Create: The Scene

Bash Please Movie Night// Photo by Brandan Kidd

I recently had the chance to interview the two brilliant event planners, Paige Appel and Kelly Harris, of Bash, Please. They shared their smart, original ideas with me for a Martha Stewart Living series about party tricks. You might want to check out the story before your next event.

These two inspired me to think about making something more of my next gathering, and they also got me thinking about two people who knew how to throw a really great party: my parents. My mom would always weave a cohesive theme (farm trip, day at the movies, aerobics/workout–hey, it was the 80s!) throughout all of our birthday parties. Even family gatherings like a First Communion had all-tied-up-with-bows details that made it more than a get-together, but an event. Not flashy or extravagant either, just thoughtfully planned and creatively pulled off.

However, it was the imaginative parties thrown for their friends that had me up all night spying, peeking around corners and marveling at serious grown-ups having so much fun. I loved when my parents rented a jukebox loaded with 60s and 70s hits for a nostalgic summer dance bash on the patio. And the more elaborate Valentine’s Day 1920s costume party, a play on the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago, a shoot out between Al Capone’s South Side Italian gangsters and a North Side Irish gang.

Women came as flappers, there was a cigarette girl and one woman channeled her elegant great Aunt. The men rented zoot suits and a couple even tricked out a flower box to disguise a toy-machine gun. All this roaring 20s pageantry transformed our suburban home into a stage for one very memorable night.

I would love to have attended that party as an adult; maybe I’ll just have to re-create it myself someday.

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