1. Research Your Theme (And Stick To It)
This might sound like an obvious tip (of course you have to go by your theme), but there’s always the temptation to loosely adhere to a theme to save time and hassle. For example, if you have a James Bond theme, you can always tell everyone to dress nicely and serve some shaken and not stirred drinks (milkshakes?), maybe go with the usual savvy spy theme, but what would set that apart from any other spy movie? How would anyone know it’s specifically James Bond?
If you tell everyone to wear classy clothing, there’s not much to distinguish your party from a regular suit-and-tie event or a Great Gatsby party. Make sure you add little nods to your theme throughout the decorations, the food, the attire, and the music. Leave your guests with no doubt what sort of party they’re at.
2. Plan The Food Ahead Of Time
Sure, it’s easier to order catering from your favorite restaurant or have everyone bring their own dish, but that takes away the fun of theming your food. If you want your themed party to be truly immersive, everything will work together to add to the overall picture—including the food.
Themed food can be anything from regular snacks with witty puns and winks to your theme (like milkshakes for the shaken and not stirred beverages) to food that is actually mentioned in the movie, book, game, etc. you are basing your theme off of. Example: a Pride & Prejudice themed party might include elegant dishes they would have served at 1800s dinner parties, or you can serve tea or coffee on your finest china.
3. Assemble A Playlist
What’s a good party without an awesome soundtrack? Luckily, streaming services like Spotify make it easy to put together a custom playlist from any type of music you can possibly think of. Just like you don’t want to skimp on the food, don’t break your theme for the soundtrack either; after all, who’s going to feel like they’re in a classy spy movie or at an 1800s ball when techno-pop music is blaring over the speakers?
If you don’t have the type of music you need handy, don’t worry. That’s why you’re going to spend time ahead of the party sorting through Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite music site for songs to match your theme. Bonus: if your theme is based off a movie, you have a ready-made soundtrack to use!
4. DIY Your Decor
Unless you’re willing to scour Amazon for every themed decoration (and good luck if it’s a theme that doesn’t have a lot of merch) and pay all the money that will entail, it’s a good idea to just . . . DIY everything. Seriously, DIY is awesome and simpler than it looks—it’s not all crochet toys and handmade jewelry.
Try this: search “DIY [your theme] decorations” on Pinterest and see what you come up with. I’m betting you find more decorations than you’ll ever need and plenty of them will be easy enough for even the most catastrophic crafter to accomplish.
5. Theme The Invites
You don’t have to wait till the day of the party to get everyone in the spirit of your theme. Send out custom invites via whatever method best suits your theme: a Hogwart’s acceptance letter for Harry Potter parties, cursive-penned stationary sealed with wax for time period parties, a treasure map marking your house for a pirate theme . . . you get the idea.
Once again, Pinterest proves to be a gold mine of ideas if you’re stumped on what sort of invitation will match your theme.