Event Planning Tips

How To Host a Great Gatsby Party: The Revival of Vintage-Themed Parties

By January 28, 2015 One Comment

There’s no doubt that media influences event themes, from Despicable Me Minion cupcakes at birthday parties to Frozen, Midnight in Paris, and James Bond themed events. Themes are the perfect way to jazz up any event. They also provide flair, planning direction, and icebreakers for your guests. Themes can simplify planning, invoke excitement for those who enjoy dressing up, and bring something special to each unique function. These parties are an exciting, invigorating way to approach an otherwise boring, predictable event.

A few years ago, fashion and media revolved around a fascination with the 1940s; reminiscent of Golden Age thinking and a belief that the past was simpler, kinder, and purer. Alternatively, because the tycoons of the past knew how to party, and could take a drink any hour of the day (ie. Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire). Similarly to the 40s and the day-drinking attitude of roughish leading characters; the 20s boasted a time of excessive drinking in the face of prohibition.

How To Host a Great Gatsby Party: The Revival of Vintage-Themed Parties“The Roaring Twenties” have risen to popularity in media with Midnight In Paris, and naturally, Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby; there is something intrinsically popular with the 1920s and its simplicity, a godsend for event planners. What is seductive about the 20s from an event perspective, is the wild, carefree style it seems to inspire. For the 20s, an age nestled between wars, and on the brink of depression, the flappers, philosophers, vixens, and gangsters had no choice but to party until the sun rose. Thus, the 20s are a perfect recipe for Carpe Diem or more newly named YOLO. You Only Live Once so why not party like the world will end tomorrow?

The 1920s are a perfect theme for any occasion; a New Years Eve bash, office, anniversary, or birthday party. This theme doesn’t seem like it’s going to go out of fashion any time soon, and can be effortless to pull of, merely because there is little to no historical accuracy linked to flappers and vintage parties anymore. Few remember details other than bold makeup, short hair, and flapper dresses which are popular in fashion today.

Hosting a Great Gatsby party can be as simple as providing booze, cheap pearls, and an invite that demands Great Gatsby Party costumes. Throw in some jazz and the event is transformed into a decadent and charming affair. Historical accuracy has been recklessly abandoned by many who pursue such a theme, just as the inhibitions of the era that has inspired this particular theme (oh the irony!). While fashion and makeup trends continue to adore the 20s, there’s no doubt that this theme will continue to be popular; proving that the media and fashion industries are not sick of it yet.

Gatsby is here to stay, and these wild parties have a vaudeville, never-care, “YOLO” attitude which will inspire only the truest sense of the phrase Carpe Diem. So if you haven’t already, plan the Greatest Gatsby party ever, and you’ll find that A Little Party Never Killed Nobody.

Inspiring Tips for planning the perfect Great Gatsby Party:

  • Setting the tone: Provide Pearls (or Mardi Gras beads) and fun scarves for dancing around in.
  • Music ideas: Electro-swing for a fun futuristic fusion, Ruth Etting, or similar era-accurate artists, Jazz or Big Band Swing Music. Also consider The Midnight in Paris, and The Great Gatsby Movie soundtracks.
  • Food: for a decade focused either on surviving between wars, on the cusp of debt and depression; or living like the world was going to end with luxury and over spending; anything is possible from small appetizer bites to full plated dinners, dependent on the level of historical accuracy you wish your party to have.
  • Venue: anywhere from a jazz bar, to an exposed brick apartment, or the basement of a home; 1920s “Prohibition Parties” can be squished into any event, depending on your guest list and number of attendants.
  • For a real flair: print out pages of The Great Gatsby book (free online) on card stock and use as name cards, napkins, or decoration.


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Author Austin Walker

Austin is a man of many words, as expressed in the many blog posts he has thus published at Endless. What may not be evident about Austin, as seen from the readers' perspective, is that he is more-than-likely dancing, rather "busting a move," while working. And that, he takes all the pleasure in.

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  • eventhero2015

    You provide some great tips and insight about the importance
    of theming an event and are spot on with the popularity of a 1920’s theme,
    Austin. We actually have a theme package that covers all of the details for
    planning and decorating a 1920’s event with an extensive list of resources…
    check it out here!
    http://www.eventheroes.com/#!1920s-diy-theme-package/c24dm

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