Set the Mood and Venue
The Masquerade Ball has a rich history, tracing its roots back in time to the 14th and 15th centuries. From the classic Venetian Carnival season to the European balls popular in later centuries, the masquerade theme is sophisticated and timeless fun. To help set the mood when planning a Holiday Masquerade Ball, consider theme colors:
- Gold and silver
- Gold and red
- Red and white
All three of the above color pairings work perfectly for a holiday-themed masquerade ball/party. Carry the colors throughout the various elements, including invitations and decorations for a cohesive theme.
The right venue also must be chosen. For full masquerade ball, complete with dancing, a larger venue will be needed, while a smaller scale event may be hosted on site at the company's offices. Venues to consider include but are not limited to:
- Reception room at local hotel (large and small options)
- Country Club reception room
- Country Club outdoor space (with pavilion and dance floor)
- The company's business office
Don't discount hosting the event on site at the company or business. With a little creativity, you can transform the space into a magical holiday party everyone will talk about for a long time.
After coordinating and finalizing the guest list, it's time to send out themed invitations. The key is "themed" invitations regardless of the type of invitations sent.
- Traditional cardstock invite with envelope and return R.S.V.P. ($$$) Effort Level: Hard. Time-consuming. Not Green.
- Postcard invite with Text/SMS R.S.V.P. option. ($$) Effort Level: Medium. Less Time-consuming. More Eco-Friendly.
- E-vite with electronic R.S.V.P. ($) Effort Level: Easy. Fast. Green/Eco-Friendly.
The venue typically dictates the level and type of decorating allowed for a particular event. A traditional masquerade ball transforms an ordinary space into the extraordinary with elaborate fabrics, glittering accents, and beautiful candlelight throughout to create a mysterious and enchanting mood. So how do you do this in a hotel ballroom, on the lawns of a country club, or in the office of the business hosting the party? Focus on table centerpieces, lighting, and materials that can be draped to cover the mundane.
- Flameless candle centerpieces featuring stunning masks. ($ to $$) Difficulty Level: Creative Skills Required
- Tulle and battery-operated fairy lights. Note: fairy lights are not the same as strands of tree lights. Fairy lights wrapped in tulle can be wound around columns, draped across archways, and used to create centerpieces. ($$) Difficulty Level: Medium to Tricky
- Gossamer backdrops. Gossamer is a fluid material that can be draped, hung, and manipulated to transform a space. Stick with your color scheme. ($$ to $$$) Difficulty Level: Decorator Skills Required
- Mylar and Cracked Ice rolls for creating backdrops and even tabletop covers. ($$) Difficulty Level: Easy to Decorator Skills Required
- Standees. Order a masquerade-themed standee from a party supplier. Think life-size mask or elaborate archway. Use it as a photo prop and eye-catching décor piece. ($$ to $$$) Difficulty Level: Easy
The menu for a Holiday Masquerade Ball/Party needs to have emphasis on decadence but presented in a manner that's easy for the guest to eat and enjoy. Bite-size portions typically work best if a buffet or sit-down meal isn't being served. For bite-sized deliciousness, consider:
- Marinated mushrooms or olives on a small skewer
- Stuffed mushrooms
- Crab puffs
- Avocado wrapped in prosciutto
- Prosciutto wrapped figs with bleu cheese (topped with pecans or walnuts)
- Elegant cheese plate with baked brie
- Smoked salmon bites on endive with an avocado mousse
- Classic shrimp cocktail
- Parmesan and gruyere beignets (bite-size)
And for the sweets consider, chocolate-dipped strawberries, truffles, and individual crème brulee.
Because this Holiday Masquerade Ball is a corporate event, it's essential to keep the entertainment tailored to suit a large and diverse group. If dancing will be an option for the guests a DJ will cost less than a live band. However, live music may fit the elegance of this themed event better than a DJ. Entertainment ideas include but are not limited to:
- A string quartet to play throughout the night ($ to $$$) Family-friendly
- Classical pianist ($ to $$$) Family-friendly
- Jazz band (if leaning to a more New Orleans-style masquerade) ($ to $$$) Family-friendly
- Live band to play holiday-themed music ($ to $$$) Family-friendly
Check in Guests Electronically
Plan to streamline check in for guests by using the Check In Easy app. No Excel spreadsheets needed, just a phone, tablet, or laptop. Guests arrive and don't have to wait in a long, slow-moving line to enter into the Masquerade Ball. The guests are happy and the party can begin that much quicker.