Party Tips from the Party of the 20th Century


Truman Capote is best known for his literary works. But fans of the author also remember him for the legendary Black and White Ball. Organized in the same year he published In Cold Blood, the lavish party was deemed a celebration of a life of perseverance and good friendships. It became such a hit that people still talk about it to this day, often praising it for its lavishness and fun.

If you’re thinking of throwing your own memorable party, consider getting some tips from this legendary get-together. From deciding on a theme to creating the guest list, there are several things to learn from this iconic ball.

Preparation is Key

Although the initial idea for the party was an impulse, Capote took the time to plan it out. He came up with the idea in June and had the party in November. While you don’t have to take this long, this is a good tip for anyone who wants to throw a party. How long you spend planning depends entirely on what you want to achieve with your party. But make sure to spend time on finalizing the basics.

  • Finalize a budget for your party. Set a spending limit for yourself so you don’t break the bank.
  • Hire a catering company that can accommodate your food and beverage requests. Make sure all guests have something to munch on, regardless of their dietary restrictions.
  • Settle on a theme before informing your guests. Give them enough time to come up with costumes or props.
  • Be mindful of people’s schedules. Select a core group of individuals who you want at the party. Settle on a date that all of you can agree on to make sure no one misses out on the fun.

Create a Guestlist

Capote spent almost three months creating the guestlist for the Black and White Ball. Although excessive, he had the right idea. As the host, you know who among your friends are cordial with each other and who have tense relationships. Avoid drama at your party by being selective with your guest list.

  • As mentioned, select a group of individuals who you want at the party. Then, choose friends based on whom this group gets along with.
  • Don’t go overboard with the number of people you invite. Make sure everyone can fit in your home and each one is accounted for in the budget.
  • Don’t publicize the event on social media to avoid hurting people’s feelings. Choose to send personal invitations to each guest.

After the Party

wine glasses on a long table

Make a plan for after the party. You still have responsibilities even after the last guest leaves. These range from making sure everyone made it home safe to clean up the mess. Preparing for these before the actual party will make it easier.

  • Make a group chat with the party guests. Use it to communicate with each other before, during, and after the party.
  • Identify who the designated drivers are and check up on them before they leave the party.
  • Consider allocating some of your budget for a professional cleaner. Throwing a party can be tiring and hiring a cleaning service excuse you from the responsibility of picking up after everybody.

The Black and White Ball continues to be an inspirational source of party ideas for people. But it’s important to remember that it wouldn’t have been as successful without the proper planning.

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