Bring Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan and Nick Carraway to life with a lavish, exquisitely decorated Great Gatsby inspired party – sure to wow all your friends. If you enjoy party planning then this will be a walk in the park, but even if you don’t, it doesn’t take too long to create the 1920s feel in your home, as well as in your fancy clothing and of course, the menu.
Check out this guide to creating a Great Gatsby dinner party that even F. Scott Fitzgerald would be proud of…
What to Wear
Dive into the 1920s by starting with your clothing – and the clothing suggestions on your invites helps to get everyone ready for the big party.
For the women, this can be the classic flapper dress or something sequined and glamorous that fits the bill. Vintage Dancer is a great online guide to getting the look right as well as offering guidance on where to buy.
The perfect 1920s hairstyles come in all shapes and sizes, but do favour the short bob if you have this. A glitzy headband or slide can really pull off the look – search online for some beautiful creations from this period.
For men, this era was so stylish and affordable, offering the wearer more comfortable and stylish options than the previous era. For the Gatsby look, a timeless black suit with bow tie will do nicely but you can always mix it up with a white suit jacket or even some stripes!
Art deco all the way – don’t be shy with going overboard, as the 1920s was not a shy and retiring decade when it came to parties! Golds, silvers, blacks and whites are the colours of choice. You can even buy plastic gold cutlery to give the look a boost, without costing the earth.
Hit the charity shops for some vintage wine and champagne glasses, as well as serving trays and shot glasses. Don’t be afraid to mix and match either, as the relaxed nature of this time means that rules don’t matter as much.
To really get into the theme, find a poker table to really up the ante. Save yourself from a gambling war by only playing for matchsticks as all the champagne and fancy outfits could trick some of your guests into the delusion that they are as wealthy as the Great Gatsby himself!
Head to Pinterest for some great inspiration including invitation ideas and decoration tips – Perfect to help achieve the overall look for the perfect 1920’s dinner party.
Serve up Mint Juleps, Blackberry Gin Fizz and Champagne, of course! And go all out with this fancy recipe for dessert wine gelees with citrus fruit from Martha Stewart.
Little nibbles before the main meal were all the rage, especially devilled eggs and grilled oysters – anything that showed extravagance and intricacy.
Did you know that the Caesar salad was an invention of the 1920s? Surprisingly, salads were a popular main in this era also including a Waldorf salad made with apples, grapes, celery and nuts. Other favourites include turkey, as well as sausages wrapped in bacon (also known as pigs in blankets).
When it comes to time for dessert, this is your chance to really show off your culinary skills. Depending on the dinner party numbers you have, you could offer a selection of desserts.
Here’s a few tasty and fancy looking treats to consider:
- Give your cupcakes the Midas touch with this gold cupcake recipe from Betty Crocker.
- Try one of these 50 options for a delicious and rich cheesecake.
- Lemon cakes – as mentioned in the book, try this lemon drizzle cake recipe from BBC Good Food.
Timetable of Events
Be clear with your start time, so that your guests know when to arrive and that you’ll be ready for their arrival.
Next, proportion the evening to suit what you want to show off. If your appetizers are the pièce de résistance then spend more time nibbling on those and enjoying a Mint Julep, rather than placing focus on the main course. You can also refill the appetizer table with more if guests are running late or your dinner prep is behind schedule.
For a timeline of events to try to stick to (this doesn’t need to be given to your guests), this suggestion is a good guideline:
6pm: Guests arrive, drinks are served and appetizers offered.
7pm: Sit down at the dinner table to eat, chat and drink a little more.
8:15pm: Serve the desserts.
9pm: Open up the dining room into the living room (consider room dividers like these for splitting/merging rooms) – allowing more room for mingling and drinks. Followed by some 1920s-inspired music to get people moving in their era attire. Also remember to clear the dinner table, so this area can be used for mingling too…Then it’s drinks and dancing until dawn!
What do you think of A Great Gatsby Dinner Party idea? Have you ever had one?
*This is a collaborative post.