A masquerade is a festive gathering where attendees don masks and costumes to disguise their identity. You need special decorations to set the mood for his type of party, which can take many forms. A fitting time of year for a masquerade party is Mardi Gras between Feb. 3 and March 9. Venetian masks make a fine backdrop for a masquerade party, and an elegant setting for this type of event is a castle ballroom.
Mardi Gras Style
Your decorations should coordinate with the iconic Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold. Balloons, crepe paper, tablecloths and dinnerware in these signature colors create the right environment for a masquerade party. A sign that reads "French Quarter" will bring a hint of the home of Mardi Gras along with a map of the city of New Orleans set on an easel nearby. Drape bead necklaces in purple, green and gold metallic and hang a purchased metallic shred curtain on a wall near the food table. Use your own or borrow band instruments such as saxophones, trumpets, banjos or accordions to place in the party area to bring in Mardi Gras' jazz theme. Feather masks on the walls will add a final touch to your masquerade party.
The first use of Venetian masks was documented in conjunction with a battle victory celebration in 1268. Ostrich feathers, gold and black make a good basis for your Venetian masquerade party. Make a large, gold mask from foam core and hang it near your front door for guests to pose near for a photograph of their costumes. Gold tablecloths with black tableware and napkins create an elegant backdrop for your party. Live plants with twinkle lights draped in them and near the ceiling cast a romantic glow when the lights are down. A runner of red carpet leading to the party area welcomes your guests and sets the stage for an enchanting evening.
For a masquerade ball, create the feel of a castle ballroom. A lot of glitz and glamour will do the trick. Use mirrors and twinkling lights to make your party sparkle. Silk or damask tablecloths with candles placed on mirrored mats for centerpieces and rich, red roses add a rich texture to the party area. Paint faux pillars and a thrift store or faux chandelier in gold or silver to add glamour. Drape gossamer or tulle from the walls and ceiling and live or silk plants to add lushness to the room. Wind silk rose garlands around pillars, chair backs and on the tables, and run strands of faux pearl beading everywhere -- even hanging out of bowls and vases. Add simple metallic mask on sticks to flower vases and sprinkle gold- and silver-wrapped candies to polish off the look.
For a children's masquerade party, use brightly colored masks attached to the walls and on the party table. Crepe paper, balloons and colorful party ware and lots of candy scattered on the table complete a child's party. For a special touch, take photos of the kids in front of a diamond-patterned cloth and print them out on your photo printer and hang for the kids to enjoy.
- Shindigz Party: Mardi Gras and Masquerade Ideas, Wendy Moyle
- "Holiday Parties for Children"; Anita M. Smith; 2000
- Tour of Italy: History of Venetian Masks
- "Recipes for Parties: Menus, Flowers, Decor"; Michael Leva; 2010
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