Make sure that guests invited to your next party know they are truly “Very Important People” by giving your bash a VIP theme. Whether invitees are friends or family members, they’ll get a taste of the high life with a little bit of quick planning on your part. VIP theme parties need not have a VIP price tag attached; you’ll find a variety of ways to make your guests feel special without breaking the bank.
Instead of a generic, store-bought pack of invitations, let guests know your party is special right off the bat by sending VIP passes as the invitations. VIP passes, also known as backstage passes, are a familiar sight at concerts, special events and political rallies, but you can make your own quickly and easily on any computer. Use a graphics program such as Windows Paint or Adobe Photoshop or a desktop publishing program such as Microsoft Publisher or Adobe InDesign to lay out a basic VIP tag. Include information about the party, such as place, date and time, plus details about what to wear and bring. Before printing the tags, add each person’s name for an extra special detail. If you have a home laminator, run the tags through the machine. Otherwise, cover with contact paper, punch a hole and string up on a lanyard or beaded necklace, and send out your guests to let them know their presence is requested.
Prior to the party, contact your adult invitees to inquire about “hiring” their children as party helpers. Kids can actually make a few bucks and enjoy a fun evening activity, while their parents soak up the theme of the party. Ask teenage children of your party guests to pose as paparazzi, the ruthless and ever-present photographers who hound celebrities around every corner. Just before the party starts, position kids around the party entrance, such as on the front porch or inside the main party room. As guests arrive, have kids shout out their names and ask them to “Look over here!” or “Pose for me!” Use instant camera film, and then have the kids post the developed pictures on a wall throughout the party; guests can also take home the pictures as a memory of the evening. For extra paparazzi VIP treatment, position a strobe light near the teenagers to look like more flash bulbs going off as guests arrive.
While the first collectors of autographs, the Athenians, sought out manuscripts and signatures of poets, today’s most popular VIP autographs come from actors, musicians, sports figures and politicians. Encourage everyone at your party to feel like a VIP by asking each other for their autographs. This is an ideal ice breaker for a party where guests don’t know each other. Offer each arriving guest something to have other sign, such as a small autograph book (you’ll find actual autograph books at card stores, but you can use any kind of small spiral bound notebook or stationery pad as well) and pen. As guests mingle, they can sign each others’ books or other objects, which will also serve as a way to note down details to stay in contact with each other after the party. Consider offering a prize to the person who has collected the most autographs by the end of the night.
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images