Invitations: Use a sun-motif rubber stamp to add a touch of brilliance to plain note cards. And if your friends aren't familiar with the solstice, be sure to explain its significance on the invitation.
Decorations: Fete nature―and create a lush ambience at the same time―with homemade topiary balls. (Get the how-to on the next slide.) And you don't need a cabana-like tent in your backyard to hang them from―the ornaments look just as stylish hung from an outdoor umbrella or a deck railing. At twilight, make sure you provide plenty of lighting.
2 of 5Rob Howard
Wrap a garland of artificial ivy around a topiary ball―this one is seven inches in diameter, but you can vary the size―and secure it to the ball every few inches with floral wire. You'll need a wire cutter to snip the garland and the wire. Create a tightly knit sphere of greenery or wrap the garland loosely so light peeks through. (Topiary balls, ivy garlands, and floral wire all available at craft stores.)
3 of 5Philip Friedman; Styling: Blake Ramsey
Set the Mood
Set out tea lights in tiny holders and small terra-cotta pots clustered in groups to make a big impact. If you have time to spare, make your own candles.
4 of 5Rob Howard
Treat your guests to refreshing beverages, like sparkling wine or one of these delicious cocktails:
Serve some savory little bites inspired by dishes from Scandinavian countries, where the solstice is honored with an annual festival. Try crab toast, along with fancied up crudités and cheese-and-cracker platters: