51 of the Best Theme Party Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Maggie Griswold
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51 of the Best Theme Party Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of
Photo: Jessica Bordner Photography/The Bash.

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There’s no question that a good theme can take a party from average to wildly creative, fun and jaw-dropping (if you’re handy with decorations). One of the hardest parts about planning a party, though, is coming up with the perfect theme in the first place—which is why we turned to the experts. StyleCaster asked party planners to give us their best theme party ideas, so all you have to focus on is actually throwing the perfect bash.

From tips on how to turn classic theme parties (like James Bond) into truly memorable displays, to some seriously creative theme ideas (like a ‘Come as your favorite SNL character’ theme), you’re sure to find the most epic theme for your next party. Below are 51 different theme party ideas guaranteed to make any soiree the talk of the town.

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Ven’s Paperie.

1. Pop Art

Party Planner: Carrie Baker of Carrie Baker Events

“I did a Pop Art themed baby shower and we used tons of Campbell’s soup cans for flowers,” says Baker.

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Jessica Bordner Photography/The Bash.

2. Flamingo Luau

Party Planner: The Bash

The Bash recommends using a fire dancer to make your flamingo luau extra special.

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Pinterest.

3. Arabian Nights

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

A Kailo Chic Life.

4. 1980s

Party Planner: Lynne Goldberg

To make the theme extra fun, Goldberg suggests: “Send an invitation that includes a pair of shoulder pads with the invitation and tell them they must wear them to the party.”

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Chambre 237.

5. Burning Man Meets Coachella

Party Planner: Brian Worley of B. Worley Productions

“It has a very carefree, relaxed decor vibe, and with these two events getting so much coverage these days through social media and just how creative they are in terms of visuals, it can really be a fun event,” says Worley.

Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse

Airbnb.

6. Barbie’s Dream House

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

STEVEN SAPHORE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock.

7. Superheroes

Party Planner: Lucy Harris of Hello Baby Bump

Harris suggests: “Use theme songs of villains and heroes as music. Food could be cookies in the shapes of insignias, the colors that are common with superheroes, etc.”

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Lauren Elle Photography.

8. Couture Balloons

Party Planner: Richard O’Malley of The How Behind the WOW!

“We have all see the clown make a balloon animal and helium filled orbs drop from the ceiling,  but here I am talking about balloons as couture fashion. Make your arrival in one of these and Instagram just might crash,” says O’Malley

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Luxe Recess.

9. Bubbles in Boca (Boca Retirement Theme)

Party Planner: Molly Sinsheimer

Have everyone dress up as individuals who retired in Boca. According to one of the attendees of this party, “People dyed their hair silver, bought fake dentures, wore bright colors, glasses on chains, etc. The decor had homemade palm trees, beach chairs, beach umbrellas, pool floats…with a creative spin on AARP advertisements posted on the walls…” Sinsheimer even filled empty pill bottles with tequila shots and told everyone to “take their meds.”

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

HBO/Kobal/Shutterstock.

10. Game of Thrones

Party Planner: Piera Pizzo, Evite Party Specialist

“Channel your inner Hot Pie and whip up some meat pies for your guests,” suggests Pizo.

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

Ramon Espinosa/AP/Shutterstock.

11. Car Theme

Party Planner: Carrie Baker of Carrie Baker Events

“I once did a ‘car’ themed event. Only it wasn’t for kids! It was a gentleman’s 40th birthday. We held the event at a car museum and had access to a secret vault of vintage collection cars for the cocktail hour followed by a seated dinner in the museums Porsche exhibit. It was such a great conversation starter for guests. We kept with the theme from beginning to end – from the invites to the limited edition hot wheel cars that I did for place cards!”

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Pier 1.

12. Masks & Mimosas

Party Planner: Lori Hulshof of SPL

“The underlying theme is ‘Pamper Yourself’,” says Hulshof. “And the ladies who attend are always in a good mood and ready to laugh. The best part about a pampering theme is that you don’t need to reserve a formal location; someone’s home will work just fine.”

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

Shutterstock.

13. Tropical Party

Party Planner: The Bash

The Bash suggests using hula dancers to add a wow-factor to your tropical theme party.

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

Moviestore/Shutterstock.

14. James Bond

Party Planner: Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs

“We had a client who celebrated his 60th Birthday as James Bond. His entrance to his blow-out birthday bash included sliding down a 40ft steel fireman’s pole, landed sitting down and was served a perfectly made dirty martini by a masked waiter,” says Correale.

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Etsy.

15. Silver Soiree

Party Planner: Lynne Goldberg

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Kara’s Party Ideas.

16. Glow in the Dark

Party Planner: Brian Worley of B. Worley Productions

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Allie Peachfully Chic.

17. Basic B*tch

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

Meluso suggests: “Incorporate all the basic things from Instagram that everyone secretly loves—i.e. brunching (Supply everyone favorite brunch bites and bottomless mimosas, pizza, froyo, photo booth, a designated hashtag for the event…”

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Eeriezone.

18. Seven Deadly Sins

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Pinterest.

19. Beach Party

Party Planner: The Bash

The Bash suggests adding a seafood-theme food truck (like The Shucking Truck) to your beach party.

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

20. Resort Staycation

Party Planner: Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

21. Paint the Town Red Party

Party Planner: Lynne Goldberg

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

Keystone-SDA/Shutterstock.

22. Music Video Party

Party Planner: Richard O’Malley of The How Behind the WOW!

“There is a NYC company called ‘Overnight Celebrity’ that not only shoots a music video for you all over the ‘city that never sleeps’ but they bring YOU in the recording studio to make you a rapper or rocker of you dreams. Ok, this one uses some tech to make sure you stay on key,” says O’Malley.

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Celebrations at Home.

23. Bubbles & Bowties

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

“Everyone gets a personalized [champagne] bottle and a fabulous colorful bowtie as a takeaway,” suggests Meluso.

target store design hacks image 51 of the Best Theme Party Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Target. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

24. Target Theme (yes, like the store)

Party Planner: Ariel Sagat of Hostess Helper NYC

“All decor was red, white, and polka dot,” says Sagat. “There was even a Starbucks corner of the dessert table with cupcakes in hot cups to resemble Frappuccino’s. I love when clients really go for a theme and don’t hold back. Guests notice and appreciate the small details more so than if you spend a ton of money to have an extra layer on the cake. It’s always fun to create any type of “help yourself bar” where guests really interact with the event and can personalize their experience.”

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

25. Pool Party

Party Planner: The Bash

For an extra fun twist, The Bash suggests amping up your pool party with an ice pop food truck (like Mom and Icepops in NYC).

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

26. Bohemian Nights Summer Hamptons Party

Party Planner: Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs

“Last summer, we worked on a Bohemian Nights Summer Hamptons Party that was the coolest blend of Bohemian Vibes and Hamptons elegance in one,” says Correale. “From mixed-color fabric studded bars that served rosé and tequila all night long to homemade chocolate chip cookies that were served on a larger-than-life steel spoon, this event blew it out of the park. The main edible attraction was the oversized seafood bar that featured locally sourced oysters, ginormous shrimp cocktail, lobster, tartar, ceviche, clams, and warm buttered mini lobster rolls passed on wooden trays.”

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Cheryl Style.

27. Chinese Tea Parlor

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

28. Never Feel Blue Party

Party Planner: Lynne Goldberg

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

29. Sip & Shred (Apres Ski Theme)

Party Planner: Molly Sinsheimer

“Guests dressed in vibrant jumpsuits and coats with very fun and furry headpieces.” The party was hosted at a lodge-themed bar with campfires, s’mores and a mountain backdrop for photos.

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Brit + Co.

30. La Croix Theme

Party Planner: Ariel Sagat of Hostess Helper NYC

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

31. Rainbow

Party Planner: Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs

“We had a really awesome couple who celebrated their union with a Rainbow Wedding,” says Correale. “It was the most colorful wedding – all the guys and gals of the bridal party wore a different color dress and suit to fit a rainbow. We created a menu that featured their style – tomato soup sips with a micro grilled cheese bite, raw colorful vegetable crudité sourced from local vendors, hanging bacon and our signature miniature confetti cake bites.”

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Pinterest.

32. Denim & Diamonds

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

33. Food Festival

Party Planner: Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

34. Coastal Social

Party Planner: The Bash

For the coolest coastal social around, The Bash suggests using a ukulele player to entertain the guests.

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

35. Farm to Table Foodie Party

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

36. Unicorn Theme

Party Planner: Piera Pizzo, Evite Party Specialist

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

37. Music Festival

Party Planner: Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Inspired by This.

38. Not Your Average Slumber Party

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

Meluso suggests gifting “personalized silk pajamas with guests initials, SLIP Silk Eye Masks, Bubbly, etc.”

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

39. Glamping

Party Planner: The Bash

For extra fun, The Bash recommends using a Tarot Card reader at your glamping party.

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

40. Fourth of July

Party Planner: Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs

“We did a HUGE 4th of July blow-out where all of the food was served via individual vignettes,” says Correale. “We had a New England Lobster Roll Station, a Chicken and Shrimp Waffle Cone Stand, Colors of the Rainbow Vegan Sushi Bar, Brick Oven Pizza Served from a pick-up truck, Ramen Burgers and Pasta Doughnuts. It was epic!”

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

41. Day of the Dead

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

A Practical Wedding.

42. Summer Camp

Party Planner: The Bash

What’s a summer camp party without sweets? The Bash suggests using a cookie dough food truck (like 2 Dough Boyz in NYC) for added flavor.

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

43. Beer Festival

Party Planner: Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

44. Florals Theme

Party Planner: Piera Pizzo, Evite Party Specialist

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock.

45. Murder Mystery

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Victoria Magazine.

46. Garden Party

Party Planner: The Bash

“Hire a Mixologist (that uses locally sourced organic ingredients) so you can host stress-free,” suggests The Bash.

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

47. Roaring ’20s Great Gatsby

Party Planner: Kristie Linda Meluso of KMA Events

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

UNSPLASH.

48. ClamBake

Party Planner: The Bash

“You don’t need to be in Nantucket to host a clambake!” says The Bash. “Hire a Steel Drummer and eat and dance the night away!”

STYLECASTER | The Best Party Theme Ideas Actual Party Planners Could Think Of

Pinterest.

49. SNL Characters Theme

Party Planner: Carrie Baker of Carrie Baker Events

“[A] dream theme would be a ‘Come as your favorite SNL character’ costume party! I was just talking to a friend about how everyone has a favorite SNL character, from the early days of the show, to the epic 90s, to the more recent cast, there are so many options! Its so fun and nostalgic and you can really get creative,” says Baker.

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

Moviestore/Shutterstock.

50. Wonderland Theme

Party Planner: Ariel Sagat of Hostess Helper NYC

“I worked on a first birthday party in early December,” says Sagat. “We decided to go with a winter ONEderland theme, which was perfect because all the stores were full of amazing winter supplies for the holiday season. We created a hot chocolate station after coming across some peppermint bark, flavored hot chocolate, marshmallow toppers, and candy cane stirrers.”

STYLECASTER | Party Theme Ideas

Warner Bros/DC/Kobal/Shutterstock.

51. Science & Underwater Theme (Aquaman vibes)

Party Planner: Brian Worley of B. Worley Productions

“Think Aquaman’s home city infused with a science lab where things replicated in ways not how they started,” says Worley. “The idea was to use lighting effects to make it feel as if the guests were underwater and create entertainment that is interactive and heavily costumed.  Immersive and atmospheric, the theme is a science lab for the exploration of both the known and unknown. Through projection, costumed performers, illumination, and large scale décor elements, the space is an ethereal backdrop or laboratory beneath the ocean’s surface.”

 

A version of this article was published in 2018.

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