You may have heard it said: the first rule of being chic entails being born in Paris. Oh, bummer. It seems you didn’t get the memo on time. But don’t let that stop you if you love the spontaneity, the fun, the Je ne sais quoi that comes with all things French and French-themed parties.
The French are known to throw killer parties, and it comes as no surprise that everyone likes to borrow a leaf from them. Luckily, throwing a French-themed party isn’t a Herculean task, even for people who’ve never set foot in Paris, let alone born there.
With the right French party supplies and a generous helping of spontaneity, you can throw a French-themed party that has the guests saying ooh la la.
French themed party ideas to floor your guests
Start a French revolution
If you weren’t born in Paris, make your stand and declare yourself French by reenacting one of the most venerated days in French history – Bastille Day. Celebrated on the 14th of July, Bastille day is believed to have kicked off the French revolution following a long period of political unrest.
Having the right colors – red, white, and blue – is the key to staging a smashing Bastille Day themed party. Start by hanging blue, white, and red buntings on your front porch and up your drive. If a friendly neighbor asks what’s happening, ask them to stop by because spontaneity is quintessential French.
Set the mood by draping French Flags around the party’s venue and have a few French street signs denoting some of the more famous streets in Paris. Throwing some patriotic (red, white, and blue) covers on the tables helps to sell the idea in addition to having similar decorations on the wall.
Throw in a few miniature Eiffel Towers on the buffet table to sell the experience. If you have a thing for the macabre, swap the tower for miniature guillotines adorned with French flags, blue, red, and white pendants, and mini berets.
Food is a central theme in any party, but you don’t need to fly in a chef from France for a Bastille Day party. You can get on by serving your guests a delicious batch of ratatouille and follow it up with a crème brulee dessert. It’s a French affair, so of course, you need a variety of red and white wine for your guests.
Stroll down the streets of Paris
A stroll down the famous streets of Paris is always a thrilling affair, making it an incredible theme for a French-themed party. It affords you a fun and exciting way to decorate and celebrate a momentous occasion in your life.
Start by sending out custom invitations to the party. You can opt for a bicycle shaped invitation card or one featuring famed open-air markets on the cover.
Wrought iron lamp posts are a standard fixture of Parisian streets and having them around the party area sells the experience. Rent a few lamp posts and use them to light your streets. Set bench covers with Paris themed table cloths along the streets where your guest will be sitting. Help your guests find their way around by having street signs on each street corner.
The French are known for their love of food and outdoors cafés, and your benched lined streets replicate this scenario. Sell the street experience further by having each guest wear a beret as they enjoy their French bread and cheese from a cloth or wicker basket on each bench.
You can have a large banner of the Eiffel Tower hanging on one end of the room and Notre Dame on the other end. Or you can have miniatures architectural masterpieces including Notre Dame and the Arch de Triumph dotting the landscape.
Set up a food service station in food carts and keep the menu simple. French bread, brie, and croissants are a common sight among food vendors in the street of Paris. Have a station devoted to serving coffees, another to French bread and croissants, and yet another serving a variety of fresh soft and hard cheeses including Roquefort, brie, and camembert.
Marie Antoinette was one of the more famous, fashionable, and chic French queens. So, she makes the perfect theme when you need to throw a classy and elegant party. The queen is renowned for her let them eat cake gaffe, so sending out cake themed invitation cards sell the theme right away. Alternatively, you can send out invites shaped as hair wigs.
Since it revolves around royalty, a Marie Antoinette themed French party entails throwing a grand ball. It’s the perfect excuse to throw a lavish party to celebrate a significant event in your life.
If you have the budget, consider renting a banquet hall or a hotel room as they often have fancy chandeliers and other glamourous room décors. If not, buy plastic or acrylic jewel chandeliers and transform a regular room into a ballroom. You can have a large chandelier hanging on the ceilings and smaller ones hanging over each table.
Rented gold chairs are a great way to complement the tables with floor-length white linen covers. You can also have shimmery gold overlays on the table covers. Instead of miniature Eiffel Towers, have real cakes as centerpieces on each table, preferably a different cake for each table.
Your menu should revolve around a dessert menu and involve different types of cakes. Rich chocolate, spices, pink champagne cakes, among others make the perfect choice for a Marie Antoinette party theme. Other food items include chocolate, macaroon, and champagne.
No grand ball would be complete without a masquerade table and a photobooth with Victorian-era clothing. Be sure to outfit the photobooth with the appropriate props from mustaches, cardboard berets, lips and glasses to petit Eiffel towers. Have the guests take pictures in the different get-up and carry them home as mementos from the party.
For an additional touch of class, send off each guest with a party favor that can include gourmet macaroons or French chocolate in small Chiffon bags or in mini cake boxes. Gift the ladies with a tiara and the gents with a crown and have them feeling like royalty for the night.
French-themed parties make an excellent way to spice up any event that calls for a celebration. You can use the various French-themed party ideas to spice up any event in your life from birthdays, anniversaries, to special occasions. Cherry-pick what you like from the main themes and use them to create a unique idea that gels with your needs and personality.