Theming your party can put a fresh spin on your otherwise typical gathering; however, arranging a themed-bash can go from fun to completely overwhelming in no time. Ideas whirling around in your head are a great start, but channeling this energy into a plan-of-action is vital to the success and overall ambiance of your party.
First things first, you have to analyze your basics before choosing a theme. The 5 W’s, or the Who, What, Where, When, and Why should be at the top of your list. How many people are you expecting to invite? Will you need to hire professionals? What venue are you holding your event at? Is this an indoor or outdoor event? Will your party begin in the morning, mid-day or evening? Why are you planning this party in the first place? These are all examples of simple yet game-changing questions that must be answered before you pick a fitting theme.
Once you have your basic questions answered, it’s time to dig in. Utilize your resources, browse Pinterest, create a board just for this event, and start brainstorming! Remember that your theme must be appropriate for your guests. A Great Gatsby theme may not be best for a 7-year-old’s Birthday party, but a camping party may be something to consider. If dress code is desired, plan accordingly for weather and entertainment. Keep your guests in-the-know by expressing clear directions on invitations.
Free printables can be found online, downloaded, and printed out. Items including invitations, menus, place cards, guest books, cupcake wrappers, tickets, mad libs, and goodie bag labels that coordinate with your theme can be created for free, saving you endless amounts of money. Customizing your party with a color theme, emblem, or initials can be surprisingly simple but this is where less is usually much more. Over-doing your theme can become nauseating and can appear tacky. Here are some areas to consider when decorating with your theme.
- Cake/gift table
- Lighting along walkway/in trees
- Simple yard props (flamingos, tiki torches)
- Directional signs
- Seating area
The parking area and entrances leave big first impressions and attention should be given to these areas. These touches will immediately intrigue your guests as they anticipate what’s inside!
Once guests arrive, they will need to be entertained. Pairing your entertainment with your theme can be a fun task. Create a playlist prior-to your event and gather songs that relate to your theme. A DIY photo booth or backdrop accompanied by props will keep your guests amused for hours. Make specialty drinks that emphasize your theme and set up a dessert or food bar that satisfies the tastes of your guests and is also fun to look at. These can be quite casual. Grilled cheese sandwich bars are a breeze to create and may sound more appetizing than airy appetizers to your hungry guests. An ice cream float buffet or adult-inspired Bloody Mary bars are both guaranteed smile-makers.
Once the party starts don’t forget to mingle with guests and have fun. Your guests don’t want to see you fretting with anxiety or hiding in the kitchen, so make sure that you enjoy the spectacular event you worked so diligently on!