There are many occasions that are a great excuse to throw a fancy dress party. Christmas, Halloween, house warming, “Host a Murder” dinner parties, birthdays, engagements, anniversaries and even weddings. Whatever the occasion, fancy dress is fun.

It creates a whole new topic of conversation and I have found that people who may normally be introverts behave differently because they are now a different  person. Here are a few tips to help you on your way.

caveman-ladyThe Theme
Once you have chosen the occasion and date for your party, now is the time to choose the theme. It’s ok, if you pick “Fancy Dress” as the theme which means your guests pick whatever costume they want, but personally I prefer to choose a more defined theme.

Why? Well, you can plan the whole party around that theme; i.e. the design of your invitations, the food you will serve, decorations and maybe even the music. It also gives most of your guests a direction in choosing their costume.

Just remember to make sure the theme suits the season. For example choosing a Toga party in the middle of winter is not good for you all will be very cold.

The Guest List
Decide on your guest list, taking into account the size of area where the party will be held.

Choose Your Invitations
You may like to create a design for your invitation that displays the theme. For example, I sent my guests invitations that looked like coffins, when we had our “Vampires” themed Halloween party.

If you have a friend who is into scrap booking, enlist their skills to help you out or you can create great designs on the computer or, if that is beyond you, there are plenty of already designed theme invitation pads available in department stores and newsagents.

Here is an important tip for you, Tip – if you are going to all the trouble of organising a costume party and you want your guests to come dressed in theme, leave out the words “costume optional” on the invitations.

thumbs_shrek-n-fionaDecorations
If you plan to decorate your house/party area in theme, start searching for decorations at least four weeks before the date of your party. (I start looking for decorations at least three months before the party so I have plenty of time to find everything.

Some examples of the decorations you might think about are – the red carpet for a Hollywood party; a mirror ball for a disco party; coffins for the Halloween party. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or search the Internet for other ideas too.

Music
Try to include some music that may be appropriate for your theme.

The Menu
Plan your menu at least a week ahead. Try to find food appropriate for your theme. For example for Halloween I search the Internet for “Halloween food”. You don’t have to have all the food in theme, but it makes the table look more interesting if some of it is in theme.

Enlist the Help of Others
If you have a lot of people coming, enlist the help of friends or older children to help with passing the trays of food around. You can enquire at the local TAFE for hospitality students who may be interested in earning a little extra money to serve your guests too.

The Most Important Tip of All
You’ve put a lot of effort into organising your fancy dress party so be sure to:

Enjoy your party!!

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