Host a Jazz Era Gatsby Party

12th May 2010

After some diligent searching I found the rest of the Gatsby photos! Here are some details on throwing your own party.

To help our friends figure out what to wear, I included a link to a costumer site in the invitation.

My dress is a 70s reproduction worn with a silk robe as a coat and a cloche I picked up at Ambiance in town. I also had a bunch of cloches in my closet because I like hats, so I brought those along for hatless friends. I got Margaret’s black cloche at HandM.

We’d decided on a high-tea menu, so we set up a little table with a table cloth for the food. We served champagne in teacups, Prohibition style. We were in a public park, so the teacups also helped us dodge open container laws. Take that, coppers!

We also served Pimm’s Cup, which is sort of like a British mojito. They’re refreshing, and sweet, and you can make them ahead in pitchers so you don’t have to tend bar when you could be enjoying your party. Don’t put ice in the pitcher or you’ll wind up with diluted drinks and a lackluster lawn party.

Here’s the full menu:
A baked ham (which we ordered)
Rolls and condiments for simple sandwiches
Cheese tray with nuts and dried fruits
Three homemade cakes:
Lemon Bundt
Champagne or sparkling wine
Pimm’s Cups
Bottled soda and water

We brought a croquet set to the park, and my friend Margaret printed up rules.

We got giant balloons for the kids. Ours were from a local party store, but you can order them online here. I’m not positive, but I think they’re the 60″.

I’m so thrilled to have the photos back, it was such a fun day. I was really touched by how many of our friends were willing to dress up.

By the way, if you like this theme, you’ll swoon over Mena Trott’s Gatsby Summer Afternoon. She sewed her dress, found vintage soda labels and made bottled drinks to go with them, and acquired a vintage phonograph to complete the look. Mena is dreamy.