, white and blue with me. *wink

Smaller gatherings with girlfriends like these are so manageable when you can pool together your resources to make the celebration equally as festive as it is fun. 

Malia bought her chic monogrammed linen napkins, Lana some bright and beautiful blooms, Jessica shared some stylish jewelry, (I mean, it was a girlie-party, after all!) I had some fun vases and pillows to add to the décor and Abby always has her trusty camera and expert eye on hand!

After we previewed what we had all brought to contribute to our fun gathering, it was time to set the table!



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After foraging in her own backyard, Lana showed up with a bucket of beautiful red blooms, then swiftly got in her element, and started to arrange them in the vases I had brought.

Using chinoiserie vases with clear vases with blue twine was an unexpected but elegant touch as was mixing floral and striped patterns with the pillows. Mixing patterns isn’t always easy for me all the time, but once I started to lay everything out on the table, I was thrilled with the look and filing this under “must try again!”



Since the heat here in Orlando rivals that from the surface of the sun, brunch was particularly delightful indoors, where we al agreed to get a little bit fancy and save our tank tops and short s for the fireworks show later!

To compliment the Rosé, (ha!) we opted with summertime, Southern favorite morsels like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles, courtesy of Hamilton’s Kitchen. 

PS: Diets start TOMORROW!





Who doesn’t love to feel fancy?




Wishing you a fun, safe and Rosé-filled Independence Day, darlings!

xx, LS

*Post in collaboration with Hamilton’s Kitchen*

Images: Abby Liga Photography

Floral: Lana Faulkner

Jewelry: Quest Stones

Monogrammed Linen: Lettermade

Vases/Plates: Home Goods