Throw a Fourth of July Party Like a True Black Southern Belle
Are you still trying to figure out your holiday weekend plans? Plan a Fourth of July party to remember by throwing the doors open and hosting a big night out at home.
Thatâ€™s the advice of Michiel Perry, the 27-year-old behind Black Southern Belle, a digital lifestyle brand that covers food, home dÃ©cor, weddings, and fashion.
â€œBlack Southern Belle kind of fell into my lap,â€ Perry says. â€œI was planning my wedding and decorating my home, and I was trying to get lifestyle inspiration that was uniquely Southern and uniquely black at the same time. But I was having the most difficult time finding it.â€
Over the course of one year, Perry, a former political event planner and relationship manager for Google in Washington, D.C., moved back home to Charleston, South Carolina; got married; bought a historic home; and started the site.
Here she shares her tips for this holiday weekend and other summer entertaining at home:
Take the Fourth of July party outside
â€œI live in South Carolina, and itâ€™s all about having a big front porch. We really wanted to show outdoor entertaining in an informal way but still very stylish,â€ Perry says. That kind of effortless entertaining is a recurring theme. â€œOne thing that I really want to hone in on [with] Black Southern Belle, is that not everything has to happen at a restaurant or at a formal event. You can still entertain in a relaxed way.â€
Simple can be chic
â€œYou donâ€™t have to have a 10-course meal just to have people over,â€ Perry says. In fact, one of her most memorable party setups was a biscuit bar, which simplifies things for host and guest alike: â€œYou donâ€™t have to rent all the table settings, which can be a hassle if youâ€™re not a day-by-day hostess. But also, itâ€™s an easy thing for people to pick up and eat and walk around with. Itâ€™s a mingling sort of food.â€
Be an authentic host
Entertaining colleagues and clients at home provides â€œa chance for them to see that who you are professionally matches up with who you are personally, that your values match up at home and at work,â€ Perry says. But make sure youâ€™re working the room, making connections, and that the people youâ€™re bringing together will have things in common; not just professionally, but also socially.
Good manners are always in style
â€œGo that extra mile and write a thank you card. Even though youâ€™re the one that hosted, itâ€™s nice to write a thank you card for people who took the time to come to your home,â€ Perry says. And make it easy on yourself by getting it done before your Fourth of July party. â€œAfter the event, youâ€™re so tired. Write it beforehand and just put it in a little favor or a gift bag.â€
It’s all about a big front porch….