60+ EPIC IDEAS 1920s Gatsby Party Theme! (2024)

Gatsby parties have become super popular recently, and for good reason, the decade was so iconic and all the music, fashion, drinks and glamour make it a perfect choice for birthday parties, corporate events New Year’s Eve or pretty much any special occasions that you want to celebrate with panache!

This post shares some epic ideas for a spectacular 1920s Gatsby theme, inspired by Fitzgerald’s novel and with plenty of elegance and opulence as portrayed in the Baz Luhrmann film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio. We have ideas for 

  • Gatsby Entrances
  • Datsby theme decorations
  • Spectacular Gatsby entertainment
  • Costume ideas for a great Gatsby Dress and Great Gatsby Accessories
  • 1920s Cocktails /ideas and
  • Ultimate 20’s style party food ideas 

Without further ado, it’s time to get party planning and let the roaring 20s roar!

Spectacular 1920s Gatsby Party Entrance Ideas

The most impressive way to wow guests is to create a spectacular party entrance, getting everyone into the theme and hyped up for an incredible night! Here are some great ideas to get you started:

  1. Red Carpet Arrival: Roll out a red carpet leading up to the entrance of the venue to make guests feel like Hollywood stars. Line the sides of the carpet with gold stanchions and velvet ropes for an extra touch of luxury.
  2. Gatsby-Inspired Signage: Create a custom marquee sign or banner featuring the words “Welcome to Gatsby’s Mansion” or “Step into the Roaring Twenties.” Use art deco fonts and gold foil accents to capture the style of the era.
  3. Flapper Greeters: Hire costumed flapper greeters, this is a great way to welcome guests as they arrive. Dressed in sequined dresses, feathered headbands, and long strands of pearls, these greeters will add a touch of authenticity to the entrance experience.
  4. Champagne Tower: Set up a champagne tower (or tower-style display) near the entrance, with glasses stacked in a pyramid shape. As guests arrive, offer them a glass of bubbly to give them the best great gatsby welcome.
  5. Art Deco Archway: Frame the entrance with an art deco style archway adorned with geometric patterns, metallic accents, strands of twinkling lights and other art deco designs. This will create a dramatic focal point and set the stage for the party inside.
  6. Glamorous Lighting Effects: Illuminate the entrance with dramatic lighting effects, such as spotlights, uplighting, and gobo projections featuring art deco motifs. Use warm, golden hues to create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere.
  7. Gatsby-Inspired Photo Op: Set up a photo op area near the entrance where guests can pose for pictures against a backdrop inspired by the Great Gatsby era. Provide props like feather boas, pearl necklaces, and vintage hats for guests to use in their photos.
  8. Vintage Car Display: Park a vintage car, such as a Rolls-Royce or a classic convertible, near the entrance to serve as a glamorous backdrop for photos!

1920s Gatsby Party Entertainment

Foe any great party, we want epic party entertainment! Here are our top ideas for entertainment in the gatsby theme!

  1. Live Jazz Band: Hire a live jazz band or a jazz ensemble to perform classic tunes from the 1920s. Live music sets a perfect tone for the party and transport guests back to the era of flappers and speakeasies. For a more affordable version, you can play live music shows on a projector to go along with the classic songs fo the era being played.
  2. Charleston Dance Performance: Arrange for a Charleston performance, a popular dance of the 1920s! Or for a more affordable DIY version, have a charleston dance projector playing the art on stage as a movie reel!
  3. Speakeasy Bar: Set up a speakeasy-style bar serving classic cocktails from the Prohibition era. Invite a mixologist to craft specialty drinks like Mint Juleps, Sidecars, and French 75s, and encourage guests to indulge in some libations while mingling and dancing.
  4. Casino Games: Create a casino atmosphere with classic gambling games like blackjack, roulette, and poker. Set up tables with professional dealers and provide guests with play money or chips to wager on their favorite games.
  5. Fortune Tellers: Hire fortune tellers or tarot card readers to provide guests with personalized readings. Guests can learn about their future while embracing the mystique and intrigue of the Roaring Twenties.
  6. Cigar Lounge: Create a cigar lounge where guests can relax and enjoy premium cigars. Provide a selection of cigars and accessories, such as cigar cutters and matches, and encourage guests to indulge in a little old-fashioned luxury.
  7. Vintage Photo Booth: Rent a vintage-style photo booth or hire a photographer to capture guests’ memories in a glamorous Gatsby-themed dress code. Provide props like feather boas, pearl necklaces, and fedora hats for guests to use while posing for their photos.
  8. Roaring Twenties Fashion Show: Organize a fashion show featuring attire inspired by the 1920s. Invite guests to strut their stuff on the runway in flapper dresses, pinstripe suits, and feathered headpieces, and award prizes for the best-dressed guests. The ultimate moment for flapper fashion!
  9. Gatsby-Themed Trivia: Host a Gatsby-themed trivia game to test guests’ knowledge of the novel and the Roaring Twenties era. 
  10. Fireworks Display: End the evening with a dazzling fireworks display to add a touch of grandeur and spectacle to the party. Guests can gather outside to watch the fireworks light up the sky and bring the festivities to a memorable close.

1920s Gatsby Party Decor

Decoration is the key to creating the ultimate party atmosphere are for a theme as evocative and stylised as a 1920s gatsby party, the decorations need to be big and bold! here are our favorite suggestions!

  1. Gatsby-Inspired Photo Backdrops: Design and create your own photo backdrops using inexpensive materials like fabric, streamers, and paper. Choose art deco patterns, gold foil accents, or vintage-inspired scenes to match the theme of your party. Hang the backdrops on a wall or frame them with PVC pipes for easy setup and removal.
  2. DIY Feather Centerpieces: Make your own feather centerpieces using inexpensive feathers from craft stores or online suppliers. Arrange the feathers in tall vases or glass containers filled with beads, pearls, or faux diamonds. Add LED lights or submersible candles for a glamorous effect.
  3. Vintage Guest Book: Create a vintage-inspired guest book using a blank journal or scrapbook. Decorate the cover with art deco motifs, vintage photos, or quotes from The Great Gatsby. Leave space for guests to write messages, memories, or well wishes throughout the evening.
  4. Art Deco Place Cards: Design and print 1920s theme art deco-inspired place cards for your dinner or buffet tables. Use a combination of metallic cardstock, calligraphy fonts, and embellishments like pearls or rhinestones to create elegant place settings for your guests.
  5. Gatsby-Inspired Party Favors: Make your own party favors inspired by the Roaring Twenties, such as mini bottles of champagne with custom labels, homemade bath salts or sugar scrubs packaged in art deco containers, or DIY photo booth props featuring vintage-inspired designs. These can make stunning little party decorations before they’re taken home!
  6. DIY Speakeasy Signage: Design and create your own speakeasy-inspired signage to add authenticity to your party space. Use chalkboards, poster board, or foam core to make signs for the bar, restrooms, and other areas of the venue. Add vintage-inspired typography, art deco borders, and cheeky phrases to complete the look.
  7. Gatsby-Inspired Table Runners: Make your own table runners using inexpensive fabric in metallic gold or silver. Cut the fabric to size and embellish it with sequins, beads, or fabric paint in art deco patterns. Use the table runners to add a touch of glamour to your dining or buffet tables.
  8. Art Deco Balloon Arch: Create a balloon arch using black, gold, and silver balloons arranged in an art deco pattern. Add metallic fringe or tassels to the arch for a glamorous touch.
  9. Vintage Bar Cart: Set up a vintage bar cart stocked with crystal decanters, champagne flutes, and art deco-inspired cocktail shakers. Decorate the cart with strings of pearls, feather boas, and beaded curtains for a touch of old-world glamour.
  10. Candlelit Pathways: Line pathways and walkways with luminous lanterns, hurricane candles, or LED pillar candles in glass holders. The soft, flickering light will create a romantic ambiance and guide guests to different areas of the party.
  11. Vintage Suitcases and Trunks: Arrange vintage suitcases and trunks around the party space to evoke the travel and adventure of the Roaring Twenties. Use them as props or display surfaces for floral arrangements, signage, or guest favors.
  12. Gatsby-Inspired Tableware: Choose tableware with art deco-inspired designs, such as plates, napkins, and cups featuring geometric patterns, metallic accents, and bold colors. Mix and match patterns for a playful yet cohesive look.

1920s Great Gatsby Party Music

Music is so key to the them and the times but the type of music you choose will affect the vibe of the party. Here are a range of ideas so you can choose the party vibe you want while keeping the gatsby theme!

Jazz: Jazz music was the heartbeat of the 1920s, reflecting the spirit of rebellion, freedom, and innovation of the era. Choose classic jazz tunes with lively rhythms and soulful melodies to keep the party swinging.

  • Top Artists: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Bessie Smith, Fats Waller, Benny Goodman, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Swing: Swing music emerged in the late 1920s and became wildly popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Characterized by its infectious rhythms and energetic horn sections, swing music is perfect for getting guests on their feet and dancing the night away.

  • Top Artists: Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, and Tommy Dorsey.

Big Band: Big band music reached its peak during the 1930s and 1940s, featuring large orchestras with brass, woodwind, and rhythm sections. The driving rhythms and bold arrangements of big band music are ideal for creating a lively and festive atmosphere at your party.

  • Top Artists: Glenn Miller Orchestra, Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, Count Basie Orchestra, and Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

Charleston: The Charleston dance craze swept the nation during the 1920s, accompanied by upbeat and catchy tunes that inspired dancers to kick up their heels and shimmy across the dance floor. Include songs with syncopated rhythms and playful melodies to evoke the carefree spirit of the Jazz Age.

  • Top Songs: “Charleston” by Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, “The Charleston” by James P. Johnson, “Black Bottom” by Ma Rainey, and “Crazy Rhythm” by Roger Wolfe Kahn and His Orchestra.

Vaudeville and Cabaret: Vaudeville and cabaret performances were popular entertainment options during the 1920s, featuring a mix of comedy, music, dance, and theatrical acts. Include songs from vaudeville and cabaret performers to add variety and whimsy to your playlist.

  • Top Artists: Sophie Tucker, Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Ethel Waters, and Bert Williams.

Crooners and Torch Singers: Crooners and torch singers captivated audiences with their emotive vocals and romantic ballads, making them essential figures in the music scene of the 1920s and 1930s. Include songs that showcase the sultry and heartfelt performances of these iconic artists.

  • Top Artists: Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Al Bowlly, Rudy Vallée, and Helen Kane.

1920s Great Gatsby Costume Ideas

Seeing guests arrive in costume is my favorite party of the night, and having guests dressed up makes for living decorations! Here are some ultimate costume ideas in keeping with the theme.

For Men:

  1. Gatsby Suit: Dress in a tailored suit in classic 1920s style, featuring a double-breasted jacket, high-waisted trousers, and a vest. Choose fabrics like tweed, wool, or pinstripe for an authentic look, and accessorize with a pocket square, suspenders, and a vintage-inspired tie or bow tie.
  2. Three-Piece Suit: Go for a classic three-piece suit in a neutral color like black, charcoal gray, or navy blue. Opt for a slim-fit silhouette with peak lapels and pinstripe or herringbone detailing for a nod to 1920s style.
  3. Tuxedo: Dress to impress in a traditional tuxedo with a black dinner jacket, matching trousers, and a crisp white dress shirt. Complete the look with a black bow tie, patent leather oxfords, and a pocket square for a polished and sophisticated ensemble.
  4. Gatsby-Inspired Vest and Tie: Pair a tailored vest with coordinating trousers and a dress shirt for a dapper look inspired by the Great Gatsby era. Add a silk tie in a bold pattern or rich jewel tone for a pop of color.
  5. Sweater Vest and Oxford Shirt: For a more casual take on 1920s style, layer a sweater vest over a button-down Oxford shirt and chinos. Finish the look with a newsboy cap or fedora hat and leather loafers for a relaxed yet polished ensemble.
  6. Vintage-Inspired Accessories: Elevate your look with vintage-inspired accessories like suspenders, pocket watches, cufflinks, and two-tone wingtip shoes. Pay attention to details like Art Deco patterns, mother-of-pearl accents, and engraved monograms to add authenticity to your outfit.
  7. Newsboy Cap: Top off your look with a newsboy cap or fedora hat in tweed or felt. These classic hats were popular accessories for men during the 1920s.

For Women:

  1. Flapper Dress: Embrace the iconic flapper look with a beaded or fringe flapper dress in black, gold, or silver. Add a feathered headband or sequined headpiece, long strands of pearls, and fishnet stockings to complete the ensemble.
  2. Art Deco Gown: Opt for an elegant gown featuring art deco-inspired patterns and embellishments. Look for dresses with geometric beading, sequins, and metallic accents in rich colors like navy, emerald green, or burgundy.
  3. Pant Suit: For a more unconventional look, consider wearing a tailored pant suit with wide-legged trousers and a matching jacket. Choose luxurious fabrics like velvet or satin and accessorize with a silk blouse and statement brooch.
  4. Silk Slip Dress: Channel the effortless elegance of the 1920s with a silk slip dress in a soft pastel shade like blush pink or champagne. Style it with delicate jewelry and strappy heels for a romantic and feminine vibe.
  5. Glamorous Accessories: Elevate your outfit with glamorous accessories like long satin gloves, a faux fur stole or capelet, and sparkly costume jewelry. Choose statement pieces such as cocktail rings, chandelier earrings, and beaded necklaces to add a touch of luxury.
  6. Vintage Hairstyle: Style your hair in a vintage-inspired updo or finger waves for an authentic 1920s look. Add a decorative hair accessory like a jeweled hair comb or feather fascinator to complete your hairstyle.
  7. Makeup: Create a dramatic makeup look with bold, dark lips, defined eyebrows, and smoky eyes. Use matte foundation, red or plum lipstick, and black eyeliner to achieve a classic Gatsby-inspired makeup look.

1920s Great Gatsby party cocktail ideas

For a classic, iconic party, you need appropriate cocktails…here are some ultra chic cocktail suggestions!

  • Gin Rickey:
    • Ingredients: Gin, lime juice, soda water
    • Description: A classic Prohibition-era cocktail, the Gin Rickey is refreshing and easy to make. It’s perfect for a Gatsby-themed party, with its crisp and citrusy flavor.
  • Sidecar:
    • Ingredients: Cognac, triple sec, lemon juice
    • Description: The Sidecar is a sophisticated cocktail that was popularized during the 1920s. Its combination of brandy, citrus, and sweetness makes it a timeless choice for any Gatsby-inspired affair.
  • French 75:
    • Ingredients: Gin, champagne, lemon juice, simple syrup
    • Description: Named after a powerful World War I artillery piece, the French 75 is a glamorous cocktail that exudes elegance and sophistication. Its bubbly nature and citrusy kick make it a fitting choice for a Gatsby-themed party.
  • Old Fashioned:
    • Ingredients: Bourbon or rye whiskey, sugar, bitters, orange peel
    • Description: A classic cocktail that dates back to the 19th century, the Old Fashioned remained popular during the 1920s. Its simple yet refined flavor profile makes it a timeless favorite among cocktail enthusiasts.
  • Mint Julep:
    • Ingredients: Bourbon, mint leaves, sugar, water
    • Description: Originating in the American South, the Mint Julep is a refreshing and aromatic cocktail that gained popularity during the Roaring Twenties. Its combination of bourbon, mint, and sweetness makes it a delightful choice for a Gatsby-themed party.
  • Manhattan:
    • Ingredients: Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitters, maraschino cherry
    • Description: The Manhattan is a classic cocktail that epitomizes the glamour and sophistication of the 1920s. Its rich and complex flavor profile, with hints of spice and sweetness, makes it a beloved choice among cocktail connoisseurs.
  • Bee’s Knees:
    • Ingredients: Gin, honey syrup, lemon juice
    • Description: The Bee’s Knees is a Prohibition-era cocktail that combines the floral notes of gin with the sweetness of honey and the tartness of lemon. Its name reflects the slang of the 1920s, when “bee’s knees” was used to describe something excellent or outstanding.
  • Southside:
    • Ingredients: Gin, mint leaves, lime juice, simple syrup
    • Description: The Southside is a refreshing cocktail that originated in Chicago during the Prohibition era. Its combination of gin, mint, and citrus makes it a crisp and invigorating choice for a Gatsby-themed party.
  • Corpse Reviver No. 2:
    • Ingredients: Gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, absinthe rinse
    • Description: The Corpse Reviver No. 2 is a vintage cocktail that was popularized during the 1920s. Its complex flavor profile, with herbal and citrus notes, makes it a sophisticated choice for a Gatsby-themed gathering.
  • Mary Pickford:
    • Ingredients: Light rum, pineapple juice, grenadine, maraschino liqueur
    • Description: Named after the iconic silent film actress, the Mary Pickford cocktail is a fruity and refreshing option for a Gatsby-themed party. Its tropical flavors and vibrant color evoke the carefree spirit of the Roaring Twenties.

1920s Gatsby Party Menu

To give you inspiration, we’ve got some iconic canape and hors d’oeuvre style menu options that are perfect delicious treats for a 1920s era themed party! 

  1. Mini Crab Cakes:
    • Description: Serve bite-sized crab cakes with a creamy aioli or tartar sauce for dipping. These elegant appetizers are reminiscent of the upscale cuisine enjoyed by Gatsby and his guests.
  2. Cucumber Tea Sandwiches:
    • Description: Prepare delicate cucumber tea sandwiches on crustless white bread, cut into elegant triangles or rectangles. These dainty sandwiches are perfect for an afternoon tea-inspired spread.
  3. Oysters Rockefeller:
    • Description: Indulge your guests with classic Oysters Rockefeller, featuring oysters topped with a rich mixture of spinach, herbs, and breadcrumbs, then baked to perfection. This decadent dish exudes luxury and sophistication.
  4. Stuffed Mushrooms:
    • Description: Fill mushroom caps with a savory mixture of cream cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs, then bake until golden and bubbly. These elegant appetizers are sure to impress your guests.
  5. Shrimp Cocktail:
    • Description: Serve chilled shrimp with a tangy cocktail sauce for dipping. Arrange the shrimp on a bed of ice for an elegant presentation that evokes the opulence of Gatsby’s parties.
  6. Artichoke Dip with Crostini:
    • Description: Prepare a creamy artichoke dip with Parmesan cheese and herbs, then serve it with toasted crostini for dipping. This crowd-pleasing appetizer is both indulgent and delicious.
  7. Mini Beef Wellingtons:
    • Description: Create mini versions of the classic Beef Wellington by wrapping tender beef fillet in puff pastry with a layer of mushroom duxelles. Bake until golden and serve with a rich demi-glace sauce for dipping.
  8. Deviled Eggs:
    • Description: Prepare classic deviled eggs filled with a creamy mixture of egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, and spices. Garnish with paprika and fresh chives for a retro touch.
  9. Cheese and Charcuterie Platter:
    • Description: Arrange a selection of artisanal cheeses, cured meats, olives, nuts, and fruits on a wooden platter for an elegant and sophisticated spread. Serve with crusty bread and gourmet crackers for an added touch of luxury.

Good Luck!

This theme is so much fun, we hope you are feeling inspired by these ideas to throw the ultimate great gatsby themed party!

Best of luck,

Zoe x

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