Well keep reading, because I am going to tell you how I threw my own Regency Era Ball and pulled off my most successful parties yet....
1) INVITES- I bought special wax and a stamp from Michaels, but I am sure there are other craft stores that supply them and a great selection on the internet. I designed an invite, I will attach the format HERE, and printed it on tan card stock. As I folded my husband stamped the seals on, he turned to me on the final one and said "This is the main reason I agreed to this party." It was fun watching his enthusiasm in making the perfect wax seal on each envelope. In hopes to have people be serious about this party also included Dress Suggestions at the bottom of the invite.
2) DELIVERING THE INVITES- To show people the seriousness I had for this party, I had the invites delivered on a silver tray by my son. It added to everyones anticipation and started to set the mood for the party
3) SERVERS- I hired some youth to be the "Help" for the evening, after all what type of Regency Era Dinner and Ball would it be without servants? They were amazing! So proper and helpful, defiantly earned their wages.
4) ANNOUNCING GUESTS AS THEY ARRIVE- I tied off all the other entrances to the gym except for one which had a sign on the door that said "to wait for the help to take their coats, fill out an announcing card and the help would walk them in and announce them" I also had an instruction card at the table on that showed them how to fill out the announcement cards
Announcing is my favorite part, I rush over to couple and thank them for coming and shower them with compliments on their ward robe. Then I introduce them in my best British accent to all the other company and take them to an area to have their picture taken.
5) PICTURES - You probably aren't going to get good pictures indoors at night unless you have studio lighting but a "mmmeeehhh" picture is better then no picture. Your guests have worked so hard to get ready for the night you should take a second to take a picture of them even if it is a quick snap with your phone.
6) DANCING- for finding dances to teach I use a combination of this YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/RegencyDancesOrg and this website http://regencydances.org/dancelist.php I would suggest hiring someone to teach the dances unless you have past dance experience and are comfortable teaching large groups. I also send my guests a link through email or facebook in case my guests want to watch the dances before they attend.
My favorites that I would suggest are first Corn Rig for a very easy and lively Dance
and second Ramsgate Assembly for a little bit harder but more romantic dance.
7) DINNER- I only had a dinner at one of my Balls, because a 5 course meal for a large group is expensive! but it was wonderful having dinner with the group. I set the table with place cards, and a menu. I also placed conversational facts about the Regency Era under their plates. During the dinner guests would take turns reading their facts loudly to the group. The facts really kept the laughter and conversation alive during dinner and helped us interact as a group and not just the people by us.
8) CARD PLAYING - at my second ball we did card game and the "help" served light refreshments, instead of doing a full dinner. We played a modified version of this game http://www.janeausten.co.uk/the-game-of-loo/ if I did this again I would have placed the rules at each table and taught the "help" how to play so that they could answer questions and settle disputes. I think it would also have been fun to do a tournament!
There is always an overwhelming response of how fun these balls are and that we should make it a tradition, which as you can see we have! I highly recommend this party to all my readers. It's a romantic evening to be remembered!
And may I add some of the Men put up quite a fuss but end up having the most fun!
Please comment with any ideas that would add to this party theme, or if you have any questions.