A Black-and-White-Affair Party Ideas

by Boze Herrington ; Updated November 30, 2018

A black-and-white affair is an event in which people are asked to wear only monochromatic colors: solid black, solid white or some combination of the two. This event is distinct from a black-tie affair, in which guests are asked to dress in their sharpest attire, including ties, gowns and tuxedos. Black-and-white affairs typically are less formal.

Preparations and Invitations

Create each invitation at home. Pair two pieces of white card stock, punching holes in the sides and tying the paper together with black lace. Print names and directions in black ink on the front and inside, or buy black-and-white-checkered card stock and write out the directions in white ink on the black squares and in black ink on the white squares. Indicate whether guests are expected to dress formally, semi-formally or casually, and include a chess or checkers piece guests may turn in at the party in exchange for party favors.

Black-and-White Decorations

Rather than decorating the sidewalk leading up to the main entrance with a traditional red carpet, roll out a white carpet. Overlay the tables with black tablecloths and use black vases as table centerpieces. Fill each vase with a single white rose. Set up a black-and-white chessboard on a coffee table that guests may play at their leisure, along with a copy of Lewis Carroll's novel "Through the Looking Glass" with original black and white illustrations by John Tenniel. Cover the walls with printed and framed black-and-white pictures of you and your guests from previous events. White fabric stains easily, so do not use it in places where messes are likely to occur.

Food and Drinks

In keeping with the party's theme, serve appetizers such as white corn tortilla chips accompanied by white salsa or black bean dip. Provide a main course of white salmon, white-cheese lasagna, egg-white omelets, hard-boiled eggs without yolks or pan-blackened steak, and follow up with cookies-and-cream milkshakes or ice cream for dessert. Set up a cocktail bar in which guests can make their own white Russians and chocolate martinis.

Party Entertainment

Create a song playlist featuring songs with a black-and-white theme, such as "White Blank Page" by Mumford & Sons; "Little Black Submarines" by the Black Keys; "Meg White" by Ray LaMontagne. Play Pin the Tail on the Zebra in which blindfolded players attempt to pin a tail on a picture of a zebra, or play black-and-white-film trivia in which guests compete to answer questions relating to films shot in black and white. Consider hosting a screening of a film such as "Psycho," "The Artist" or "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre."

Photo Credits

  • Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

About the Author

Boze Herrington is a writer and blogger who lives in Kansas City, Mo. His work has been featured in Cracked and "The Atlantic."