The great thing about masquerade balls is that you can plan them for any season. They can be wild, casual, or formal. The only requirement is that you and your guests wear masks! For the sake of this conversation, let's make it formal, elegant, and romantic, like Phantom of the Opera! If you don't know it, this is a very famous musical that has a masquerade ball scene.
For this theme, think Venice in the 19th century. First, pick the colors purple, green, and gold, or any related shades, like burgundy, royal blue, and mustard. On your invitation, ask everyone to wear dressy outfits in those colors. (The guys can wear black slacks with a shirt or tie in any of those colors.) Challenge the guests to bring a unique mask. Give a prize for the best decorated one! So everyone can get in the spirit, be sure to provide fun accessories like masks, hats, feathers, feather boas, gloves, capes, and canes. You can pick these up from a party store.
You want to have bright lights at the entrance of your party, maybe even a spotlight to feature some of the outfits. Inside lights should be dim. Decorate the area with masks, white holiday lights, and candles everywhere. Put candelabra on the tables and thick drapes on the windows.
The presentation dances can be classical songs from Phantom of the Opera (see a suggested playlist below). The party can be divided in two parts. The first half of the night can be formal. Play mellow music for the first couple of hours during the dinner, like instrumentals on a cello, harp, or violin. The second half can be lively, more casual, and fun.
Presentation-dance song choices from Phantom:
"Think of Me"
"All I Ask of You"
"The Music of the Night"
"Angel of Music"
If you have a photo of yourself at a masquerade ball, send it to me! I may post it on my blog.
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