Types of Gala Dinner Themes

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Types of Gala Dinner Themes
Place centrepieces on plates for guests to take home. (Banquet Table With Grass Centerpieces on Plates image by NorthEnder from Fotolia.com)

Who doesn't enjoy attending a themed dinner extravaganza, especially if you get to dress up? Gala dinner themes can be as simple or as ornate as you desire, depending on your budget and resources. Take about two months to plan a large event after deciding on your theme. Create a holiday theme, such as Valentine's Day; or a sleek, sophisticated theme, such as a black and white ball.

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Black and White

Go for a black and white dinner theme. Use silky black tablecloths with white runners and napkins; and take it a step further, if desired, by draping the chairs in silky black fabric. Secure the fabric to the chairs with large white cloth ribbons tied in bows on the chair backs. Use black candle holders large enough to hold several white candles as centrepieces, or arrange bunches of white roses in clear vases tied with black ribbons. Black and white balloons are a cheap yet effective decoration. Use white flatware and clear glassware. Serve black and white food such as marble bread finger sandwiches and black and white brownies and cookies. Alert guests about wearing black and white clothing to the event.


Create a nautical theme for your gala dinner by serving seafood dishes, though be sure to include vegetarian options. Serve blue desserts, such as cupcakes, blueberry sorbet and cookies with blue icing. Create centrepieces by arranging shells around off-white and cream candles, and scatter shells on the banquet table as decorations. Use blue and green balloons as desired, such as filling the ceiling with an assortment of blue and green coloured balloons. Another centrepiece idea is to purchase beta fish, which come with small bowls, as centrepieces, which the guests may then take home as party favours. Depending on your budget you may want to purchase large coloured lights in the shapes of dolphins and other sea creatures, or wall murals depicting an underwater theme. Nautical themed flatware is also an option.

Valentine's Day

Create a Valentine's Day gala dinner theme. Party 411 suggests purchasing red, pink and white balloons, including those shaped like Hershey kisses, and placing them on light fixtures or on tables with red and pink balloon weights. Decorate the tables with red tablecloths and white napkins wrapped in garland. Bowls of red, pink and white M&Ms among other Valentine's Day candy can also serve as centrepieces, or try grouping pink and white candles together. Scatter pink and red glitter on the candles for added effect. Use Valentine's Day pink and red stuffed animals as centrepieces, and donate the toys to a children's hospital after the event, also suggested by Party 411. Use pink, red and white roses to decorate banquet tables and serve the food on pink and red plates. Other ideas include pink and red champagne flutes, champagne fountains and chocolate fountains.

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