Want to throw a themed party or event? Read on...

Themed parties, showers, weddings and events are too much fun. They always make guests feel involved. From what to wear to what to gift. It is just a great idea.

There is a lot of information out there about how to throw a themed party. Like... pick a theme, buy your supplies, have party.

Well yes. But how do you do that?

HOW you pick your theme has a lot to do with the basics.WHAT the event is for, is there a message or impression you want to make? WHERE it will be held. WHO is it for and what do they love. WHY you are throwing the party, is there a special purpose and WHEN it will take place. Is it a birthday party for a small child who has a favourite character or toy? Is it a baby shower and the mom-to-be is all about monkeys? Is your best friend getting married and you want to throw her the perfect bachelorette party? Does she LOVE everything chic? And weddings. Ah weddings. From The couple who loves Medieval Times to the perfect destination (or destination themed), these can become quite the event.

So yes. Pick a theme. Make it realistic and make it something that really gets to the root of what you are trying to portray. So you want to go with the Giraffe themed baby shower? Great! Let's put it together.

The mom to be loves giraffes, has decided on colours and patterns for her nursery, she loves pretty things and has a great sense of humour. The giraffes are obvious. But you can't just plaster giraffes everywhere. Seriously, lol. The mom in question has chosen a great bedding ensemble at the babes r4 us store. The pattern - "African Dreams". Beautiful rich earthy tones, different textures and a giraffe, lion, monkey and zebra to boot!

Next we start to get our supplies. Pulling from our theme and what we know about mom's choices - we have our jump off point .

  1. We have a few main colour ideas. Pea green, chocolate brown, rusty orange, a little cream and gray AND a shot of barn red for drama.

  2. We have our animal and pattern accents

  3. you can now take the African Safari theme from the bedding and

  4. add in some pretty elements to make mom feel super special.

For the invites you might want to pull a design element and really focus on the colour theme. Design your own, buy online or find one that suits your theme at a popular retailer. If you are using a social platform as well - tie it in. Post pics of some decor choices. Place links to the mom-to-be's registry.

For this example we chose a design element from a series of pictures for the nursery. Don't forget! - get thank you cards at this point as well. Thank you cards should be sent out within a week of the party.

Decide on the food. You can even continue your theme with food. Whether it's keeping with traditional dishes from a country or era or sticking to what mom likes, it can be done. For this baby shower, mom and dad have both Canadian and West Indian backgrounds. So choose some fav foods AND keep with the colour scheme! Rice and peas, curry chicken, jerk chicken, potato salad, garden salad, pasta salad (made with tri-colour pasta...brilliant! brown, green and orange!) pumpernickel bread and spinach dip, coleslaw, lasagna, fresh fruits and vegetables and a heavenly mocha cheesecake. YUM!

Now finish off the food plan with a custom cake, cupcakes and/or sugar cookies. You can order this or make it yourself but it's a great idea to tie everything together. Remember you might want to send a little something home with your guests, personalized sugar cookies are an awesome idea!

Decorate and personalize the space.Get your props, table cloths and runners, dishware, cutlery and cups, napkins, etc. When purchasing these items try to spread the different ideas of what make up your theme around. Don't get too focused on one thing. And use the different textures here. You might go with a gray table runner and cream serving bowls. Use wicker baskets and cork board hotplates. Find something with a really great giraffe print. For a baby shower a great idea is a diaper cake, It is practical and looks great. And if you are keeping your eye on the budget you can find great things at the dollar store. The key really is to mix it up and keep it relevant. Have fun with it!

You have sent out your invitations, decided on your food and decor. All you have to do now is decide what you are going to do at the party. Allow time for guests to arrive and LEAVE. A room rarely clears out at the exact time you planned. Then there is eating, opening gifts (btw, you don't have to do this at the party) general mingling and chit chat. Try to think of something that involves your guests. Get them to participate. For this example, baby shower games. Honestly, some of the best and most fun showers I have been to or planned had the typical baby shower games. The "guess how many toilet paper sheets it takes to get around her belly" game and "name this baby item... in picture". The one that always gets me.. the "clothes pin game". Every guest gets 5 clothes pins (or stickers, etc) and they can't say 'baby'. If they say it - they lose a pin. If they hear it - they take the pin from the person who said it. Classic. I never win.

If you spread the word around enough, your guests will catch on. They will show up with gifts and wrapping specifically tailored to your theme. The presents and gift bags will undoubtedly lend to the atmosphere on the day of.

Keep it simple or make it extravagant. Either way it's the thoughtfulness and care you put into a themed party or event that really makes it wonderful. Now... Go plan your party!