Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tips for Hosting your Own Mad Men Cocktail Party

Hosting a Mad Men Cocktail party with a group of friends or several couples is a fun way to spend a Saturday night. 

 

 Planning+Invitations+Decor 

I thoroughly enjoyed planning all of the little details and researching ideas for this party. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it! For this event, I looked on Pinterest and on a lot of blogs and party planning websites for tips. One of the first things I did, was go to the AMC website to 'Mad Men' myself...it was too much fun!

Then I designed an invitation. I was going to order some off Etsy, but I only needed 4....so I just bought a couple of new ink cartridges and printed them onto card stock at home. They were really easy, and I kept them simple. I designed this in the Print Shop.

The house was decorated and cleaned....I tried to clear out all of the clutter, and use vintage decor items around the house. 

*please excuse the blurriness here...my living room is incredibly dark, it is hard to get enough natural light for a decent shot of the decor. I tried to use as much vintage stuff as I could....I already owned all of the cameras, and I framed a couple of vintage ads and family photos. I had a couple of vintage books and games that I put on the shelves in my living room.

We found some vintage magazines and I ordered a bunch of candy cigarettes to use as props.

MAD Menu+Cocktails

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes
Cheddar Cheese Fondue (served with bread, broccoli and fresh mushrooms)
Sesame Chicken Skewers
Deviled Eggs
Pecan Encrusted Cheese Ball (served with an assortment of crackers)
Shrimp Cocktail
Pigs in  Blanket
Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
Bugles (served with French onion Dip)
Strawberry Cheese Cake Jello (Made by Martha in a beautiful mold; she also made yummy caramels)
Spinach Artichoke Dip (From Drew)
I also found a SUPER delicious Lemon Pound Cake at Aldi...it tasted like a chocolate cake doughnut...SO GOOD. 

I tried to make as many 'Mad Men' era foods as possible, and use as many retro serving dishes as possible.
I found these napkins at Target...there are so many fun 'vintage prints' available....I really liked this one!!
I made some little tent/pick signs for each of the dishes, using cardstock I pre-stamped them with a little retro stamp...I hand wrote each item.


For the bar, we set up a table with a bunch of vintage bar glasses. I created a pretty tray with various cocktail garnishes:
Pineapple
Orange slices
Lemons
Limes
Cherries
And for the first time, I tried those lemon+oranges, so yummy!
Cocktail Onions
Olives (and jalapeno stuffed olives)

I had umbrellas, straws and swizzle sticks and tons of mixers.

I printed out a cocktail recipe sheet so that people could make their own drinks throughout the night. We also served glass bottles of coke.
 

Party Games+Photos+Music

For an event like this, a few drinks and some appropriate music is enough to make the party, but we decided to plan a few games for the night. We did compiled a play list of Ultra Lounge  music for the night, but there are lots of great pandora stations and a couple of iTunes play lists if you just look around.

Don's Creative Couples Compete
Everyone split into teams (so couples were together). Each team was responsible for a 'pitch'....they had to work together to develop a poster and a slogan for a company. I had big sheets of poster board, rulers, stencils, pencils, sharpies, markers and colored pencils for them to use. We also had an easel for the presentation.

Around 11:00 p.m. everyone gathered in the living room to hear the presentations.

If you are interested in playing this game at your Mad Men Party, here is the list of companies and products we came up with. WE MADE THESE UP!! A few are 'period' products, like Twister, but for the most part, we  seriously just had a couple of brainstorming sessions and jotted down funny things. We tried to do as many 'adult' things as possible....

I printed these out, cut them apart, and people drew from a bowl. We only used 5 from the list, since we just had 5 couples, but it was so fun to see how everyone worked together and the wide variety of concepts for each of the products was just amazing.



Remington
New line of electric razors and shavers for both men and women. For use on their nether-regions.
Chanel No. ___:
New Line of perfume, chemically matched for pheromones. A love potion designed to help people attract others who are chemically suitable according to scent.
Milton Bradley:
Adult board game. Twister, which uses human bodies as playing pieces.
Secor Laxative:
New energy drink laxative. A body cleanse without the ‘tired/drained’ feeling.
Playtex:
New hygiene pad for men and women with loose bowels due to diarrhea or sexual activity. Worn with belts and pins.
Fruit of the Loom:
Fart absorbing underwear.
Popsicle:
New adult flavors. Alcoholic Popsicles in ‘adult’ molds.
Winchester:
New bullet developed with the Chinese. It is a firework that can be discharged from a pistol that either screeches, explodes, or is a dud. Funny bullets.
Charmin:
Developing a prototype for a new reusable toilet paper.
Trojan Condom:
Fits to every man. One size fits all. Like a shrink wrap.
Carmex:
Love potion lip balm. Stimulates a man upon impact.
Franco American:
Spaghetti-Os. Kid-friendly pasta with shapes such as: cowboys, Indians, spacemen, stars, and sports shapes. Less messy than regular spaghetti. Also, spaghetti-o's with franks. Meat chunks.
Swanson:
Exotic TV Dinners with special gourmet foods like reindeer pate, mangosteen, balut, durian fruit, frog legs, casu marzu, and fish sperm shashimi. The meals need a catchy name to embody the feeling of the interesting food.


People really got into those candy cig props!!
 I tried to take everyone's photo as they arrived. As I mentioned above, my living room is really dark, and we had the extra areas designated as 'work stations' for the posters....so I didn't have a good photo booth spot in the house, but a photo booth with good lighting would've been ideal (next time!)

So Retro Glam! I had my stylist help me with the loofah beehive!

Cheers!
We also played the 'Pass the Orange' game...I think that was from season two, it was really fun!
I actually did not take as many pictures as I would've liked once the party got going. My long fake eyelashes made working the camera a challenge.

I will say I felt a bit like Megan Draper (in the season premiere, after Don's birthday party, where she is cleaning up and doesn't want to get sweaty) on Monday when I was washing all those dishes...Most of my vintage dishes are not dishwasher safe, so I had a mountain of cocktail glasses and corning ware to wash! Totally worth it!

It was a beautiful night and I can't wait to do it again, getting all dressed up is just so fun!

5 comments:

Maria Ontiveros said...

That looks like so much fun! I love Mad Men, and I'm all about Joan. Thanks for sharing.
rinda

twinjulie said...

So creative!! Love the blog and the great photos. You looked stunning!

twinjulie said...

Love the blog and the photos. So creative - and you looked awesome!

LifeOntheFarmAlabama said...

very fun!! cute pics....food look fab!

Rachel Rivera said...

This is great! I came across your blog because I'll be doing a mad men theme cocktail party for my 30th soon! Thank you for sharing! Love the advertising game!