Theme Party Planning Tips

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The term “theme party planning” can be quite confusing. It can mean something as specific as a 4-year-old birthday theme or “Uncle Joe’s Teen Years” (a party to tease good-natured Joe about all his teenage money making schemes). Using a theme is the easiest way to decorate, find appropriate food and even who to invite to the party. However, most people, when they think of “theme parties” think of more involved parties with guests wearing costumes specific to the theme. Food served at these parties also are very specific to the theme as are the decorations. Themes based around movies such as Star Trek and Lord of the Rings are popular. Pool parties, Roaring Twenties, and Medieval parties are popular, too.

Theme party planning for either type of theme party follows the same steps as any other party planning. Since you already have your theme in mind, you must figure out what type of party it will be — cocktail, buffet or sit-down dinner, what your budget is, how many people do you plan on inviting, and where will the party be held. The theme will dictate what type of decorations and food will be served. A simple 4-year-old birthday party theme would need a cake or cupcakes and ice cream and streamers, a happy birthday sign, and maybe some balloons. However, the more elaborate theme parties that are based on movies, other eras, or other countries are far more complex and time consuming to plan and host.

When planning one of these parties, the one major thing you have to make sure of is that you have enough friends that would be willing to dress up and participate in the party. It would be horribly disappointing if you took a lot of time and effort to host a party and no one showed up! If you decide to host a party like this, ask your friends if they would be interested in dressing up and having a lot of fun role playing and just getting into the spirit of the theme. Once you know they are, you can then start really preparing for the party. Just realize that this type of party takes a lot of planning and is can easily become expensive so keep your budget in mind at all times. It’s easy with this type of party to see something that you think “wow, that would be just perfect” so you pick it up and then you see something else, so you pick it up and you keep doing that again and again. Pretty soon your have loads of great stuff but no money to buy the food with!

Once you are sure that you know how many guests you will have, you need to decide on food. Have fun with this. If you are planning a Medieval party, think turkey or chicken legs, hard cheeses, thickly sliced breads, fruit swords (fruit kabobs), etc. A Wild West theme could feature beans and weenies, corn on the cob, corn bread. If you can’t think of any appropriate food, you can always go to the Internet. There you will find some great (and some really unusual) ideas you might like to try.

Decorating for a theme party is easy. If you need ideas, go to a party store. They usually carry items for about any theme you can think of. Purchase items that you think would be difficult to make and then use your crafting skills to make the rest. For example, for the medieval theme you could decorate with banners and coat of arms made of cardboard or felt trumpet banners, maybe a few paper torches and make some “wanted posters” using pictures of your guests. Any of these items could be made easily and without much expense. Some themes might even be made more special by renting items like a castle or palm trees that are filled with air or huge slides. The only thing holding you back on decorations for this type of party is your imagination (but that’s what the Internet is for, right?) and your budget.

Dress the part! You probably could buy a cheap costume, but since you have gone through all the time and effort to make this such a unique and special party, why not make one yourself. If that’s not possible, you may find that you can rent what you need at an affordable price.

Be sure to decorate the partly location from the entrance to the main party area to get the guests in the right mood the moment they arrive. Combining the right ambiance, food, drinks, and games with a good sense of fun will have guests raving about your party for months to come.

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