The smoke filled room, the dolled up ladies, abundant food, cards, rolling alcohol… How did the above respectable society ladies get there? It all started with a group of friends who love spending time together and a passion for party planning. I love throwing a party and, as you know from my Red Party back in February, I always plan my parties in 30 minutes or less because time is precious. Here is how my ladies night of liquor, cards and cigars came together.
Parties that have a theme automatically have a “special” feel. A few month ago I decided to have a Ladies Poker Night. At first I thought to have Green as the theme for the poker night so all lady guests would wear green for the color of money. The idea was good but I knew it wasn’t “It.”
Until one evening, while brainstorming with my girlfriends, one of them suggested a Saloon themed ladies night poker. I love it! For an extra special touch, I decided to play for chocolate truffles instead of playing for money because having chocolate truffles as the stakes for the game, guaranteed all ladies will take card playing seriously.
Once the theme was set – a Saloon Ladies Night Poker – I needed a setting for the party. I decided to have my party in my basement at home because I have two poker tables downstairs, tables which added to the decor. If you don’t have a poker table, a dining room table would work just as well but be sure to cover the table with a tablecloth in a rich color such a burgundy or emerald green.
The decoration are important to the party atmosphere but they can take a big chunk of the budget of any party. I always focus on just a few things mostly centerpieces or tablescapes. For the Poker Party, a friend of mine was kind enough and lent me several items I used to decorate the poker tables such as: full and empty liquor bottles, flasks, beer bottle openers, and some very cool copper mugs. One friend lent me beer mugs for drinks. I bought chocolate flavored cigars and that’s about it… Some of the food items became part of the decor such as beef jerky I tossed on the table and bowls of assorted trail mix.
Poker food is about snacks and appetizers. Since I had my party in the basement, where I don’t have the means to keep food warm, I opted to serve only cold food such as chips and sandwiches. I ordered four different kinds of sandwiches and pastries from Panera Bread and I bought two different kinds of potato chips. As mentioned above I also had beef jerky and bowls of trail mix sitting around the poker table.
While I used lots of liquor bottles to decorate around, those were just decorative. For drinks I looked for options that looked good in beer mugs so I decided on root beer and iced tea. While I was at the cigar store, I found alcoholic root beer so I bought a six pack, in case anyone wanted to try it… I felt cool and tough not only visiting a cigar store but carrying cigars and beer in my car.
6. Fun Girlfriends
Nothing makes a party more fun than the guests themselves. Somehow I ended up with a group of girlfriends who is always ready to dress up for a theme and get into character. You can always count on Jodi to wear a costume and perfect accessories and make up. This time Elizabeth stole the show by wearing both a costume and a blond wig that it took me a second to recognize her when she walked up to my door.
Of course not everyone enjoys or has time to put together a head to toe costume. Whenever I have a theme party I always tell guests to wear whatever makes them happy; whether it is a full on costume, an accent or they regular clothes. I want everyone to feel comfortable and enjoy the party. For instance, at this party I decided to wear a knee length tulle skirt with a bustier, outfit which did not keep with the theme 100% but that’s what made me happy to wear.
I hope I will always be able to fit into my party planning budget a photographer. There’s nothing better than looking through pictures after a party and remembering the fun moments. Addison Riddleberger with New Compass Production is always my photographer. He has photographed my parties for three and a half years and I’ve been beyond happy each time with his pictures. At this Saloon Poker party Addison took it upon himself to do some extra editing on the pictures by adding some special effects to make the pictures even more fabulous. Look at these two examples:
After Picture (Notice that the photographer added a wall as a background and smoke around the cigars)
All it takes is seven simple steps as described above for any respectable society ladies to have their ladies night of liquor, cigars and cards. Give it a try! It’s fun to hang out with your girlfriends, be dressed up for a theme, enjoy good food and laughter. As for me and my girlfriends we are onto our next party… I don’t know what party yet but there will be a party because it’s so amazing to break the routine of life with crazy, silly stuff.
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