Masquerade Party Ideas
How To Come Up With Masquerade Party Ideas
Masquerade party ideas can be very simple. Send every one to the thrift store to get what ever outfits they choose, then over to the costume shop to get some masks, whether they cover the entire face or just the eyes. Masks are a must though. Dressing up in a costume doesn't carry with it nearly the sense of mystery that a mask does. The other extreme is having a full blown masquerade ball, like the ones you may have seen in the movies. In this case, for the ball to be a success, there's going to need to be plenty of preparation and of course the guests have to play their part as well. But if you get the right mix of people it can indeed be "a ball".
Of European Origin - We often say "the Greeks have a word for it". In this case, the French get the credit. Their word "masque" means mask, and masquerade is of course derived from masque. The masquerade party or ball is of European origin, particularly of the nobility, who could pay for lavish parties. Masks, or "masques" were often held in front of the face with a handle, like on a hand mirror. Somewhere along the way, someone got the idea of fastening the mask with a string, freeing up the hand in the process. Still the hand-held mask had its definite charms.
Even if you're just inviting "the gang" over, a touch of lavishness or Old World elegance won't hurt, and your masquerade party ideas should perhaps take this into account. You can make a large room look like a ballroom with a few decorations which don't necessarily have to be all that expensive. Better yet, if you can find an organization, such as a club, which regularly holds masquerade parties or balls, and has the decorations at hand, you might just consider letting them provide the facility, decorations, and maybe even the catering.
What To Wear - A masquerade party can have any number of themes, Mardi Gras is of course a standard, and any masquerade party ideas you come up with will need to reflect the chosen theme. The easiest approach might just be one without a specific theme where guests can come in a costume of their choice (give prizes for the funniest, most original, etc.). While a mask isn't a must-have, it wouldn't hurt to recommend guests wear one. Most probably will be happy to.
The Invitation - When you send out invitations, have them printed with a mask somewhere on the invitation, or send a mask-shaped invitation with the particulars written or printed on it. For a party like this, putting a little extra effort into the invitations can go along ways towards convincing the recipients that this will be a mustn't miss opportunity!
Take Plenty Of Pictures - A genuine masquerade ball is going to have a feeling of another century, 17th or 18th about it, and renting a few props and some period furniture can go a long ways towards fostering that feeling. Guests will get a kick out of living in another era for an evening. Just to make sure that the feeling lingers on, don't forget the digital camera, and encourage guests to bring along their own. At most parties, one or two people take most of the pictures, and usually not very many at that. At a masquerade ball, most everyone is going to want to get in the act. Consider putting together an album of pictures of guests in their costumes and e-mailing it to them following the party.
May I Have This (18th Century) Dance? - Music and dancing? If you think you have the right mix of people, hire a dance instructor for an evening who can teach everyone an 18th century dance, like those that were a part of the masquerade balls back then. After everyone has struggled, and eventually succeeded in going through the paces, you can switch over to the 20th and 21st century stuff.
There's no dearth of good masquerade party ideas. Think of good fun with a touch of elegance or history, and you'll find plenty to keep you occupied until the day of the party has arrived.