How to throw an unforgetable costume party
Costume parties were frequent on Renaissance era but they become especially popular in the England of 18th century. These parties at that time represented the high life of entertainment. In present times are also extremely popular and always a great idea for a party that will be long-time remembered and commented by your guests.
Even though the theme could change a lot, they all shared one thing: Costumes. Throwing a costume party offer a fun opportunity for guests to dress up in elaborate costumes and 'hide' their identities. Anyway, it's fun but not as easy as a regular party. Organizing will take time, creativity efforts and a greater deal of planning. Here some ideas to help you surprise everybody!
Determine the size of the party. If you are planning a huge affair, you need to begin planning at least six to nine months in advance. If you are hosting a small masquerade ball, give yourself at least four months to get everything organized. Put together a guest list immediately.
Organize your budget, breaking down the elements for your party. It should include big costs such as venue, food, entertainment and decorations. Be realistic as your organize your finances. If you are throwing the party with friends, include them in the budgeting process and the planning.
Examine your budget sheet. Do price comparisons by calling venues, caterers, musicians and local stores. Adjust your budget according to the price evaluations. If you want to save costs, enlist your friends and family to help out with decorating, cooking or other tasks. Consider a pot luck. If you have five friends and they all bring two platters of appetizers, you don't need a caterer. The party can be at a friend's house or backyard, sparing you the expense of renting a venue.
Pick a theme. Common themes include Mardi Gras, gothic, Halloween, Carnival, Vampires and the Renaissance. Once you select the theme, incorporate it into other elements of the party. For example, if you are doing a Mardi Gras theme, serve Cajun food. Offer appetizers and champagne for a Renaissance party.
Book a venue and caterer immediately. You'll need to lock in these elements six months in advance of a big party, four months in advance for a smaller function. Provide the caterer with the number of guests you are expecting so he can give you a cost estimate and finalize menu ideas.
Send out invitations two months in advance. You can purchase them, make them yourself or send them by email. Tell your guests what kinds of costumes to wear. Do not send the invites at the last minute. Guests need time to put together costumes and find masks.
Research local bands and DJs in your area. If you are looking to save money, contact your local high school and speak to the band teacher. Ask if she knows any talented student musicians willing to work at a lower cost. Make sure you hear the students play before hiring them.
Write up a contract for the band or DJ. The contract will protect both of you in case there's a time conflict or money issue.
Note: Planning these types of parties can be stressful. If you have a large, dependable group of friends designate groups to take care of elements such as decorating, food and music. Just make sure that everyone understand the vision and the budget.
Article by Tina Cisneros, Courtesy of eHow