When he wrote the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson claimed that everyone was entitled to “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” What could be a better way of “pursuing Happiness” than tying the knot with the love of your life? Here are some suggestions for a star-spangled, patriotic celebration of your love for each other.
- Color Scheme. A tasteful way to incorporate some patriotic themes into your wedding is to the colors of the flag in your color scheme. Red, white, and blue tablecloths, red and/or blue bridesmaids dresses, even red and blue ties for the groomsmen. Consider this wedding, in which half the groomsmen wore blue ties while the other half wore red. A white wedding cake topped with strawberries and blueberries can also give a patriotic quality without being over the top.
- Flower Arrangements. Fourth of July flower arrangements are in high demand, whether for weddings or not, and florists all over the country are happy to supply. Some florists will be willing to dye carnations or even roses to fit the patriotic color scheme. White lilies with roses and bluebells are a popular, classic combination for Independence Day. Your flower arrangement could also feature the “Spangled Star” Dianthus, a red flower so named for its little white blotches. One creative, if subtle, idea is to look at the meanings for various flowers. The wild plum blossom, for instance, means “independence” in the language of flowers, and is a beautiful, brilliant white.
- Gifts for Wedding Guests. Some weddings give out rice for guests to throw at the newlyweds as they leave the church. One obvious alternative for a Fourth of July wedding would be to give out small American flags that guests can wave as the couple passes by. Some weddings hand out heart-shaped sparklers to guests, which make for a beautiful outdoor reception and are a sure hit with the kids.
- Wedding Photos. Some couples choose to show their patriotism through their wedding photos. Some couples pose by holding the American flag in front of them or using it as a backdrop behind them. Other couples take their photos against a backdrop of fireworks. One popular pose is a picture of the happy couple in an outdoor field with an American flag wrapped around both of them. These themes are equally appropriate for both wedding and engagement photos.
- Fonts & Stationary. Instead of a guest book, you could make your own scroll, complete with a “Declaration” of your marriage at the top. Guests can sign below, much like the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Historical-looking font or calligraphy on your invitations, menu, and place cards is another fun way to pay tribute to the great document.
- Refreshments. Besides a strawberry and blueberry cake, keep the refreshments in theme with the day. Maybe you could serve a fun, patriotic mixed drink, like these red, white, and blue cocktails. Another idea is to play off the Independence Day tradition of grilling out and serve some grill food at the wedding: burgers, hot dogs, barbecue–just keep the barbecue sauce away from your dress!
- End the Night with Fireworks (If You Can). If you live in a state where fireworks are legal and you have an outdoor wedding or reception, maybe you could end the night like you might end other Independence Day celebrations: a firework show. Your guests will be awed and excited and you’ll have yet another vibrant, beautiful memory of wedding for years to come. (Or at the very least, pass out sparklers to light the way at the end of the evening. These make for some beautiful and fun pictures too!)
The Fourth of July might not be the most traditionally romantic holiday, but breaking away from the British monarchy wasn’t traditional, either. Sometimes the most memorable celebrations start by breaking away from the norm.