Nothing says “Southern hospitality” more than opening your home to family and friends, which is why entertaining as a newlywed couple can be so joyful. It’s a great way to connect with loved ones after your wedding, not to mention the perfect excuse to pull out some of those fun gifts from your registry! We know it can also be a little bit intimidating to host for the first time as a married couple, which is why we planned our early Fourth of July potluck with newlyweds in mind every step of the way. We hope our tips will help you organize your plans and host with ease and grace, ending with the ever-so-Southern parting line, “Y’all come back now!”
Tips for Stress-Free Newlywed Entertaining
1. Let your friends help—a potluck automatically takes pressure off of the hostess! A kraft paper tablecloth and white markers on your buffet table lets guests label their dishes easily.
2. It’s okay to buy pre-prepared foods if you’re short on time. Transfer them to your favorite dishes, add fresh herbs, and you’re all set!
3. Don’t go crazy with details—instead, choose a few easy, impactful projects to focus on. In our case, we pooled our red, white, and blue kitchen supplies for the buffet and displayed a flag pie.
4. A little favor is a great way to make an ordinary dinner feel more like an event. Our blueberries to-go took less than five minutes to assemble!
5. Cloth napkins are not only environmentally friendly; they also look more polished and are better for messy foods.
6. Guidance on what guests should wear is often welcome, and it can be a fun way to keep your whole party cohesive. Our dress code was simply “Fourth of July festive.”
7. Summer is the perfect time to entertain if your home is short on seating—grab a handful of picnic blankets and set up outside instead.
8. Don’t forget the bug spray!
In case you’re planning your own dinner or attending a potluck and are looking for ideas, here’s an outline of how our food spread turned out! We split up main dishes, sides, drinks, and desserts ahead of time and coordinated them through a shared Google doc. Knowing what each person was bringing was helpful for our small group to ensure we ended up with a well-rounded meal, but a larger group probably wouldn’t need to.
Entree: Grilled chicken and sausage
Sides: Watermelon with mint, grilled corn, Mediterranean quinoa salad, spinach salad with berries and pecans, chips and guacamole, crackers and pimento cheese, corn bread
Dessert: Berry cream pie
Drinks: Sparkling berry lemonade
What are your Fourth of July plans? We’d love to hear!