One Great Night

One Great Night

The recent release of Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby has everybody dreaming of the roaring ’20s, but you don’t need a time machine to enjoy the decade, old sport. Take some of these suggestions and host friends at your own fête—Madison style. Now pop the corks and party like its 1920.

Unless you throw parties truly Jay Gatsby-style—everyone comes, but no one is formally invited—you’ll need to send invitations to guests. For really memorable invites, order custom from Sugar River Stationers and suggest a 1920s creative cocktail dress code (see below).

As you set up, think Art Deco. Prints (1., see below) from local artist Tom Morrison are created with the style in mind and add a vintage charm that hits closes to home. Hang them on your walls or frame them and place next to the bar.

A luxurious French Linen white sofa (6.) on loan from A La Crate Vintage sets the stage for a night to suit even the Buchanans. Pair with fun vases (7.) and an easy-to-hang chandelier (2.) from the same shop to tie it all together. When it comes to centerpieces, think big, but classic. Order fresh from your favorite florist or DIY it with the help of a craft store; the one here (3.) was put together at Hobby Lobby.   

Decadent pastries—including gorgeous macaroons or petits fours—will be a welcome treat for guests and offer tasty elegance. Don’t forget to display them on a sparkly tray; one on loan from A La Crate Vintage is seen here (4.). Looking to serve something more savory? Stuffed mushrooms (5.) and shrimp cocktails (Hy-Vee has a great selection) are sure winners.

Wash down with champagne or a mixed drink. Prohibition was in full swing during the decade, but under the radar parties were everywhere. A fun twist? Have guests say a password (printed on the invite) before allowing entry. For a special touch, serve drinks in vintage glassware. If you don’t already have some, look around antique stores, thrift shops or flea markets.

Music? Jazz, of course! Mix it up by playing tunes from the show’s soundtrack, too—a blend of classic and modern artists such as Lana Del Rey and Jay-Z is sure to get your group moving. You could hire a few live performers and put on a big production, à la Gatsby, but unless you’re trying to impress a long-lost love, a loaded iPod is enjoyable, too.  

As homage to F. Scott Fitzgerald, who penned the acclaimed novel, pick up some copies of his most famous works (Frugal Muse is always a good bet) and pass out to guests as they exit.



Photos 2, 4, 6, 7 by Urban Anchor Photography. Photo 1 courtesy of Tom Morrison. Custom invite courtesy of Sugar River Stationers.