Independence Day Party Planner
Independence Day Party Planner | Jun. 01, 2009 | FROM THE WEB


When it comes to outdoor parties, casual is the name of the game. There's no need to go overboard with decorations or activities, but Bussen has several easy ideas for setting the scene.

The Table

For a Fourth of July gathering, Bussen insists that you don't need to have everything red, white, and blue. Instead, she recommends adding a few touches and focusing on color. Rather than buying stars-and-stripes-themed tablecloths and place mats, choose linens in a solid red or blue or a simple stripe or check. Bussen also likes to add inexpensive chargers because they "bump up the look" of the table and "work well as reinforcements for disposable plates piled high with saucy barbecue food, so they're practical."

For plates and silverware, you have several options. The table shown here features inexpensive items from Ikea and Christmas Tree Shops, but you could use your own everyday plates and silverware, or disposable versions. For disposables, Bussen likes the sophisticated look and eco-friendliness of Verterra's dinnerware, which is made from fallen leaves and water, and is biodegradable and compostable. Alternatively, look for sturdy recycled-paper plates.