How do you get a theme for an event?

Finding the perfect theme for an event can really bring the celebration to life. Whether it’s a birthday party, wedding, baby shower or corporate event, having a cohesive theme ties all the details together into one memorable experience. This guide will walk you through the process of selecting, planning and executing an awesome event theme from start to finish.

How do you get a theme for an event?

Pick a Theme That Fits the Occasion

The first step is deciding on a general direction for the theme. Consider the purpose of the event and who will be attending.

Here are some popular themes to spark ideas:

  • Birthday party themes: Decade themes like 80s or 90s, favorite color, hobby or interest, TV show or movie series.
  • Wedding themes: Seasonal, cultural, romantic locales like Paris or Tuscany, classic and timeless elegance.
  • Baby shower themes: Adorable animals, colors, baby nursery rhymes, storybook characters.
  • Corporate event themes: Industry-related, company values, regional, international locations.

Make sure the theme is appropriate and not likely to offend guests. Having a consistent theme throughout all the details and decor will really amplify its impact.

Incorporate Theme Details

Brainstorm ways to integrate the theme into key event details:


  • Create a custom invite with graphics, colors and wording related to the theme. Evites also allow fun theme customization.


  • Balloons, banners, centerpieces, linens, chair covers, lighting in theme colors and materials.
  • Themed props like photo booth props.

Food and Beverage

  • Serve cuisine and drinks inspired by the theme location or era.
  • Use napkins, plates, cups and straws with themed patterns or colors.


  • Play music from the decade or location matching the theme.
  • Hire entertainment acts like dancers, musicians or impersonators to match the theme.


  • Encourage guests to dress in theme-appropriate clothing, like 80s fashion or semi-formal masquerade.


  • Plan activities that tie into the theme, like trivia or crafts.

Shop Theme Party Supply Stores

Party supply stores can provide nearly everything needed to execute a theme from start to finish. Many offer themed party packs with a wide assortment of matching decorations, tableware, invitations, favors and more. Search for a local party supply store or shop online retailers like Party City and Oriental Trading Company.

Make DIY Theme Elements

For a personal touch, make some of your own themed decor and elements with arts and crafts supplies. This works especially well for harder to find niche themes.

DIY Ideas:

  • Banners: Use craft paper, glue and markers to create custom banners.
  • Backdrops: Create photo booth backdrops or wall decor with fabric, a tapestry or paper scene setters.
  • Centerpieces: Use artificial floral arrangements or create them from tissue paper, streamers or other crafty materials.
  • Signage: Make signs for food, direction or theme areas with cardstock and art supplies.
  • Favors: assemble themed favor bags with small toys, candy or other fillers.

Find Inspiration Online

Search for “[theme] party ideas” to find endless blogs, Pinterest boards, Etsy shops and websites dedicated to specific themes. These can offer tips, decor ideas, recipes, printable designs and places to shop for unique theme products.

Rent Items From Event Rental Companies

Companies like allow you to rent items like furniture, lighting, linens, tents and more for events. Search their inventory for pieces that match your theme needs, like a dance floor or bar for decade themes. Renting saves money and storage space over buying everything new.

Schedule Enough Setup Time

Pulling off all the theme details takes time and effort. Make sure to schedule ample setup time for decorating, food preparation and any vendor coordination needed. Recruit help from family or friends for an intensive setup day if needed. Having everything ready before guests arrive lets you relax and enjoy the event.

Key Takeaways

  • Pick a theme that fits the occasion and guests attending to create a cohesive experience.
  • Incorporate the theme into all aspects of the event like invites, food, decor, attire and entertainment.
  • Shop party supply stores or make DIY decorations and elements for your unique theme.
  • Find endless inspiration online from blogs and sites dedicated to specific event themes.
  • Rent key furniture, lighting and linens from rental companies instead of purchasing everything.
  • Allow plenty of time for setup so all the details are perfect before the event starts.


Selecting the perfect theme can take an event from ordinary to extraordinary. Tailor the theme specifically to the occasion and guests so it feels cohesive, personalized and fun. Decorating all aspects of the party in theme elements makes it more immersive and memorable. Shop party stores, go DIY, or rent items for cost-effective ways to execute theme decor. Finding inspiration online and budgeting time for elaborate setup ensures your theme vision can come to life seamlessly. With thoughtful planning and creative touches, theming your next event is sure to make it a hit with guests.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I choose an event theme?
A: Consider the occasion and who is attending. Pick something appropriate that fits the purpose of the event and guest interests for the most cohesive experience.

Q: What are some good themes for a kid’s birthday party?
A: Popular themes for kids’ parties include their favorite TV show or movie, superheroes, princesses, dinosaurs, unique animals, color themes or a decade like the 80s with bright neon.

Q: What type of events are best for formal or black tie themes?
A: Formal or black tie dress is ideal for events like awards banquets, galas, weddings, corporate events or New Year’s Eve parties. These add an elegant touch.

Q: How do I create a Parisian theme for an event?
A: Use fleur-de-lis symbols, Eiffel Towers, French scripts on signage, roses and string lights for decor. Serve French inspired cuisine, play accordion music and use travel props.

Q: What is a creative theme for a baby shower?
A: Cute baby shower themes include a storybook, woodland animals, Noah’s Ark, bumblebee garden, teddy bears, hot air balloons or little prince/princess.

Q: How do I throw an event with a Western theme?
A: Incorporate bandanas, cowboy hats and boots, cactuses, horseshoes, mason jars, denim, wagon wheels, cowhide and plaid accents. Serve BBQ food and play country music.

Q: What are some ideas for a 50’s theme event?
A: Jukeboxes, records, poodle skirts, leather jackets, saddle shoes, neon signs, pink Cadillacs, milkshakes and oldies music help create a vintage 50’s atmosphere.

Q: What are tropical theme ideas for events?
A: Palm leaves, floral prints, pineapple decor, tiki torches, leis, grass skirts, luau food and island music create a tropical environment.

Q: How can I decorate an event space on a limited budget?
A: Affordable options include streamers, balloons, plastic tablecloths, paper flowers, pennant banners, string lights and DIY decor you can make yourself on the cheap.

Q: Where can I find decorations for a sophisticated, formal event?
A: Party supply stores have themed cocktail/martini glassware, sequin linens, crystal vases, floral arrangements, ceiling drapes, chandeliers and elegant table settings.

Q: What are the most convenient event theme options?
A: Complete ready-made theme party packs with matching plates, banners, favors, decorations and more create instant cohesive themes with minimal effort.

Q: How do I choose a theme with broad appeal for a corporate event?
A: Classy cultural themes like Parisian, Tuscan, Asian, or Latin Fiesta appeal to diverse demographics. Avoid themes relating to niche interests at work events.

Q: How can I incorporate my event theme into food choices?
A: Serve cuisine inspired by the location or era, like salsa and tacos for a fiesta theme. Use themed plates, napkins and straws to match other decor.

Q: What are fun ideas for activities to match different event themes?
A: Trivia, karaoke, costume contests, crafting, bingo, and photobooths with themed props make for fun themed activities at many events.

Q: How early should I start planning an elaborate event theme?
A: Start thinking about your theme details at least 2-3 months in advance for complex themes requiring extensive purchases, DIY projects, rentals and coordination.

Q: Can I change my mind after already selecting an event theme?
A: It’s best to lock in your theme from the start to allow adequate planning time, but you can pivot to a backup theme option up until you send invites.

Q: What are inexpensive DIY backdrop ideas?
A: Use an inexpensive tapestry, fabric from a craft store, paper scene setters, or create a mural with acrylic craft paint on canvas drop cloths or poster board panels.

Q: Where can I find unique vintage items to rent for a retro theme?
A: Check prop rental companies, vintage furniture stores, antique malls or second hand stores for classic items that align with retro decades or aesthetics

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