Hosting a Southern theme party is all about casual elegance and the right cuisine. Bring the romantic look and feel of the south to your party with whimsical decor. Southern style food and drink will be the "icing on the cake" to complete your theme. Consider a costume party to really get guests in the Southern mood.
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The ideal location for your Southern-themed party would be an antebellum mansion dripping with Spanish moss and flanked by tall white columns. The next best thing would be to recreate this at your location. Decorate tables with bountiful arrangements of camellias, magnolias and dogwood. Drape Spanish moss from candelabras to place around the buffet. Pastel colors like ivory, light pink, and mint green in the decorations will create a Southern feel. Hire a Dixie-land band to play during your party, or just pop in some Dixie-land CDs for atmosphere.
Traditional Southern fare can take many variations, from a Southern style BBQ to a Southern breakfast buffet. Decide on the time and location of your party before setting a menu. An elegant summer dinner party might include dishes like fried catfish, collard greens, mac and cheese, and biscuits and gravy. A Southern breakfast buffet should include pecan pancakes, country ham, grits and corn bread. For a Southern BBQ, offer guests ribs, baked beans, potato salad, and roast corn. Fried chicken, field peas, mashed potatoes, chicken fried steak, okra, fried green tomatoes, bread pudding, pinto beans, and black eyed peas are also considered traditional Southern fare. Desert is a very important part of Southern cuisine. Maple bars, pecan or peach pie, and fruit cobblers would go with the theme. It is essential to serve ice tea and lemonade at any Southern soiree. Mint juleps and Southern Belles (made with brandy, white creme de cacao and Benedictine) are perfect alcoholic offerings.
Consider a costume party with guests dressed in traditional Southern fashions. Hoop-skirt ballgowns, wide floppy hats, delicate gloves, and lots of ruffles complete the look for the ladies. Men will look dapper in top hats, canes, and gloves, or perhaps confederate soldier costumes. At the least, provide guests with parasols and fans to get them into the mood.