“It is with ghoulish pleasure that I announce my engagement to Lizzie Bordeaux, the mistress of the Motel California. I will be throwing a weekend bash for Halloween at my castle, which will culminate in an engagement party the likes of which has never been seen in Transylvania. No doubt most of you already know each other, as we travel in the same circles and haunt the same crypts. I promise food, fun and terror for all. I’ve even put in a special order for a dark and stormy night. So, cancel whatever other plans you might have because I will not take “no” for an answer. I guarantee it will be a night to die for!”
My sister had this party for one of her birthdays and it rocked! How to Host a Murder is a game made specifically for parties and includes it’s own invitations and rules that will make any party well remembered. The game that we used was “An Affair to Dismember” but there are heaps to chose from. Everyone dressed up as a character, either a witch, a mummy, a mad scientist, Frankenstein’s monster etc and they had to play a part. Someone is murdered and you have to play the game to figure out who did it!
This party is so much fun but I recommend older audiences as it will take a couple of hours to play. I was the hostess so whilst they played I offered around drinks and food. The food mainly consisted of finger food such as mini pies, nachos and fruit. There was no alcohol as not everyone was old enough but I made spiders and mixed soft drinks for everyone and overall it was a huge hit!
Think James Bond. Think Ocean’s 11. Think poker and black jack and roulette. All for fun with the most you’re gambling being chocolate coins (you can eat your hoard at the end of the party!). This party is sophisticated, classy and oh so much fun.
Be fancy. Hiring a clubroom usually has the advantage of having a bar included so supplying drinks like martinis and other cocktails would be relatively easy. If you hired a hall, don’t fret, set up your own bar with one of the caterers serving drinks. Be creative, colourful and exotic! (Remember to set a bar limit though!)
Juices and soft drinks are a most for those not drinking alcohol. Still dress them up fancily in glasses and straws and what not to give the impression that they’re expensive (despite being quite affordable.)
Finger foods and canapes are preferable to allow guests to continue dancing and playing games without getting sticky fingers or making a mess. A rough estimate of how much food you should have is about 6 bites per hour per person. So if you have thirty guests and the party goes for 4 hours, that would equal 720 canapes etc.
Hire out a hall or a club room with caterers dressed in black and serving delicate foods and drinks throughout the night. Rent out a roulette and black jack table with their own croupiers (people who run the game, throw the dice etc). Depending on which music you prefer, hire a DJ or Jazz band (or both) and a professional photographer to take pictures of all your friends. Make sure you leave a place for dancing and have a few dance contests to get things moving.
- Dress Code
On the invitations, make sure it’s clear that it’s a black tie affair. Guys wear snazzy suits, ladies cocktail dresses. Your guest will want to look their best especially when the professional photographer comes round to take their photo.
As your guests arrive at the door, dressed to the nines and excited, give them a large bag full of chocolate money and set them loose. This party will not be one easily forgotten and when the night is over, send all your friends a thank you letter including a professional photo of you and them.
Now this is what I want for my 21st Birthday. Perhaps not a car but maybe a life size aeroplane made of Belgium chocolate! Imagine how much chocolate that would be!
This chocolate car is made out of 2002 kgs (4,405lbs) of Belgian chocolate and cost over $12,000 to have made!
Click here to see where I heard about this amazing chocolate car.
It took over a year to be completed for a Ferrari owners club party in Naples where it will be smashed up and given away to guests. All I can say as WOW! Imagine that being a centre piece at your 21st Birthday party?
Ti desseug uoy! (You guessed it!) Everything is done backwards and I mean everything! Invitations must be written backwards, you must say goodbye when you arrive and hello when you go and you have to walk backwards everywhere but make sure you still look where you’re going! This is one party that will insure lots of fun and plenty of confusion (especially when people begin to drink!)
Your choice whether you supply alcohol or declare it a BYO. You can do a mixture of both and if you have a bar, make sure you have a fixed tab which means once you hit a select amount, alcohol won’t be served anymore. (Means you won’t be to broke the next morning.)
Insure there is plenty of soft drink and juices for those who are designated drivers and non-drinkers. This is a good back up for when the tab runs dry and are pretty cheap in comparison to alcohol. Have huge tubs of ice or use the bath tub to store drinks and keep them cold.
Have everything served backwards. Have the cake first, then the main meal (a BBQ is usually the easiest and cheapest) and then bring out the chips and cheeses. This party works really well if it’s a sit down gathering having desert first, then the mains and then the entrée.
Either at home or at a hired venue. Both work. You can hire a DJ for music or set your brother up on the computer- depends on your budget. Have a projector showing pictures of you from your 21st all the way back until you were a baby and have it on a loop for the whole night (this is when all the embarrassing pictures come to light!)
- Dress Code
You have two choices. First option is to dress backwards with everything on back to front. Hats, jewelery, ties, belts, everything has to be on the wrong way (except for your shoes cos that could get painful.) The second option is to dress as the opposite sex. If you’re a gal, dress as a guy etc. This mainly works best with guys dressing as girls in dresses and skirts (and many guys would embrace their inner drag queen quite enthusiastically) but girls can wear suits too. Give out prizes for the most imaginative/sexy/strangest dressed. Play charades backwards in teams and become even more confused!
And don’t forget! As the night draws to a close, say hello as your guests leave!
One of my friend’s threw a Rubik’s Cube New Year’s Eve party but it could suit a 21st just as well. What is a Rubik’s Cube party? It’s a party where you have to dress up in different colours of the Rubik’s cube (red, white, yellow, green, blue, orange) and by midnight you have to have swapped with other people until you’re dressed all in one colour. I decided my colour was going to be red.
Me dressed as red.
It was quite amusing seeing guys squeezing into girls’ shirts/skirts and everyone was swapping shoes to get the right colour. It sorta goes without saying that you don’t wear your favourite shirt unless you don’t mind loosing it.
The host had two big basins full of ice with cheap beer and other alcoholic beverages and people brought their own. I don’t think there was an alcohol shortage.
She also had another basin full of soft drinks and big bottles of juice for those driving.
They had a BBQ with lots of sausages, big bread rolls and a few big salads. Beside that there were lots of crackers, chips, cheeses and other nibbles.
She held it in her backyard with a big marquee over the food, a smoke machine, a professional DJ (a friend who did it for free) and a projector that screened the big fireworks in Sydney. Instead of fireworks, what is perfect for any 21st is home movies of the birthday guy or gal’s childhood and photos that just play on a loop for the whole night.
- Dress code
Colours from the Rubik’s cube that you can swap with others to become one colour. If you do want your clothes back, write your name on the tag because it’s more than likely your clothes will be passed from random person to random person until it’s all quite confusing. Give out prizes for best dressed/ wackiest dressed/sexiest dressed etc, awarding cheap $2 prizes.
This party was lots of fun, cheap and easy it’s one of the best New Year’s Eve parties I’ve been too and would be awesome as a 21st Birthday Party.
This was the era of the 1930’s and 40’s just before the second world war and sexiness became personified through the way people dressed and the music. Decorate your party with art deco lights, sculptures, posters with bright dramatic colours but keep it minimal. Find old war posters (not to dark but inspiring) to bring the time to life. Hire a singer (or get a friend who can sing) to croon sultry ballads with the backing of trumpets and saxophones (or have a DJ play music from this era). Have someone dressed in a tux to greet people at the door. Send out invitations at least a month in advance with the date 1939 and make it clear that they’re to dress up. More on how later.
If hiring a hall or a club, or setting up your own bar at home, have the bar tenders/ caterers wear black tuxes. Drink from fancy dainty glasses and have everything really classy. If you chose BYO, then have all the alcohol placed by the bar and served in glasses. (You don’t want beer bottles ruining the mood.) Types of popular alcoholic drinks served in the 1930’s were tomato juice cocktails, Dubonnet and sherry, ice cubes, charged water, ginger ale, burbon, rye, and Scotch whiskey
Juices and soft drinks are cheaper than alcohol so use it to mix drinks or have on their own.
The food you want to be serving should be dainty, light, frothy, sweet, creamy, and decorated. Ice cream or punch, small cakes or sandwiches, coffee, butter balls, mapel meringue cookies. Planner of hot appetizers: sardine snacks, rolled toast with mushrooms, rolled toast with asparagus, cheese puffs, deviled olives, chicken livers in bacon blankets, crabmeat or lobster, small canapes, sausage snacks or cocktail sausate in snack holder. Platter of cold appetizers: rainbow rye bread appetizer, canapes of smoked salmon, stuffed celery stalk with crabmeat, caviar sandwiches piped with cream cheese, rolled sandwiches, filled with mock pate de foie gras or any spread, dried beef snacks. More meal plans for the 1930’s can be found here.
You can have this type of party anywhere depending on your budget. You can have it at home, in the garden or hire a hall or club room. You’ll just need plenty of space to move around, dance and have a small stage to house the singer or the DJ.
- Dress code
Men in matching suit sets, vests and ties with long trench coats or black tuxedos with top hats and canes.
Ladies in long evening gowns of silk like materials and hair pulled up. See the pictures included.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be living in the 50’s? The era of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean? Are you a fan of the musical Grease? A 50’s theme party is lots of fun with everyone getting dressed up and making it feel like you’ve stepped back through time. It’s also pretty easy and cheaps as party’s go.
Have different flavours of punches in massive punch bowls and insure that one remains alcohol free for those not drinking or if there are kids about. (If there are kids, make sure someone mature supervises the table.) Depending on your budget, it’s up to you whether you provide all the alcohol. or whether it’s a BYO affair.
Juice and soft drink are pretty cheap in comparison to alcohol and are great backups. To add a more 50’s feel, make different smoothies and spiders at the “Milk Bar” with plenty of crazy straws. Have your own milkshake making contest with cheap prizes to give away.
Potato chips, nuts, pretzels etc are great and other small finger food like cheese and crackers. Don’t be to fancy because more often than not it won’t get eaten. If catering, have finger foods that do the rounds which also means less clean up with no cutlery and paper plates.
If you have a big backyard then have it outside (depending on the weather of course!). Put up a big marquee and set up the food and milk bar in there. Having it in the backyard also means it’s easier to clean up after everyone has left and it’s lots cheaper then hiring a hall! If you do rent a hall or a room the benefits are you don’t even have to think about cleaning up! Whether you’re at home or renting a place to party, hire a big juke box that plays 50’s music to dance the night away! Have a song name guessing competition and give out more prizes for the winners! Dig up some old posters of 50’s movies and movie stars and have them blown up to decorate the walls with! Make sure RSVP is at least two weeks in advance which means invitations must go out at least a month in advance. That way you have numbers and can work out how much alcohol, other drinks and food you must get as well as what venue you’ll hire if you chose to do so.
- Dress code
Wear poodle skirts, bobby-sox and sandal shoes or leather and have your hair slicked back. Check out old movies for inspiration! Have a jitterbug and other dancing competitions and then give awards away for the best dressed, worst dressed, most sexy, most gel in hair etc!
Well that’s the basics. Be creative and add your own flair to the party. In the end it’s all about having fun!