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Back in the early days, European aristocrats threw costumed masked balls which allowed them to flit in and out of their usual persona and become totally different persons for a day. In fact, the word masquerade came from the French word  the masque  meaning is mask. Our modern costume parties came from these old European traditions and even the masquerade has come back more popular than ever. Better yet, they’re not limited to the aristocrats anymore and can fit with any kind of party sweet 16, proms and Valentine’s Day. Here are some ideas for you to throw a masquerade party of your very own.

Masquerade costume
With all the time you’ll be expending on preparations, games and food, will you have any time getting ready for your own party . If you don’t have a fairy godmother or you can’t afford having a dressmaker make a dress appropriate for the ball, your best bet is to go to to the shops. Vintage shops, theater props shops and costume shops are full of era-specific clothes and accessories, and you have the option of renting them or buying them.

If all your budget went to preparing the party, the best you can do is use your old bridesmaid’s gown. If you don’t have one, borrow from a friend. Having old-fashioned accessories, hair and make up can make up for the fact that you’re using a very different kind of gown. The same goes for guys: You can just rent a tuxedo and go to the masquerade with a really beautiful mask to make up for the modernity of the clothes.

There are a lot of pre-made masks out there, but if you are feeling particularly creative, there are also blan masks out there that you can work with. Have fun designing it with feathers, lace, sequins and other materials.

Unmask Your Playful Side: Games and Activities


Whos behind the mask
Even if the first masquerade balls took place hundreds of years ago, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t know how to have fun. Take some pages out of the old masquerade parties and add some of your own ideas with these masquerade party games and activities.

Who’s Behind the Mask . As every guest arrive, there must be one or two people armed with cameras waiting for them at the entrance. Take a picture of every guest and later, put up the pictures where everyone can see them. The person who can identify the most of the masked guests correctly wins.

Vote for Best Costume - Having a big prize for this one will certainly motivate your guests to put all their efforts in dressing up. Have a vote for the night’s best costume for male and female. Tally the votes and announce the winner.

Photo Opportunity - Set up a place with a romantic night time setting back ground and set up a camera where your guests and their dates can take souvenir photos. They will surely want something to remember the evening by.

Dance - If you have lots of time, and the guests are willing, you can rehearse for a dance a week or days before the party. You can just do some simple dance moves like the waltz, or if you want something more complicated, you can hire a dance instructor to help you out. Invite him or her to the party itself to encourage the wallflowers to dance and to observe everything you’ve rehearsed.

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