1st to 21st

1st to 21st party theme - thumbnail image

As each New Years came and went I always wished I could throw a big party for all my friends and family, but I never had any ideas worth going to all that trouble for. Everyone I knew had plans for 2000, but no one had any plans to celebrate the real Millennium in 2001! I decided this was my chance to come up with something spectacular. It took me a while, but I came up with something that was at once fun and different. I would have my guests select a famous person from the 1st century to the present and come in costume as that person. I named my party “From the 1st to the 21st”.

Before I finished my guest list I knew there were far too many people to have it at my house so I rented a conference room at a hotel. The party was from 8pm to 1am so I decided a buffet of finger foods spanning the centuries would be ideal. The menu created by the caterer included flat bread and hummus, cold cuts, cheeses and fruit, mini-sandwiches, lady fingers, cream puffs, cheese puffs, buffalo wings and chips and salsa.

The invitation had an embossed image in silver of father time on the cover and inside was the name of the party, time, location and an explanation of the party's theme.

I hired a DJ to play music throughout the evening. The first two hours would be like a cocktail party and the music would range from the 1st century to the 20th. After 1920's the DJ would spend 30 minutes playing music from each decade until midnight. Requests would be taken from Midnight to 1am.

I recently had seen the movie 'Elizabeth' so I decided to come as this 16th century monarch. I reserved an elaborate Elizabethan gown at a costume shop nearby so I knew it would be available on New Year's Eve. I could hardly wait.

Each table was decorated in a theme representing eras. The 1st- 5th century table was covered with a brown, woven tablecloth. The dishes, cups and utensils were made of wood. The 11th- 14th, or medieval table was covered in a blue linen tablecloth and set with ceramic plates, metal goblets and utensils. The renaissance table was set with a gorgeous brocade tablecloth with gilt- edged china, crystal goblets and ornate silverware.

I was very impressed by the imaginations of the guest's costumes. Some couples had dressed as famous pairs like Louis and Antoinette, Napoleon and Josephine, and Sonny and Cher. A group of friends showed up as the Three Stooges. To liven up the cocktail hour I had hired some look-alikes of famous people not chosen by my guests. Queen Victoria, Albert Einstein and Cary Grant mingled with the party and were a big hit.

The DJ took a break from playing music at the start of the first decade of our count down and rolled out a Karaoke machine. We nearly died laughing when the guest dressed as King Henry VIII sung to the pop song “Oops I did it again.” He was hilarious. Soon everyone was jumping up on stage to sing to a favourite song.

When the music started up again the party was dancing to music popular of he 'Roaring 20's'. Next was the 30's, 40's and on up to the 90's. The music stopped briefly for the count down to midnight and toasting of champagne. After the traditional playing of Auld Lang Syne, the DJ took requests from any decade until 1am. Before the end of the party many of my guests thanked me for a wonderful evening, and said they would come next year if I planned to do it again. It was so much fun, maybe I will.