How to Make Your July 4th Gathering Effortless

Guest post contributed by DeeDee Dalrymple of Effortless Entertaining

Let’s make our July 4th gatherings effortless with good planning and prep. With sixteen family members and friends coming to our home at Grandfather, my planning has already begun. If you too are having a crowd, it’s not too late to get ready so you have plenty of time to enjoy all the festivities. 

I’m offering a glimpse of my list. While my list will evolve as we add tee times and other information, this will give you an idea of my process. I keep my list in the Notes function on my phone. I can easily add and edit and once it’s complete, I will email the list to my guests to provide everything they need to know. Once everyone arrives, I post the list on the frig 🙂

Many of the recipes can be prepped or prepared in advance. You can see on the list all the items that are already done and those that we’ll prepare that week. I will also make my grocery list in Notes. This too will be effortless as I simply copy and paste the ingredients needed into Notes from the EE Recipes online. For those of you who have the guide, you too can do this! If you have a guide and don’t have an online login, please email me so we can set that up for you.

Take a look at the list below and start making your list too. We’ve provided PDFs below that will help you get started. Step Nine in Effortless Entertaining, “Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan.” With good planning and prep, we can all enjoy our family and friends!

Wishing you an effortless and happy 4th of July!

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July 4th 10-Day GamePlan   🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

16 people


  • Casual – golf shirt, shorts, jeans for boys and casual dresses or jeans for girls
  • Nice Casual – long sleeve shirts for men and casual dresses or cute tops with jeans for girls
  • Cocktail “Lite” – fun, a little dressier than dinner dress

What to Pack

  • Jacket, Tie, Cocktail “Lite” Dress for Family Dance
  • Long sleeve dress shirts, cute tops, casual dresses, jeans
  • Work out, hiking, and tennis clothes
  • Bathing suits
  • Wraps, Sweaters
  • Golf Clubs and shoes


  • Eggs & Egg Casserole
  • Toast
  • Bacon
  • Avocado
  • Blueberry Muffins


  • OYO – On Your Own – Sandwiches, 10th Tee, Beach, Scottish Grill 

Signature Cocktails

  • Cucumber Jalapeño Limeade
  • Blueberry Lemonade  
  • Be-Mixed Cocktails

On Hand

  • Sandwich Fixins – Turkey, Pimento Cheese, Cheeses, Avocado, Pesto
  • Fiesta Black Bean Salad
  • Chips
  • Fruit

Prepare in Advance

  • Egg Casserole Prep ✔️
  • Egg Casserole Muffins ✔️
  • Blueberry Muffins ✔️
  • Chocolate Fudge Sauce ✔️
  • Game Day Brownies ✔️
  • Irwin’s Super Brownies ✔️
  • Lawdashions Pork Rub & Sauce ✔️
  • Ribs Rub & Barbecue Sauce – 6/22
  • Pimento Cheese – 7/1
  • Cucumber Spread – 7/1
  • Cocktail Prep – 7/1
  • Fiesta Black Bean Salad – 7/2 
  • Orzo Salad – 7/2 
  • Vegetable Salad – 7/3
  • Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes – 7/3
  • Watermelon Gazpacho – 7/4
  • Slaw – 7/6

Friday, June 28

  • Birthday Dinner at home, 
  • Salmon, Peel & Eat Shrimp, Asparagus, Caesar Salad, Game Day Brownies & Ice Cream
  • Dress – Casual

Saturday, June 29 

  • Golf
  • Dinner on the Patio
  • Dress – Coat, no tie

Sunday, June 30 

  • Dinner at home
  • Lawdashions Pork Tenderloin,
    Rice, Salad
  • Dress – Casual

Monday, July 1

  • Dinner at home
  • Beer Can Chicken, Salad
  • Dress – Casual

Tuesday, July 2

  • Dinner on the Patio
  • Dress – Nice Casual

Wednesday, July 3 

  • Everyone arrives! 😍
  • Chip, Putt, Drink
  • Pick Up Dinner at home
  • Pimento Cheese, Cucumber Spread, Turkey Sandwiches, Orzo Salad, Game Day Brownies
  • Dress – Casual

Thursday, July 4

  • Golf, Tee Times TBD
  • Dinner at home 
  • Watermelon Gazpacho, Beef Tenderloin, Vegetable Salad, Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, Sour Cream Rolls
  • Dress – Casual

Friday, July 5 

  • Golf, Tee Times TBD
  • Family Dance 
  • Dress – Coat, Tie, Cocktail “Lite”

Saturday, July 6

  • Whitley Cup 
  • Dinner at home
  • Guacamole, Ribs, Hampton Store Barbecue, Slaw, Tomatoes and Mozzarella, Succotash
  • Fireworks
  • Dress – Casual

Sunday, July 7

  • Everyone leaves 😢

Printer-friendly Fillable One-Week GamePlan
Printer-friendly Fillable Shopping List
(Best filled out in your Web-browser or Adobe Acrobat)

DeeDee is the author of Effortless EntertainingOpen Your Home, Open Your Heart, and Give the Gift of Hospitality, your complete and beautiful guide for entertaining easily and graciously in your home with inspiring ideas and practical resources. DeeDee also speaks to groups of women sharing her Ten Steps To Effortless Entertaining.

To learn more about Effortless Entertaining or to invite DeeDee to speak, visit or email [email protected]

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