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Murder Mystery Party

Since I was a child I've loved hosting events; the excitement of an idea, the planning of said idea and the feeling when those you invite enjoy your evening. Yet as an adult, I've never gone on to plan a dinner party - despite my love for food and planning events. It was about time I took my own dinner party virginity, but why do a normal dinner party when you can have a murder mystery themed one?

I'd never attended a murder mystery party, and I wasn't sure how it all came together, but from the moment I decided I was hosting one I knew that it would be a murder mystery. Guilty of being someone who takes things too far - I knew I wanted to go as all out as I could, even on a budget, and make the party enjoyable but also pocket-friendly. Something which I thought would be harder than it was. 

Buy a Kit, or make your own...
I bought a kit online for the murder mystery - which set the scene, provided the characters and their personalities alongside a few more bits. I paid a minimal £19.99 for mine on Murder Mystery store - by the way this isn't sponsored, all off my own back - and it gave me the fundamentals of the party. However it's simple to make your own - use Pinterest to make your own without the cost. It can be as simple or hard as you make it. 

Send the invites...
I've since learnt that the key to a successful dinner party is the guests, and more so with a murder mystery party. You need guests who don't take themselves too seriously and are happy to get into character, even if it means making a bit of a fool out of yourself. Send the invites - I designed mine online and simply emailed or posted for added effect. Keep it mysterious, and make sure you let them know they need to arrive in character. 

 Get decorations...
I knew I wanted to decorate the dining area, and surrounding areas, to keep in theme. If you look online (eBay, Amazon, etc) then you can find some great decorations. I opted for police tape, bloody handprints, bloody weapons, a suspect board. The decorations cost less than £15 in total, and added to the night massively. 

The lighting...
I knew from the offset that I needed the lighting to be as eery as possible. I banned any main artificial lighting throughout the night, relying on candles and fairy lights to keep the room alight and it worked perfectly. The dimmed lighting added to theme and the candles made a fantastic centrepiece. 

Keep the menu simple...
With a themed dinner party, keeping the menu simple and tasty is key. Cook something you've cooked before and you know you'll ace.

Keep in character, dress up...
Dressing up and taking it seriously made such a difference; don't be embarrassed to look a little silly. It's fun to dress up, embrace the characters and have a laugh at your nearest and dearest. 

Just have fun, and enjoy the mishaps...
The most important thing I learnt was not to get stressed; I was panicking that people weren't having fun which prevented me from having fun. The moment I stopped worrying, I ended up having one of the most enjoyable evenings I've ever had in London. And things will go wrong - we had a fire because one of the character sheets went up in flames but it's better to just laugh at it rather than fuss around. 

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