If you remember watching the movie, “Midnight in Paris,” you’ve seen the flappers in a speakeasy party during the 1920s. Velvet and satin gloves. Long feather boas. Sequin and shimmery fabrics, and stringed pearls of every length.
Those were the days of the Roaring Twenties. Men like Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald wore three-piece suits, derby hats, and fedoras.
It was a Gatsby affair for all. These were the days of the speakeasy party. They make a great idea for a party in the 21st century! Don’t forget your classic car. So what is a speakeasy party?
How do you create one? Here are nine tips for the ultimate speakeasy-themed party. Just don’t be surprised if Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso show up with their entourage. And don’t forget your classic car for the most authentic event.
A great idea for an invitation must include the girl donned in flapper garb.
She’s wearing a hat with a feather in it, low stockings with a garter, a dress made of fringe, or very sparkly.
She wears a page-boy hairstyle popular in the ’20s.
You can have an artist create your invitations, make your own by hand if you’re good at art, or print some photos from the internet for your swanky party.
2. What’s Your Party Style? Shady or Elegant
When it comes to planning a speakeasy party, you have two choices.
You can go with the shady style such as gangsters, bootleggers with lots of whiskey barrels, and gangster memorabilia.
The other way to go is sophisticated. This party is elegant, refined, and only available for the members of high society.
Glitz and glamor are everywhere. Don’t be surprised is Daisy from the Great Gatsby is already there before you arrive.
3. The Mystery Begins at the Front Door
Since drinking establishments were against the law in the 1920s, partakers would need to sneak into the speakeasy without being seen.
There would always be a doorman at the door who would ask you the password–or you weren’t getting in.
Once admitted, you’d enter a smoky room with jazz performers or records like Duke Ellington playing in the background.
In the backroom, people played card games like poker, craps, or Mahjong.
And people danced to the Charleston everywhere.
4. Drinks in the 1920s
If you’re planning a 1920s flapper party, you need to have a wide selection of cocktails and drinks. Here are the favorites of the roaring twenties.
- Gin rickey
- Mint julep
- Gin fizz
- Planter’s punch
- Bathtub punch
If you’re throwing a party at home or holding one in an event space, you need to put out drinks in a bathtub. Fill the tub with ice, keep your drinks cold, and you’re good to go.
5. Music Choices of the 1920s
Music was at the height of its era in the 1920s.
The recording artists were innovative, and many artists improvised as they went along. Some of the favorites are listed here:
- Louis Armstrong
- The Boswell Sisters
- Benny Goodman
- Fletcher Henderson
- Jelly Roll Morton
- Tedd Louis (You would have loved his big blackhat)
- Bing Crosby
- Fats Waller
- Fanny Brice
- Bessy Smith
For something different, grab 1920s film soundtracks. The Great Gatsby, Bullets Over Broadway, Midnight in Paris, and The Artist make a good place to start.
Why not show some films on a motion-picture screen to make the party even more authentic. Check out the favorite flicks of the 1920s, which was also a popular genre for gangster films.
6. The Food of the 1920s Speakeasy
It wouldn’t be the 1920s speakeasy party without the food. During the era, hor de oeuvres and small plates containing bite-sized fare were the bomb.
Bring out some deviled eggs, mixed nuts, and platters of olives. Cheese platters are a must.
Other finger foods you can serve include shrimp cocktail. They had to eat fast.
You never knew when there was going to be a police raid by the Keystone Cops.
7. The Decor for Your Party
Speakeasy clubs were dark. It was prohibition time and attendees didn’t want to be found.
To create the mood, set up a warm, dim ambiance for your 1920s speakeasy party with candles and dim pendant lighting.
Think Al Capone.
You can find posters on the internet. Print them out and place them in a frame.
Place boxes around the room with signs that say ale and rum. And hang a “Bonnie and Clyde wanted poster on the wall offering a reward.
8. Make a Party Sign
Art deco was the popular design of the 1920s.
And it doesn’t have to cost a lot.
You need some poster board, glitter paper, and a photo or illustration of a whiskey barrel or a classy image for a stylish party.
Get some poster board, Christmas lights out of the attic, or use string lights and some hanging wire for your sign.
9. Gambling Tables
Any speakeasy party had booze. And what better fits the theme but gambling, a big part of the speakeasy culture.
Get some gaming tables so your guests can be naughty. You also need casino games.
You can locate a casino party vendor online. If they’re local, you can pick up the items.
Or have them shipped to you. Some games popular for the era still around today include craps and blackjack, and roulette.
What Is a Speakeasy Party? You’ve Got It Down
You no longer have to ask, “what is a speakeasy party?” You can create one for your friends. From the music to the decor and the menu, you’re now the ultimate roaring 20s party planner.
Looking for an event space to host your speakeasy-themed party? Contact us today for the perfect event. You can also rent out some of our vintage automobiles. For questions and information regarding classic car rentals click here.