Basics from PlantPirate
for Throwing a Theme Party
There are seven basic
components to a successful Theme Party: Choosing
a Theme, Invitations, Menu, Decor,
Music, Games and Prizes.
We're going to take them one at a time and list the things to consider -
like assessing what you've got on hand that you can use, and finding
sources for the rest. Watch for successive articles that will cover
more detail on each of the basics.
Popular themes that are fairly easy to carry out and lend themselves
nicely to "costume" type parties include:
A year or decade - e.g.
the 20s, 50s, 70s, Y3K, etc., or even a "through the years"
type theme where guests can come as a character from any time frame
"knights of the roundtable", etc. type themes.
TV show or movie themes.
Murder and/or mystery
You can even mix and match
these types of themes - for example,
should be sent at least two weeks in advance of the party date, and longer
if the party is held during the busy fall to Christmas season.
They should fit the
theme - make sure the type of paper, lettering, graphics, etc. all
foster the theme of your planned party.
If costumes are
required, provide details and examples.
Provide your phone
number so guests with questions can call you in advance.
Check out the invitations
page for more ideas!
planning is a careful balancing act between the creative and the practical
- the less you have to do on the day of the party, the better it is for
Choose what you want to
serve as the "main" menu - again it should foster the theme
of the party.
Delegate to friends
additional simple dishes that fit the theme, or that
"special" dish a friend is an expert at preparing.
For complex menus or
special dishes that fit the theme, contract with a caterer or one of
the many boutique shops that will prepare the food and all you have to
do is heat and serve.
Find dishes that can be
made ahead and frozen and/or refrigerated.
Remember, even simple to
prepare and serve foods and beverages can be made to fit a theme by
judicious use of food coloring, fruits and vegetables that exude their
color to a dish, or colored juices - e.g. tint everything bloody red
for Halloween, or green for St. Patrick's Day.
creative! Even Cousin It can be made from crepe paper or cellophane
basket straw, and an old top hat.
First, look around your
house to see what you have that can be used or adapted to suit the
Second-hand and party
stores are good sources for decorations too.
Get crafty - check out
the Mirtha Stuwort and the Cheap
Decorating sections of this site for great and goofy ideas.
is a must - even if it's only background music.
Music needs to coincide
with the party theme.
For 20s, 50s, etc.
parties, use the dance music collections that abound on tape and CD.
you will have games, they too should foster the theme of the party.
Games can start upon
arrival, or later, depending on the theme of your party.
Games must be BEFORE the
meal because people rarely feel up to games on a full tummy, and many
often leave after the meal.
For children's parties,
remember you can adapt many popular games to the theme - e.g.
"pin the glasses on the teacher" instead of
pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey for a school's out type party.
are not necessarily required except if you want to do them for "best
costume" or for children's parties.
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