An "Evening in Paris" theme party sets the stage for a sophisticated affair -- whether it's a wedding shower, bridal shower, birthday party or simply an intimate gathering of friends. Parisian-themed invitations, vintage music, glamorous decor and French fare and cocktails will set the mood to create a magical and memorable soiree for your special occasion.
Creating an exquisite invitation sets the tone and adds to the excitement of your party. Download images of the Eiffel Tower from the Internet and, using a vintage type font, include all pertinent information. Create a mock Paris Metro pass or French movie ticket that admits one. Include the date, time, location and whether an RSVP is necessary. If you’d like your guests to dress in special attire, state this. Although invitations can easily be e-mailed, actually sending them by mail adds a personal touch.
Using an old window with glass intact, tape a nighttime scene of the lighted Eiffel tower behind it to hang on a wall in your party space. Guests can more easily imagine being in the City of Light at night by looking out your “window” at the glorious view. Play vintage music to transport your guests to the streets of Paris. Choose French accordion tunes and recordings by Edith Piaf, the legendary French singer. If you're aiming for something more contemporary, choose cuts from the "Moulin Rouge" film soundtrack. Dress your space with tiny tea candles set in holders alongside bouquets of fresh peonies, if in season, and white roses. Strings of tiny lights can adorn walls, window frames or staircase banisters to mimic the twinkling lights found around the city.
Add crème de cassis, a liqueur made from black currants, to glasses of champagne to create the French cocktail, kir royale. Fill small crystal bowls with fresh strawberries and raspberries to be used for dressing up flutes of champagne. Make a French 75 by mixing champagne, gin, lemon juice and sugar. Mix vodka, raspberry liqueur, a splash of pineapple juice and a twist of lemon to create the French martini. Serve French sparkling mineral water over ice with a lemon wedge to guests who do not drink.
To complete your version of a Parisian evening, offer guests an array of delectable French hors d’oeuvres. A beautiful charcuterie platter stacked with cheeses like brie, camembert and tangy chevre alongside slices of cured meats such as saucisson sec and jambon sec can be served as a starter. Add baguette slices, olive tapenade, fruit preserves, bunches of red grapes and spreadable pate. Gougeres are warm cheese puffs that pair well with escargots served in rich garlic butter. Serve warm or at room temperature mini-quiches and tiny tarts made of meats, onion and cheeses. Finish with heavenly French sweets such as crème brulee, macarons and cream puffs drizzled with caramel.