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A large hotel ballroom or event hall makes the perfect setting for a masquerade ball. Guests can dress in full-blown Venetian-style costumes that would please the extravagant tastes of Marie Antoinette, or they can wear standard cocktail attire with elaborate masks. Either way, make sure you have stated the dress code in your invitations.
A popular variation is that all of the guests create and decorate their own masks as large and as extravagant as they like. Guests can add feathers, horns, beads, paint, or anything else they like that would adequately reflect their hidden, dark side.
Decide if you want to have a buffet, a sit-down meal or simply appetizers. If you will be offering a bar, just make sure you have enough adult beverages to go around – your guests will arrive ready to party! And don’t forget the Party Sweets – brightly colored buttermints are perfect for any masquerade.
If you go the authentic route with your masquerade ball, you will require guests to keep their masks on throughout the party, until the ritual “midnight unmasking.” Traditionally, masquerades hosted guests from all walks of life, who were encouraged to keep their identities secret until the agreed-upon time of unveiling. During the party, guests would socialize with everyone, and were sometimes even given topics to break the ice. If you go this route, keep in mind that it works best with very large parties, and you will need to inform your guests in the invitations of the rules.
Entertainment can be as simple as piped-in classical music, or as elaborate as hired performers doing tricks like fire-juggling and tightrope walking.
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