A catered event isn’t just an event–it’s a party! Themes can make any gathering, from wedding rehearsal dinners to corporate retreats, more memorable and encourage more interaction among guests. New Orleans-based Messina’s Catering and Events offers some fun theme suggestions that can make your next event one your guests will not soon forget.
The first consideration; you and/or your guests and their interests
If your event is a wedding reception, make sure the theme fits the bride and groom and showcases their personalities. Choose something personal like the cuisine from their first date, or a nod from the first vacation they took together. If your event is a birthday or an anniversary party where you have a guest of honor, consider that person’s favorite cuisine, or activities when choosing a theme.
Hosting a corporate or social event? Consider your guests. If your guest list is full of fellow golfers, then a golf-themed event makes perfect sense. Host your event at a local golf course country club and have cocktail hour on the putting green or driving range. Tables can be decorated with mini flags and tees and named for golf scores like birdy, par, bogie, and eagle. Another sports theme that can be a fun is to bond around a tailgate party at a sporting event. Then treat your guests to seats in a block together at the game. Murder mystery dinner parties, masquerade balls, a Hollywood night, trivia night, or even a casino night are other options to try. Themed events don’t have to center around everyone seated at tables. Think outside the table!
Take a cue from the venue itself
Some venues bring the theme all by themselves. Is your event outdoors in a garden? Opt for a Hamptons garden party theme with string lights. Is it at the beach? A tropical or nautical theme would be very natural. Will you event be taking place in a historic building, maybe a 1920’s flapper event would be fun! Does your venue have brightly colored walls/décor? Consider a Havana nights theme complete with Latin music, tropical prints and rum tasting. Soak in all your venue has to offer and consider how you can expand on it to fully build out your theme.
Think beyond the barbecue
While summer barbecues can be memorable in and of themselves, especially if you serve some gourmet versions of traditional favorites like lobster mac and cheese, there are other ways to bring people together over food. Farm-to-table dinners are a popular theme and can be held indoors or out. Hawaiian luaus have been popular since the ’40s and can transport your guests to a tropical isle no matter where you’re located. Wine or beer pairings are trending now everywhere, and for good reason. Most cities have vibrant and growing craft beer industries and many places have local wineries as well. Dessert buffets is one way to host a chic and indulgent event on a budget. Consider starting the event later in the evening (after dinner) and serve a wide variety of pastries, chocolates, fresh fruits and cheeses, and a coffee bar. If a lot of your guests are vegan, host a vegan dinner party that will have even the meat-eaters reminiscing for years to come.
Take your guests around the world
Internationally themed events are great canvases for everything from the catering menu to the décor and can expose your guests to a different culture and all its flavors. For instance, a Japanese dinner party could feature low tables and pillows as seats, chopsticks for utensils, and traditional Japanese dishes like sushi, gyoza, udon soup, and roasted edamame–all washed down with sake and green tea. Moroccan dinner parties are as colorful as they are unforgettable. Moroccan décor features lots of jewel tones, patterns, and textures. Place some electronic candles in Moroccan style lantern and drape pieces of soft fabrics over your entrance way, ceiling or furniture to create the look and feel of a Bedouin tent. A Moroccan menu might feature lamb and date tagine, harira soup, lamb kefta brochettes, and sliced oranges with cinnamon, sugar, and orange flower water. Mexican fiestas aren’t just for Cinco de Mayo. Think taco bars, piñatas, and cold cervesa all served up with mariachi music in the background.
Cater to the generation you’re serving
Different generations have different definitions of a “good time.” For instance, Gen Z’ers (those born later than the mid-1990s), are into experiences. For their events, consider live chef demos, or private dance lessons. For millennials, who are very much into social media, consider events that include ample opportunities for selfies and unique videos. Think unique backgrounds, oversized props and good lighting. Gen Xers, those born between 1965 and 1979, are all about diversity and culture. Internationally themed events like the ones mentioned above would be a great fit for them, as would a grand buffet that offers different tastes from around the world. Baby Boomers, those born before 1965, like to go retro, so a Woodstock theme complete with tie dye and classic rock n’ roll would be a welcome diversion.
Messina’s Catering can help you create lasting themed impressions
New Orleans caterers like Messina’s Catering and Events are experts in preparing and displaying visually stunning cuisine to fit any theme. They can also help with venue selection, options for both indoor and outdoor entertaining, and menu creation. They have six decades of experience in preparing and presenting food both visually and culinarily appealing.