A 30th birthday marks youth and maturity simultaneously. A masquerade, or masked ball, is a perfect theme for your 30th year as it allows you and your guests to be both playful and sexy. Masquerades must communicate the feel of a masked ball completely in order to get you and your guests in character. The food, decorations, music and dress must be coordinated for your big night.
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Nothing is worse than a themed party with guests who do not assume the character. Making a mandatory dress code for your party may seem drastic, but it will provide the encouragement needed to make the theme come alive. A masquerade ball would be incomplete without Renaissance attire. During the Renaissance period, masquerades were thrown by the elite, for the elite. Attendees treated this as a costume party where the masks they wore negated social and moral responsibility to a degree. On your invitation, note that revealing clothing and gender reversal, among other socially taboo practices, are recommended within reason. And, of course, no one is getting in without an elaborate mask. If you think your guests need more encouragement, hold a mask making party a week before the ball.
The food at a masquerade must be fancy or faux-fancy. Serve hors d'oeuvres, such as cheese, crackers and caviar. Ask a few of your friends to act as servers and bring finger food, wine and Champagne out on trays and walk around the party. A masquerade does not need to have a full meal, so you can be more elaborate than normal with drinks and appetizers.
It is unlikely that you will find a true Renaissance dance hall within which to hold your masquerade. Instead, make your own home or a rentable space into your Renaissance dance hall. These halls were elaborate and decorative, with Renaissance paintings stretched across the walls, long white columns from floor to ceiling, chandeliers and sweeping curtains. Accomplish the lighting with candles and lamps; you want the space to be romantically lit but dark enough to retain a mysterious ambience. Buy lengths of burgundy, forest green and dark blue fabric to drape across the walls. Hang prints of Renaissance paintings in panels across the ceiling. Be sparse and deliberate about your decorations. Cheap items like beads and streamers may make your party space appear kitschy.
Renaissance masquerade attendees listened to the elitist music of that time -- Baroque music. Bach, Arcangello Corelli, Domenico Scorlatti, Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Joseph Fux and Henry Purcell are some of the artists that should be on your playlist. Purchase these CDs in collections, or find a Baroque music playlist on the Internet that you can play through your speakers. Music is often the most important aspect of a party. It will set the tone of the masquerade, encourage people to get into character, mingle and have a good time.
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