Host the Perfect Themed Party

Staff Writer
Six easy secrets to take your next get-together from blah to brilliant with little effort
Luau Party
Istock/lokenphoto

Luau Party

Themed parties never go out of style. Whether you’re hosting an ‛80s throwback party for your teen’s 16th birthday or bringing out the Greased Lightning for you and your husband’s 30th anniversary party, there is something irresistible and entertaining about dressing up, making a meal that will transport guests to a different era, and pretending to be someone else for the night.

To host a successful themed party, there are a couple things to consider when planning the details. Minding these six elements will ensure your next get-together is one your guests will never forget:

1. Select your theme and look for unexpected ways to incorporate it into your party. Take inspiration from color, music, film, flowers, and elements of the theme that first attracted you to it. For example, if you were inspired by an old French poster, buy it and use it as a part of your décor.

2. Define your party style. If you are hosting a more formal dinner party, incorporate your theme into the place cards and party favors. If you are hosting a casual cocktail party, ensure your bar captures the spirit of your party by using themed cocktail napkins capture the theme, or serve a themed signature cocktail to get guests in the mood.

3. Plan your food menu around the theme. If you’re planning a harvest-themed party this autumn, it is not the place to serve a roast rack of spring lamb. Instead incorporate autumnal dishes that fit in with the harvest theme like squash gnocchi, roast guinea hen, and beet salads

4. Never neglect your cocktails! Just as you wouldn’t be caught dead serving a mulled wine at a summer cocktail party, if that vodka luge isn’t an option for your winter wonderland-themed party, don’t resort to a tropical Cruzan Confusion cocktail. Try a creamy Coconut Nog instead. It's a slightly more tropical version of a wintertime favorite.

5. Choose your lighting carefully. Candles and interior lamps are great for setting the mood, but when creating a theme, consider broadening your lighting options. Lanterns are great to use when hosting an Asian-themed party, and light strands work well when pulling off a fabulous Halloween party. Hosting a Middle Eastern Mezze party? Use oil lamps and metal lanterns like those you might find in an Arabian market.

6. Turn up the music. Whether it’s a selection of your favorite vinyls from the ‛70s and ‛80s or a playlist created on iTunes for your tapas party, the right music goes a long way when creating the right mood for your themed party. And it’s easy — all you need to do is press play.

Here are some of our favorite themed parties to host:

English Garden Party 

Risky-Business Party

Tiki Party

Global Potluck Party

Island-Themed Party

Themed Exchange Brunch

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