A friend of mine is hosting a Pride and Prejudice Party this weekend in honor of this year being the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice. I, along with another friend, are helping out with the decorations, dances, food, and other details. So I thought I would give you a few glimpses into the party planning. The photo above is a collage of photos that all fit our specific Pride and Prejudice theme.
THEME: Books, blues, dancing, formal attire, candles & candelabras, delicious food, fans, and of course the book itself.
|This is a silhouette my friend |
made of me for the party.
This, the year of 2013, is the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice. In light of this great anniversary, I've deemed it most appropriate to host a ball to celebrate! In the honor of Jane Ausen, this will be an evening of dancing, games, and sociability.
Light refreshments will be served throughout the course of the evening. But it'd be splendid, dear, if you'd please bring a light dessert or refreshment which would be indicative of the time (Like a cheese platter, fruit, creampuffs etc...)
We will be dancing several dances of the period. So be sure to get in a little dance practice before this grand affair!
Please dress up as your favorite Jane Austen character. If you don't have one, just dress in a Regency Era costume. And if all else fails, simply wear something formal that is easy to move in.
Of course the guys must wear cravats!
Using a word, Microsoft publisher, or even simple editing programs such as picmonkey.com, and card stock/construction paper, create a chic, era inspired party invitation that guest’s will enjoy (and even be able to save for their scrapbooks). Look for a subtle paper colors: creams, off whites, pale blues and pinks, etc.
Be sure to use graceful, curvy fonts such asWith a mix of some bold, exciting fonts such as:
And a consistent amount of simple, traditional fonts such as:
But remember to stick to 2 fonts, 3 at max so as to keep to a uniformed, stylish design.Get creative! That’s the best part about hosting a party, and specifically an Austen-themed party is CREATIVITY!In your invitation you can also include:
- A favorite Austen quote (there are countless references to balls, dances, and parties in such books as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. Word searchable texts of Jane Austen's novels are available online)
- Chic black creatives: flowers, swirls, Victorian shapes, etc
- Book flowers or other creative pieces made from book pages. You can actually use a book page to create an invitation
- a requirement that your guests must either 1) dress-up as their favorite Jane Austen character, or 2) in a regency themed getup
- lovely hand-made envelopes (such as this lace envelope)
- For a fun twist, include in your invitation masks (or send them a link to create/print their own masks) to add a little intrigue to the party
- place cards
- tags, or
- labels for different dishes
For a playful edge, consider using an Austen character’s name for each card, thus allowing your guests the opportunity to sit in their favorite hero/heroine’s chair. It would be a pleasant touch to include a quote about the character beneath their name.
Here is a fun way to display your place cards: DIY paperclip namecard holders.
You must put some thought and time into the decorations! But never fear, I've got some great easy Austen/book themed DIYs and decoration ideas that ALL your guests will love!>> Specific book themed items (you can use old books from your local book store or thrift store for most of these projects):
For a more playful, modern Austen themed party, here are a few funky decorations:
>> Other decoration ideas:
- Consider making your own dishes!
- Make sure to have lots of Candles and Candelabras
- Handcraft or buy old paper, roll it, and tie it with twine
- Use paper Doilies and twine around silverware
- Try crafting some Homemade Tea Cup Candles
- Place some lovely Baby's Breath in vintage glass bottles
- Try your hand at making some fun apple candle holders
Jane Austen’s books are full of references to recreational activities, especially games. Some of the card games that come up again and again in her novels are:
Directions for most of these games can be found online. Devoted Austen fans will be sure to get a kick out of playing the same games that entertained such characters as Lizzie, Emma, and Eleanor.You can also consider playing a game of charades, using fun homemade or store bought props.
Austen fans will enjoy showing off their knowledge and matching wits. Quizzes can be found online or simply made from scratch. Personally, I'd go with from scratch as it'll be a lot of fun to come up with and you'll learn new things about Jane Austen (and her novels) that you probably didn't know.
Activities such as quote identification should prove both challenging and fun. For your resources you can get books at the library about Jane Austen, Google search, pick up a few of her novels, etc.
Small, individual cake treats from the regency era include such things as rout cakes, queen tea cakes, and lemon or raspberry cheesecakes. For a large cake, one might consider making a delicious plum cake or perhaps a 3-layer chocolate or vanilla cake. One can research recipes online or simply make a modern version from one’s own cookbook collection (as I often like to do). And, of course, there are also many Regency and Jane Austen themed cookbooks available in book stores and online.Tea sandwiches and scones are two appropriate but simple recipes easily found online. Try these Blueberry Lemon Scones or these Lemon and Fresh Cranberry Scones. Also, treats mentioned as a special delicacy in Austen’s Sense and Sensibility include olives, dried cherries, and sweet meats (sugar plums, pastries etc).A few other yummy options to try:
And don't forget to have PLENTY of tea varieties!
There are quite a few wonderfully made film adaptations of Austen’s novels. The Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice, though extremely accurate and well done, might be a bit too long. But the more recent version (2005) directed by Joe Wright is a decent version, and is just a little over 2 hours. There is also
- Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility
- Roger Michell’s Persuasion
- both the Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale versions of Emma
- and Lost in Austen (which is a more modern twist on a classic tale, and one of my favorites).
- There's a new 3-part episode series called Death at Pemberley that you can find on Netflix. The mini-series takes place mainly at Pemberley, after Darcy and Elizabeth are married and have one son. It's a murder mystery, so if you like that sort of thing I'd go for this.
There are more that I haven't mentioned here, and still more that I don't know about. So be sure to do a little research yourself to find the ones you like!
Well of course we all know that everyone loves getting gifts, specifically handmade gifts. So be sure to send off your guests with some lovely party favors!Include in your favorite bags (or mugs) some Jane Austen/Regency inspired items such as:
- packaged Jane Austen themed cookies (check out these and these), packaged in lovely wrappings like these hand-stamped goodies bags or these DIY cookie CD sleeves.
- handmade thank you cards (these paint-splattered cards are especially lovely, and fun to make)
- Hot cocoa dippers
- For your female guests, try some lovely, vintage necklaces: Antique drawer pulls and lamp keys, old buttons, etc
- For your male guests, try a fun, stylish gift of handmade bow ties, custom designed bow ties, or pastel bow ties (these gifts would be for the more serious party hosts/guests. But then aren't we all very serious when it comes to celebrating Jane Austen? ;). Oh and make sure you know the proper way to tie a bow tie!
- Send the guests away with homemade silhouettes of themselves (tutorial coming soon, contact me in the meantime for directions).
For more details, check out my pinterest board dedicated exclusively to hosting a Pride and Prejudice Party. It includes yummy recipes, great DIY's and decoration ideas, costume inspiration, and more.
Are you planning any themed parties? If so, I'd love to hear about your social endeavors!