How to throw a masquerade party

Updated March 23, 2017

A party in which everybody comes incognito is a lot of fun. Masquerade parties are the modern equivalent to elaborate masquerade balls. Due to height, weight and other attributes, even the most generous of masks can make it hard to disguise some folks. Yet it is still the best idea for costume-party or Halloween shenanigans. A masquerade party can be as wild or as mild as those who are attending.

Decide on the sort of affair you want to create with this masquerade party. You may want it to be an elegant ball. Ballroom rentals aren't completely unreasonable, after all. You may want it to be low key and casual, simply with costumes and a simple decor. It could be a dinner party. It could even resemble a keg party. It's all up to you. The rules will pretty much be the same, but the atmosphere will be completely tailored to your personal taste in partying. Decide early so you can alter everything to fit your needs and budget.

Choose your own costume. A masquerade becomes much more fun when you know what you want. Make sure it is something that can be all-engulfing so that you are completely disguised, but choose a character that you've always wanted to be. Throwing your own masquerade party is something you will likely remember for the rest of your life, and you want to have all happy memories of it.

Decorate the party grounds at least a day in advance if you have full access to the location. If it's your home, you can start decorating up to a week earlier. Keep your own limitations in mind. Simply decorate as soon as possible.

Send out invitations up to six weeks before the event. Send reminders in two-week increments with more fun information. This is appropriate for a masquerade party since it requires a higher level of planning and fun. If you do wish your guests to bring something for the party, specify what each guest should bring on the final two-week reminder. It is probably a good idea to request nothing in the case of a masquerade party since you are already expecting special trouble from your guests.

Prepare a gift bag as a parting gift for your guests. It should contain some special mementos to remind them of this special night. Include something cheap, some treats to eat and something truly special and planned. Use your imagination. Mardi Gras style masks are always appreciated as a masquerade gift.

Request a silence rule on the invitation to your party. This is optional. If you are truly trying to be in disguise, a conversation would blow the cover right off any costume. This can only last so long. After all, the point of the party is to have fun and mingle. It's fun for the first few minutes as everybody gathers. Give everybody miniature dry erase boards for added fun, and make it a game out of who is the first to break the cover and rule. This could lead to a good-natured debate, but it will only add to the interesting evening you are bound to have.

Make a game out of identifying one another. Hold a contest and offer a legitimate, desirable prize. The person who has identified the most people wins. The silence rule ends when the game is tallied. Masks can come on and off, and the real party begins.

Serve dishes that are in disguise for additional fun that is very appropriate for the theme. Present macaroni and cheese in a roast platter, or create a sandwich that appears to be full of one thing and is full of another. This can be created by simply lining the corners with the trick filling.

Serve juices in wine glasses for an added deception of the eye. One expects to taste wine in a certain sort of glass. This can also be done by switching up beverages in martini or beer glasses. If this is a party for children, serve soda in milk containers. Everybody will get a laugh at how you got them.

Compliment each guest as they arrive--unless the silence rule also applies to you. You want to keep your praise honest and personalised. The guests went through a lot of expense and time to create a masquerade costume in order to attend your party. You should consider each guest to be a true compliment. As the host, it is quite a bad idea to be silent. You should welcome each guest. The exception to this would be if you opt to hire a greeter and host. That could be fun, or you could give your spouse host duty.


Consider doing this as a fundraiser for your school or event. While people may end up spending more on their costume than donating to the cause, it is memorable and will associate your organisation with a great spirit. Don't limit yourself when you are throwing a masquerade party. It may be tempting to come up with all particular themes within the masquerade theme, but that is rarely a good idea. Try to embrace all kinds of costumes.

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About the Author

Robin Raven was first published in 1998. She has contributed to newspapers, magazines and online publications, including "The Malibu Times," "Act'ionLine" for Friends of Animals, USA Today Travel Tips and the official Melissa Gilbert website. Raven specializes in travel, health, beauty, culture, vegan nutrition, joyful living, arts and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing.