Dear gentry of the internets, prepare for your grand Jane Austen affair with these carefully selected noms, games and decor. You will surely endear your guests to you with your scrupulous attention to detail, and your ardent determination to stay totes within period.
Plus, play your cards right, and maybe you’ll be engaged by the end of your Regency era party! No, seriously, by throwing the ultimate Jane Austen party, you’ll be the gracious belle of the ball, who obviously never intended to fall in love with the most unattainable chap in the ballroom… or did you?
Hurrah! Let’s get this party started.
Avoid solecism by rolling up your sleeves and doing what every good young woman should master, penmanship in the form of superb calligraphy skills!
Sure, the thought of writing fifty invitations by hand might make your poor wrist wince, but are you not a staunch Austen-ite? Have you no loyalty to romance and making love happen?
Well then, put the whining aside, and whip out that quill — yes, quill! — and get right to work. Of course, be sure that your guest list includes an equal number of ladies and gentleman for the occasion!
2. Bonnets and Gowns
No Austen gathering would be complete without the proper Regency Era attire. The ladies will look lovely and proper in their long gowns, elbow-length gloves, and pretty, pretty bonnets.
But perhaps, let’s say your dress happens to have a snag in it… that you must cut… all the way to just above your mid-thigh, surely no one would judge you? It is, after all, just your misfortune that your seamstress gave you a faulty dress. If she could, Jane Austen would have certainly approved of a Regency Era mini-skirt. And it wouldn’t be your fault if the gentlemen in attendance showered you with their utmost sympathies for your misfortune. Their attention would be completely on giving you solace in your time of need!
Speaking of the gentlemen… let’s not forget that attention to their appearances is demanded, and of utmost importance, which is why you’ll want to share the following diagram with your multitude of potential beaus.
They shouldn’t even consider attending without the proper neck attire.
3. Decor and Decorum
Ah, the decor. Such a delicate matter, but such a simple and precise one at that. It all comes down to one thing: a shit-ton of teacups.
Teacups hanging in the trees.
Teacups for the plants and flowers.
Teacups for your lighting scheme.
Teacups for the booze.
But, the most important piece of decor you must have for your gathering is… men. Lots of them. Lots of available, single suitors, with at least one potential Mr. Darcy per gal in attendance. MAKE IT HAPPEN, EMMA.
4. Party Gift
You’ll probably also want to make sure every young lady and young gentleman leaves your fantastic party with his or her very own Jane Austen Handbook.
We wouldn’t want them to go out into the world with bad manners! Absolutely not.
5. Lovely Morsels of Love
You mustn’t leave your guests parched or hungry. Be the good hostess that you are and make sure to provide those in attendance with all of the delicious food of the era.
Including, but not limited to:
and whatever this is:
6. Whist and Wit
Get your elegant party really moving and shaking with a game all of your favorite Austen characters played — Whist!
Because the game requires players play in pairs, it’ll be quite evident who fancies who within the first few minutes of choosing partners. It’s 19th century speed-dating played to the tune of a fun game.
7. Literary Pick-Up Lines
There will come a time in the evening where your services will be especially needed in order to bring the right woman together with her potential love. When that time comes, you will need all of the tools you can muster! So, take these very important literary pick-up lines and spread them among your guests.
Now, if you happen to save the very best for yourself, we won’t tell.
8. Confessions of Love
Really streamline your efforts for love-matching your guests by playing “Confessions of Love,” a variation of 7 Minutes in Heaven. Have two of your guests pair up in a closet, while inside they’ll have seven minutes to confess their love.
If both guests do not profess their love for one another, then they both must down a glass of elder wine. Those who have confessed get to canoodle with their beloved all night. But, by the end of the game, all inhibitions will be removed and love confessions will be thrown around left and right!
9. Forever Alone Drinking Game
By this point, you’ve hopefully found the proper coupling with a handsome gentleman who’s more of a Mr. Knightley than a Wickham (fingers crossed!). But, probability in the 21st century is nothing like it was in the 19th century. So, let’s be real, there’ll be a lot more broken hearts than happy ones. Especially after a few Confessions of Love glasses of elder wine.
This is when drinking is most imperative to the evening’s festivities. Break out every proper shot glass you have, and every formal bottle of tequila you own, and take a shot for every single person left alone by the evening’s end.
Take a shot every time someone removes her bonnet in disillusionment.
Take a shot every time someone says, “I’ll never get married!”
Take a shot every time a gentleman caller says, “All the hot ones are taken.”
Take a shot every time someone says, “I thought this was a Charlotte Bronte party.”
As the night winds down, and all have been sufficiently filled with libations, it’s time to get modern with your Austen, because God knows it’ll be hard to keep up the Regency era illusion after everyone’s paired up, and you’re left traipsing around the party picking up teacups in your Regency era mini-skirt. Don’t worry! You can keep up the Austen theme with a little Clueless humor.
If your Mr. Darcy turns into a Mr. Whickam, shove his sorry drunk butt aside, and give him one of these:
Gather up your gal pals, make amends, and start discussing plans for the next beau-boo in your life. You can start…
… once again, and planning makeovers!
Oh, Jane Austen, you know us women so well.
So pull on your bonnet, and pick up a teacup, it’s time to throw yourself an ultimate Jane Austen party!!