A strong party theme can be a host’s BFF. “The theme, whether achieved through décor, menu selections, even the guest list, can create the mood,” says Huntington events planner Liz Cordeiro. “It lets guests know how the evening might proceed from the moment they walk in the door.” Long Island partygoers can expect to encounter these fresh themes and variations at gatherings this year.
Plants & the planet
When the Golden Globes menu went vegan last month, awards magnet Joaquin Phoenix called it “very bold move.”
Very contagious, too, according to Andrea Correale, owner of Elegant Affairs in Glen Cove, who’s featuring a Globe-like mushroom dish, vegan “sushi” and more plant-focused food at local parties. “This takes inspiration from the environment and feeding the soul,” she says. “It’s great for a sit-down dinner.”
Even at big parties, little things mean a lot, according to Cordeiro, who’s been hearing “make it more personal” by party hosts often these days. “It’s all about making guests feel really special,” she says.
Tiny details — monogrammed napkins, custom place cards and even individualized food items — work wonders.
“The twenties are here and the theme is hot,” says Michael Cerbelli, CEO of Manhattan-based Cerbelli Creative, which regularly puts together events on Long Island. “Everybody’s doing it. We’re calling it 2K20.” Dim lights, clubby chairs, and, natch, a bathtub, add up to a speakeasy vibe. Strands of pearls on tabletops and dishes filled with vintage sweets that “people can stuff into their pockets” are catchy accents. (Cerbelli recommends Nassau Candy, a bulk candy wholesaler in Hicksville).
Turn over a new leaf
Inspired by eco-awareness, greenery — from trees to tabletop arrangements — is a growing theme, according to Jonathan Glatt, COO of NYFF Events. For an engagement party last month in Westbury, the company built hedge walls that held flutes filled with bubbly.
When it comes to kids’ parties, movies often spark a must-do theme, says Nicole Rosales, co-owner of LMNO Party Planning in Babylon. The latest inspiration is "Sonic the Hedgehog." And they’re “anticipating spikes” in "Minions" themes when the movie sequel comes out in July.
Rough and ready
The request for a “rustic” vibe is now a recurring theme for every party under the sun, says Rosales, adding that LMNO recently did a baptism in Babylon with that motif. A wooden pallet doubling as a photo backdrop was a key element to set the mood.
A nod to granny
We could all use a hug. That’s showing up thematically in parties in sweet ways, according to Ashley O’Neil, a party and event planner in Southold. “People are going back to nostalgic favorites, desserts their grandmothers made them,” she says. Cookie and milk shooters, mini cheesecakes and local doughnuts all do the trick for a dessert party.