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  • Writer's pictureRichard Langford


The Great Gatsby is the ultimate event theming classic. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s’ epic novel about millionaire New Yorker, Jay Gatsby, has been recreated for both stage and film, and continues to be one of the most popular event themes for event organisers who are looking to immerse their guests within a decadent environment where they can step back in time and relive one of the most celebrated era’s in history – the roaring twenties!

The decade of the 1920s featured economic prosperity and carefree living for many. The decade began with a roar and ended with a crash. In the Roaring Twenties, a surging economy created an era of mass consumerism, as Jazz-Age flappers flouted Prohibition laws and the Harlem Renaissance.

The most familiar symbol of the “Roaring Twenties” is probably the flapper: a young woman with bobbed hair and short skirts who drank, smoked and said what might be termed “unladylike” things, in addition to being more sexually “free” than previous generations. Most young women in the 1920s did none of these things (though many did adopt a fashionable flapper wardrobe).

Prosperity ended in 1929. The economic boom and the Jazz Age were over, and America began the period called the Great Depression.

The 1920s represented an era of change and growth. ... American culture, such as books, movies, and Broadway theatre, was now being exported to the rest of the world. The Great Gatsby is arguably the best celebration of American life during the 1920’s. A novel written from within the epicentre of 1920s popular culture.


Do you want to take a step back in time to the decadent Roaring Twenties and live the American Dream through the eyes of the mysterious millionaire, New Yorker, Jay Gatsby?

Well, we can’t give you (the real) Leonardo DiCaprio but we can help you to celebrate both the Jazz age and Flapper girls, like Gatsby himself – with our great collection of Art-Deco-style themes and props. Theming Services can help you deliver a truly authentic, fully managed, Great Gatsby experience - using props, venue dressing, table dressing, themed entrance features, Staging, LED Star Cloth, Dance Floor and live entertainment. ​

Whether you decide to enlist the help of theming experts, or go it alone, you’ll find some useful tips below on how to pull off the perfect Great Gatsby event.


The roaring twenties inspired some of the most fantastic outfits, of any era and there was a distinctive dress code. Encourage your guests to dress up and play the part. Don’t just reference the 20s in your invites – outline some of the styles you’re hoping for – short slip dresses with long lace gloves for women, trilby hats and dinner jackets for men.


The Gatsby Mansion should be art-deco and very opulent. If budget is tight then opt for affordable decorations, such as black and gold curtains, shiny tablecloths, feathers, beads, flowers and art deco fonts. However, should you not be restricted by budget you can splash out on star cloth, art-deco prop hire and lighting.


Art-deco throughout please - opt for black backdrops with gold borders. If budget isn’t an issue, or you’re not artistically inclined, then consider a small investment and call in the experts (that’s us by the way) to ensure that your event design is in keeping with the theme - from invites through to table plans and place cards. Make sure there’s a good helping of art-deco fonts and artwork; not just on your party invites but also on your decorations and venue dressing.


Provide a photo booth, giant frame, or backdrop for your guests so that they can soak up and record their Great Gatsby experience. You don’t need a big budget for this, or a pricy photographer as selfies are the perfect, and a quick, way for your event to go viral (if that’s what you want). Providing a photo facility is easy. Simply set aside a dedicated Great Gatsby-themed area and provide your guests with some fun props. Encourage your guest to turn great snaps into profile pictures and even set up your own event hashtag.


If budget allows then bring in the Jazz. The 1920 was all about ‘That Jazz’. Jazz was an instrumental contributor of the roaring twenties (no pun intended). For both a truly authentic and immersive Great Gatsby experience then a live 1920’s jazz band, with dancing flapper girls, is a must. If you’re not sure where to find your band or dancing Flapper girls, then enlist the help of a specialist booking service who will likely have several options to suit your budget (That’s also us 😉)


Now that everything else is in place don’t go and ruin a great theme by serving the wrong food. It’s not okay to host the most immersive 1920’s party experience and then serve cold pizza and warm wine! Think spiced baked hams, salads “of harlequin designs”, Pastry Pigs and Turkeys, champagne punch, finger sandwiches, and lemon cakes. A great list of foods from The Great Gatsby can be found here…

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