Updated date:

11 Ways To Organize Your Gala Dinner Theme & Event


An inventive gala dinner theme is a great way to attract guests and show them a night to remember. Creating a cohesive environment will entice supporters to attend and is also a good way to raise money for your organization. One of the biggest advantages to choosing a theme is the ability to plan around it. Simply matching certain elements to the chosen theme can eliminate some of the guesswork surrounding each planning step. Here are some tips designed to help match your gala environment with your selected theme.


Unique Venue Selection

One of the main aspects of a gala theme is the venue you choose. Certain themes such as medieval gala, Broadway, or masquerade balls can be matched using certain venues. An old castle may be the ideal place for a medieval themed event while a dancehall could easily host your extravagant Broadway event. Before decorating, consider the layout of the venue and how it can enhance your theme.

Creative Invitations

Perfecting the art of how to write a gala invitation can attract guests to your event and help match your theme. Creatively decorating your invitations with your gala theme in mind can offer an atmosphere that your guests will find interesting. Graphics that depict your theme can help your guests prepare and outline any important information. Creatively wording your invitations and using language associated with your theme are good ways to draw attention and effectively promote your event.


Themed Centerpieces

Much of the ambiance of your chosen theme will revolve around the decoration of your table. Anchored at the heart of your table décor is your centerpiece. Choose an item that is common amongst your theme and one that is easily identifiable. A seashell centerpiece with sand incorporated works well for a nautical theme while poker chips and cards perfectly enhance a Las Vegas themed event.


Custom Printed Stemware

Companies that offer promotional drinkware often cater to event planners. You can potentially have any design imprinted or engraved on wine glasses, champagne flutes and virtually any other beverage container you can imagine. Something as simple as a custom graphic can breathe life into your event and help cohesively present your theme.


Themed Menu Items

Your gala dinner is the focal point of the evening and choosing the right dishes is very important. Food that fits the theme can be one of the best ways to draw attention and appeal to your guests on a deep level. Select your dishes carefully and be sure to research any food that may be associated with your theme. For example, a nautical themed event should contain a main course of seafood, while medieval events could include a spread similar to that of a castle feast.


Carefully Chosen Prizes

If you are planning a fundraiser or gala dinner giveaway, selecting appropriate prizes can be a great way to support your theme. Your auction or giveaway items should pertain to your theme and also offer guests something unique to bring home with them. A Broadway themed event or Oscar gala can be enhanced with tickets to an upcoming Broadway show or the big night itself.


Eye Popping Color Schemes

Certain colors can reflect your theme and help with your decorations. Rich colors like red and black can be used for a Broadway or masquerade themes, while an Oscar themed party calls for a black and white color scheme. Enhance your medieval gala with colors associated with royalty such as gold and purple. Be creative with your design while keeping in mind colors that are commonly associated with your theme. For an example of how to do color schemes the right way, be sure to take a look at what MTSU did for their Blue Tie Gala event earlier this year.


Personalize Your Napkins

Ordering printed napkins will accentuate your color scheme while graphics provide yet another opportunity to incorporate your theme. Placing custom napkins on dinner tables can help complement your centerpiece and match your theme while serving a functional purpose. Themed graphics can further the authenticity of your event and create a visually stunning image that will resonate in the minds of your guests. Companies like Printwand™ fulfill your creative vision in print with free graphic design services.


Encourage appropriate attire

Dressing up for a gala dinner can add an element of fun to your evening and help people decide how to dress for your gala event. Encouraging your guests to wear costumes can be a great way to elevate the mood and authenticate your theme. Whether you make costumes mandatory or optional, be sure to include the information on your invitation. You don’t want anyone to miss out on the fun. Be sure to include detailed information about which costumes your theme calls for in case guests are unfamiliar.


Authentic Decorations

Appropriate decorations can be found at a variety of outlets depicting your theme and create a dazzling environment. In addition to choosing the right centerpiece, wall and entranceway decorations can also add to the presentation. Masks are a staple at a masquerade ball, bright lights and parlor games highlight a night in Vegas, and stage lights, top hats, and dancers create an authentic Broadway experience.


Fitting Entertainment

Whether you schedule activities yourself or hire professional entertainers, be sure that your entertainment matches your theme. There are local and national companies that specialize in all forms of entertainment, some of which may be perfect for your gala affair. Events such as casino related activities are perfect for a Las Vegas theme, Broadway dancers for your musical gala, and perhaps a few jesters for your medieval gala experience.

Planning the perfect gala event can be one of the most effective ways to raise funds and boost your company’s image. Adding a unique theme to your evening offers an outstanding way to enhance the experience of your guests and display your creative side. Carefully planning around your theme and matching each element creates a memorable evening perfect for elevating the mood of your dinner and keeping it fresh in the mind of each guest in attendance.