We're Elevate

What started as a side hustle for two creative, driven sisters has now become one of the Midwest’s premier event planning and design firms. At Elevate, we find pure, unbridled joy in celebrating all aspects of life - big moments, small gatherings and anything in between.

From the Team: Fourth Of July Hosting Tips & Inspiration

With a holiday weekend right around the corner (and trepidatious feelings of JOY for finally being able to safely celebrate again!), we asked our team to round up some helpful tips for hosting your own backyard celebration. Read on for some styling tips, meal planning suggestions, and of course, some helpful cocktail & mocktail recommendations to keep everyone happy AND hydrated!

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and are able to relax and enjoy with those you love most.

Fourth Of July Hosting Tips & Inspiration

Table Styling

For any décor or table linens you are planning to source yourself, we highly recommend keeping it neutral and timeless! That way, you’re not only ensuring you can interchange the linens with each holiday or celebration, you’re also keeping the general palette completely cohesive. Then, depending on what holiday you are decorating for, you can always incorporate color-appropriate additions, patterns or textures based on the time of year, seasonality and guest expectations. A little goes a long way!

For this particular celebration, our team kept the look effortlessly classic, with summery blue linens and glassware, a touch of texture in the woven placemats and chinoises-inspired vases, and of course, true to the theme with cute patriotic pinwheels and classic hydrangeas.

Menu Planning 

Food prep can be a lot of work and take up much of your time as a host. To focus on the guests, decor, and outdoor activities, consider calling in the professionals and ask them to come roughly one hour to 30 minutes before start time to set out a casual display of meats and cheeses or simple, refreshing salads. A summer holiday party often calls for food hot off the grill; so if you’re having a barbeque this may be the perfect occasion to ask your guests to bring their favorite side or dessert so you can focus on the mains! 

No matter what sort of menu you decide on, remember that casual and simple will always win the day, and the prep work you put in before the party start is ALWAYS worth it to ensure that you can be fully present once your guests arrive!

Mocktails & Cocktails

Of course, a midsummer holiday party wouldn’t be complete without something refreshing to sip on! We always recommend focusing on one batch drink, and keeping all other options chilled on ice in a cute galvanized bucket (a MUST buy for all backyard events!) Don’t forget some chilled bubbly on hand, too, for that spontaneous toast (always a must with us)! And if you’re going to be in the sun for a long time, make sure to have plenty of water on hand for your guests as well.  

Below are some additional helpful tips straight from our team – we hope these inspire you as you make those last-minute trips out to the grocery store before the long weekend begins! Happy celebrating!

Photos from Pinterest

From April: When it comes to hosting a summer party, my biggest tip is to have a fun drink that can be pre-made, easily served, and available as an alcoholic or non-alcoholic option.  For example, a mojito has a fresh flavor and can be made in batches which allows you, the host, to be social rather than spending the whole party making drinks for your guests!

From Kelsie: I always like to make something refreshing to cool off with, especially for a hot summer party. An ice cold cocktail or mocktail or a yummy dessert will always hit the spot! My favorites are a fruity mojito or strawberry basil lemonade for a drink, incorporating fresh herbs I just pull from my garden. For a dessert, trifle with fresh fruit or strawberry shortcake always hits the spot, and strawberries are in their prime season right now!

From Chloe: I think when planning anything in the summer the best rule of thumb is to keep things simple and fresh – it’s nice to have a fun little outside set up and an area inside where you can keep your cold items and allow guests to come relax and get out of the elements as needed. My favorite summer salad is fresh watermelon, feta cheese, lime juice and mint and I am always cooking up some easy chicken tinga tacos or something that guests can assemble on the fly to go with it. For drinks, I’ve been loving a Lavender Lemonade made with homemade lavender syrup lately (and it’s actually super easy)! You just put lavender + 1 C water + 1 C sugar in a small pan and cook/stir until the sugar is dissolved. Strain everything and simply mix it up with your favorite lemonade, garnishing with a lavender sprig for an extra touch of love!