Monday, May 9, 2011

How To: Throw Themed Party

Mad Hatters party theme funtimes

Themed parties are all the rage these days, or at least that’s the assumption I'm making from the sheer number of them I’ve been to in recent times. A theme adds a little bit of cohesiveness to a gathering and establishes a common bond between guests who might not know each other. Both throwing a themed party and attending one can be a lot of fun, but there are some things to consider before your guests arrive.

How intense the theme? In ANTM terms, is your party modelling the theme from head to toe, or is it just fun suggestion? Do you want guests in full blown costumes, including face paint and wigs, or would it be ok if they just picked up a sparkly hat at the two dollar shop, wore it in and then left it in the corner for the rest of the night. People will follow your cue in this department, so you need to make sure you make it clear what you’re after.

Decide whether your theme will influence things like the food, the colour scheme and the music. Will there be a need for themed decorations, party favours, waiters/waitresses, invitations?

If h to t theme is what you’re after, make it clear from the way you design your invitations/facebook page, provide some costume ideas for those who might get stuck and be aware that how you talk about the party beforehand will influence the way people address it.

Who are you inviting? I’m not saying that you’ve got bad friends, but if the idea of throwing a themed party makes you dizzy with excitement while it makes those on your guest list cringe, perhaps it’s time to broaden your social circle. It’s no fun being the host of a party attended by embarrassed/non-committed schleps wearing their everyday casual when you’re dressed to the nines as Hugo Weaving’s drag queen in Priscilla. If you know that a lot of your friends and family might not be comfortable theme-ing it up, encourage them with reminders that they won’t be the only ones in costume and, if all else fails, use the guilt card and let them know how important it is to you that the party is party amazing.

Not to put a dampener on any fun, but do keep in mind the appropriateness of the theme when you’re planning. For example, an S&M theme, while to you might seem hilarious/a bit kinky, might not be a suitable experience for your great grandmother or three year old cousin to share.

What say you? Nerd theme? Okay!


What theme will you have: The choice of theme is probably the most difficult decision you will encounter in the party throwing process. If there’s something that really interests you, such as anime or Shakespeare, then throw that party. If nothing comes to mind but you really want to host an amazing costume party, there are plenty of lists out there on the internet that should give you an idea. The themes that you can apply to a party are seriously endless, here are a few that I’ve been to in the last few years to start the inspiration; Alice in Wonderland, Hollywood Glamour, Moulin Rogue, Black and White, Black and Red, Blue and Yellow, Toga, Texas, LA, 1920s, 1940s, Grease, Coming Out/All Things Gay, Halloween, Pirate, Neon, Masque, Mad Hatters, Favourite Hollywood Star, Nerd, Animals, Mexican…and there are more that I’m forgetting.

Themes are fun, allow you to have a starting point for planning, encourage creativity and ease the path for mingling amongst guests. They might also require a bit more hard work than your regular party, but it usually pays off. If you’re looking to give it a go soon, I suggest starting off with the easily idea laden Friday the 13th theme this Friday. Go, theme, have fun!

Hola for Mexican theme! (Awful caption puns are my speciality)

PS. This isn’t entirely related, but for some amazing theme planning ideas check out all the themed weddings on Rock n Roll Bride.

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