If you’re thinking of holding a James Bond fancy dress party or 007 theme party then you need to plan well in advance. Here we look at planning your party to perfection.
Why are you celebrating?
So you’re throwing a James Bond fancy dress party – but what are you celebrating? Let your guests know why they’re invited and what to expect from the night.
Your budget determines the type and size of the venue, whether you have caterers, number of guests, decorations, entertainment – everything in fact. Once you’ve decided on your budget for your James Bond fancy dress party, stick to it rigidly.
Where will you hold it and who will you invite?
The size of the venue determines the number of guests and vice versa. Don’t go for too large a venue or you’ll never get the right atmosphere. On the other hand, don’t crowd too many people into too tight a space.
If your James Bond fancy dress party is to be held in warm weather then throwing the party at home means guests can go outside too.
When will it take place?
If it’s to celebrate a birthday, New Year or Thanksgiving then you have little flexibility over the date.
Whatever date you decide, ensure that invitations are sent out as soon as you can to allow guests to put the date in their diaries and start planning their costumes.
The invitation can be a phone, email, or by post.
To avoid everyone showing up dressed as James Bond, it is worth providing some other examples of characters from the 007 films – Q, M, Moneypenny spring to mind, as do some of the classic villains – Dr No, Blofeld or even Blofeld’s cat!
If guests really do want to dress as 007, what about being more adventurous than just showing up in a tux? Think of the dress sense of Sean Connery compared with Roger Moore for example, and what about some scuba equipment a la Goldfinger – you could even find a duck to wear on your head.
Are you going to organise the catering or does your budget allow for caterers?
If you’re doing it then you need to plan it at least a week in advance and make sure it is all done prior to guests arriving. If you’re using caterers, spend some time discussing your expectations – if they aren’t clear on what you want they can’t be expected to provide it!
As for the bar, you can organise your own drinks, bring in bar staff or plan it as part of the catering.
At a James Bond fancy dress party there are two drinks that guests will expect – Vodka martini, shaken not stirred and Champagne. If you budget doesn’t run to the real thing then consider cheaper alternatives – Spanish Cava is good, much cheaper and most people can’t tell the difference anyway.
If you want a little extra sophistication you could try the recipe for James Bond’s own design of drink – the Vesper – which appears in Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig and be sure to download our ebook The James Bond Cocktail Bar.
One more thing – don’t forget to provide soft drinks too.
Plan your music in advance, by mixing a tape or burning a CD – a good start would be the James Bond theme songs, but other period music can also work well. Don’t forget that you can also buy cover versions of all the Bond songs, so you don’t only have to play the originals.
If you are decorating your James Bond fancy dress party to a Casino theme then a roulette wheel is almost obligatory – how about providing chocolate coins or casino chips to your guests to be spent at the roulette table, or even use the casino wheel to provide the numbers for a raffle?
Other entertainment, if you think it’s necessary could include setting up a slot car track with 007 cars – everyone likes slot car racing.
In addition to drinks your James Bond fancy dress party will benefit from some careful props.
While parking an Aston Martin outside is beyond the budget of most of us, a roulette wheel and chips would be a good starting point – you could award chips or monopoly money to guests as they arrive (or alternatively if you post an invitation) and allow them to play once the evening gets going.
Display some posters or merchandise from the films starting with something outside the front door. You could also scan some playing cards and blow them up to full page size and print them out – an easy and effective decoration.
If you have bar staff, dress them in white shirts and bow ties so they become part of the design of the party.
Other themes could be Fort Knox holding gold painted boxes to represent gold bars or Blofeld’s Volcano lair from You Only Live Twice – if your budget allows it you could even have different rooms with different themes, or just one room with different themes and each area spotlit at different times throughout the night.
On the night
Relax. If you’ve planned it properly then all will go more or less to plan. Allow yourself plenty of time to decorate the venue and when the time comes grab a drink and enjoy it – that’s why you threw this party, isn’t it?
More on James Bond theme parties