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How to Plan a Gatsby Theme Party

A Gatsby theme party is a fabulous, decadent theme for any special celebration. It has always been possible - although previously known as a ‘Roaring 20’s’ party, but since the release of Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 film, it has become even more so. In this blog, we explore exactly how to organise your own Gatsby theme party from the cake up!

This theme really is the chance to go to town – with the cake, décor, the food and drink, the entertainment, the outfits. With attention to detail and fun-loving guests, this will be a party to remember!

Great Gatsby theme party cake
A Gatsby theme party needs a Gatsby theme cake!

The cake

A lavish spectacle needs a centrepiece that Jay Gatsby himself would be proud of. And a 4 tier Gatsby themed cake will have all the guests talking. With art deco detailing and sumptuous taste, this impressive from Roseberry Cake Creations tastes as good as it looks.

Art Deco styled cakes are a signature of our business. Art Deco, also called style moderne, was a movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in the 1920s and 1930s in Europe and the USA. The distinguishing features of the style are simple, clean shapes, often with a “streamlined” look and decoration that is ‘geometric or stylized in form’. Why not serve your cake against a black and gold art deco backdrop to catch everyone’s attention and create a great ‘photo op’ or selfie wall!

The décor

The party fun should start as soon as the guests arrive. Perhaps Jay Gatsby’s driver could have parked his stylish convertible at the entrance? Or if you’re thinking something slightly more mysterious, a speakeasy entry definitely fits the bill - something covert, hidden and subtly sign-posted.

This will help to lead your guests into a glamourous and elaborate 1920s world from the moment they arrive...

gatsby theme party location
Gatsby theme location goals!

When decorating the venue, start at the ceiling: gold chandeliers if you can, but gold metallic balloons do a great job too. You can also add black and silver metallic balloons and create wonderful balloon spirals. Elsewhere, add strings of pearls and crystals (glass) hung from ceilings or if you’re outside use trees or other areas to set the scene.

Gold chairs (hired or upcycled) adorned with faux pearls and feathers. Floral arrangements (white, peach, or pink) with more feathers! Have any space for some gold candelabras? With a Gatsby themed party, you are not short of options.

The food and drink

Cocktails, champagne towers (in those old-fashioned, flat Champagne glasses!) and decadent canapés are musts at a Gatsby themed party. Keep these flowing and the guests can be free to circulate and enjoy themselves.

1920’s party food was a little less international in flavour than modern Australian party food; think devilled eggs, grilled oysters, creamy-artichoke and smoked salmon sandwiches and classic Caesar salad cups. A spiced glazed ham creates a wonderful, eye-catching and true-to-era centrepiece for the savoury table, while your fabulous Art Deco cake commands the sweets table with some decorated mini sweet bites for company.

The entertainment

There was lots of dancing at Gatsby’s parties, and yours should be no different! Doing it yourself? Create a playlist full of jazz and classical pieces to set the scene, plus additions from the Great Gatsby movie soundtrack and dance remixes of 1920s tunes to get everyone feeling the Roaring 20’s vibe. If the budget allows, consider hiring a jazz band to get even those reluctant dancers up onto the dance floor.

Keep the surprises coming: hire some entertainers like fire breathers, acrobats, aerial gymnasts, and contortionists to add to the fabulousness of it all. Expense was never spared at Gatsby’s parties, and creating an impression of opulence is key. And if you have a pool (or can build one for the party), a podium above or beside the pool will give a professional feather dancer an incredible platform for spectacular performances!

The outfits

This is a chance for your friends and family to feel truly glamorous. The 1920’s outfits were pure style, and your guests will love this chance to re-enact this. There’ll be no shortage of feathers, beads, fringes, tassels and sequined flapper costumes for women, while men can channel their inner Gatsby with three-piece pinstripe suits and stylish hats.

Suggest guests hire or borrow their costumes as a more sustainable option than buying brand new - there are many vintage dress ‘borrowing libraries’ in Sydney including Bell Street Vintage in Marrickville, where the team can suggest, fit, tailor and launder a genuine dress from any era you need for you.

A Gatsby themed party is a fantastic way to mark that special occasion. And don’t forget, no celebration is complete without a delicious and breathtaking cake at its centre.

Photo of interiors by Svetlana Gumerova on Unsplash

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