A Guide to Hosting the Perfect 1920s Themed Party

Step back in time and throw a roaring twenties party your guests will never forget.

Lauren Thomann is a business owner, antique dealer, and freelance writer/editor with 16 years of experience and a B.A. in English and Linguistics. She specializes in antiques—mainly Victorian through Mid Century—antique jewelry, old house renovations, and lifestyle and home-related content. Click the link to learn more.
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1920s era flapper in a party ensemble

A few years ago, I decided to throw a 1920s themed party for my 30th birthday. As an avid antique collector, I had always been fascinated by the glamour and excitement of the Roaring Twenties, and I wanted to create an unforgettable night for my friends and family.

As I started planning the party, I quickly realized that there was a lot more to it than just playing some jazz music and serving martinis. I had to carefully consider the atmosphere, the menu, the entertainment, and even the party favors. But with a little creativity and attention to detail, I was able to throw a party that was a roaring success (pun intended).

In this article, I’m going to share some of the tips and tricks I learned along the way. If you’re thinking of throwing a 1920s themed party of your own, read on to learn how to create the perfect atmosphere, menu, entertainment, and more.

Setting the Scene

The first step in throwing a successful 1920s themed party is setting the scene. This means choosing a venue that fits the theme, as well as decorating it in a way that captures the spirit of the era.

Venue Options

Art Deco building as a party venue

When it comes to choosing a venue, there are a few different options. If you’re lucky enough to live in a city with an Art Deco building, that can be a perfect choice. (In Buffalo, NY, that building is the Statler.) The geometric patterns and bold colors of Art Deco architecture are evocative of the 1920s and will set the tone for the party.

Another option is to rent out a speakeasy-style bar. These were secret clubs that were popular during Prohibition, and they offer a unique and authentically 1920s atmosphere. Just make sure to do your research and choose a reputable establishment.

Decorations

Art Deco Welcome Sign for a 1920s party
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Once you’ve chosen a venue, it’s time to start thinking about decorations. This is where you can really let your creativity shine. You can deck out the space with all sorts of 1920s-era touches, such as feather boas and cigarette holders. For added authenticity, you can even ask guests to come dressed in flapper-style dresses or suits with spats.

If you’re unable to rent out a venue for your 1920s themed party, fear not! You can still create a perfect atmosphere in your own home. To start, choose a color palette that fits the theme. Think draped velvet fabric with rich jewel tones like emerald green, ruby red, and sapphire blue. These colors will give your party a glamorous and sophisticated feel.

Next, incorporate 1920s-era decor into your space. This could mean hanging up art deco posters or using geometric patterns in your table settings and other decorations. You can also use period-appropriate props, such as vintage newspapers or gramophones, to add to the atmosphere.

Finally, don’t forget about lighting. The 1920s was a time of decadence and excess, and you can create a similar atmosphere with the right lighting. Use soft, warm-toned bulbs to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, and consider incorporating candles or other ambient lighting for added ambiance.

The Menu

Lobster Thermidor on a plate
Lobster Thermidor

The next important element of a successful 1920s themed party is the menu. After all, no party is complete without delicious food and drinks.

When it comes to the food, the key is to choose dishes that were popular during the 1920s. This was a time when French cuisine was all the rage, so dishes like lobster thermidor and beef bourguignon are perfect choices. You can also incorporate classic cocktails like the gin fizz and the sidecar.

These are our favorite menu ideas for a 1920s themed party:

  • Lobster Thermidor. A classic French dish that was popular in the 1920s, made with lobster meat, white wine, and a creamy sauce.
  • Beef Bourguignon. Another classic French dish from the 1920s, made with beef, onions, carrots, and red wine.
  • Chicken a la King. A creamy chicken and mushroom dish that was popular in the 1920s.
  • Waldorf Salad. A salad made with apples, celery, and walnuts, dressed with a mayonnaise-based dressing.
  • Deviled Eggs. A simple but delicious appetizer made by filling boiled egg whites with a mixture of yolks, mayonnaise, and mustard.
  • Gin Fizz. A classic cocktail made with gin, lemon juice, sugar, and club soda.
  • Sidecar. Another classic cocktail made with cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice.
  • Champagne. No 1920s themed party would be complete without champagne, the drink of choice for many during this era.
  • Chocolate Cream Cake. A rich and chocolatey cake that was popular in the 1920s.
  • Chocolate Mousse. A light and airy dessert made with chocolate, eggs, and whipped cream.

When it comes to presenting the food and drinks, it’s all about creating a sense of sophistication and glamour. This means using elegant serving dishes and glassware, as well as paying attention to the presentation of each dish. For example, you can serve the cocktails in champagne flutes and garnish them with fresh fruit or herbs.

Entertainment

1920s themed photo booth template
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Once you’ve got the atmosphere and the menu taken care of, it’s time to think about entertainment. After all, a party isn’t a party without something fun to do.

When it comes to a 1920s themed party, there are plenty of options for entertainment. The most obvious (albeit expensive) choice is to hire a jazz band to play music throughout the night. This will create a lively and energetic atmosphere that will get guests up and dancing.

In addition to music, there are other forms of entertainment that can add to the party. For example, you can:

  • Hire a tarot card reader to give guests readings.
  • Set up a silent movie screening with popcorn and vintage candy.
  • Have a photo booth with 1920s-era props.
  • Set up a station where guests can try their hand at writing with a vintage fountain pen.

The key is to choose activities that fit the theme of the party, and that will keep guests engaged and entertained throughout the night.

Party Favors

1920s themed party favors
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Finally, no party is complete without party favors. These are small gifts that you give to guests to thank them for coming and to give them something to remember the party by.

When it comes to a 1920s themed party, there are plenty of options for party favors. You could give out personalized flasks or feathered headbands. You could also create small gift bags filled with vintage-inspired treats, such as candy cigarettes and chocolate “diamonds.”

Regardless of what you choose, it’s important to thank guests for coming. This can be as simple as handing out the party favors at the end of the night, or you could create a more formal send-off with a champagne toast.

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