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Soak Up the Sun

Soak Up the Sun

Summer Solstice Party Planning 

By Victoria Atterberry 

Longer days, impromptu trips to the beach and afternoons lounging by the pool all signify summer has landed. But what officially marks the beginning of this fan-favorite season? According to the National Day Calendar, the Summer Solstice is the official kickoff, and as the longest day of the year, it is the perfect time to celebrate the season of fun in the sun with an unforgettable party. 

Summer Solstice Party Theme Ideas 

Garden Party 

Kristin Zupancic, owner and lead planner for Gainesville-based event planning service Always Eventful, said that the summer solstice is all about celebrating nature and the sun, so hosting a garden party with whimsical, bright colors is a great on-theme idea for celebrating the summer solstice. 

“Choose bright colors like gold, yellow, red, orange and green to incorporate the sun and nature,” Zupancic said. “I would also incorporate lots of flowers, some fruits, and just make it a very fun outdoor theme.” 

Backyard Bonfire 

Rooted in tradition and nodding to the historical ways many cultures welcomed the Summer Solstice, a backyard bonfire is an inviting party idea that is sure to please. Make s’mores, listen to relaxing music and enjoy the company of close friends and family while gazing at the stars. 

Flower Crown Making 

Another popular tradition, flower crown making, keeps in line with the outdoor theme and provides a unique way to spend quality time together. Zupancic suggests setting up a flower bar to make the crowns or unique bouquets. 

Floral party favors, such as small plants, are a nice touch and a sweet memento for partygoers. Take things up a notch with floral or fruity cocktails and mocktails. Think lavender, orange, lemon, lime or strawberry. 

Party Planning Tips 

Host at Home 

One well-known option for a cost-effective party location is to have it at home. “If you’re trying to stick to a budget and have the ability to host something at your home, that’s automatically going to save you a lot of money by not paying a venue rental fee or any of the costs associated with having a party off-site,” Zupancic said. 

She notes that if hosting at home is not an option, there are budget-friendly venues to consider, such as using private rooms at restaurants. Sometimes, they forgo a charge for usage if eventgoers spend a certain amount while dining. 

Get Creative with Themes 

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There is no wrong way to throw a party, so let creativity run free and incorporate unique ideas that guests will never forget. 

“You could do something easy where you have a fun margarita and chips and salsa bar,” Zupancic said. “Everybody could bring their favorite type of dip – queso, guac, salsa or anything like that. You could also host a charcuterie night where each guest brings something different to add and you all build a charcuterie board together. Or you could have a Derby party where guests wear fun hats and dresses. And of course, mint juleps.” 

Remember the Basics 

Good food, good music and good conversation are the core of a successful party, so make sure these are at the top of the list of must-haves when planning. 

Zupancic said it is essential to have some type of entertainment and things that are visually appealing or interactive. Photo booths can be a cute idea to encourage guests to share their experiences on social media. 

“As long as you’re happy, your guests are happy and everyone had a good time, to me, that makes the event successful,” Zupancic said. 

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