By Glenda Wise
This past weekend we hosted a murder mystery dinner party. I have wanted to do one of these for a while, but never had the time to get it together. The theme was set in the 20s, Murder at the Juice Joint, to be exact. Let me tell you this was one of the best parties we have ever thrown. It was a ton of prep work, but once that was done, the party practically ran itself.
Here are the deets:
1. First and foremost, your guests are key to the event being a success. It is a must hat you invite people that will embrace their role and dress the part. Had my guests not been so great, the party would have been a complete flop.
2. Next, decide on the type of party you want to have. I went with Night of Mystery (www.nightofmystery.com) because some friends of ours had used this particular company. They have tons of themes to choose from, but I wanted to do the roaring 20s, so that is what I went with. Don’t order the party at this point though, because you will need to know how many guests are actually coming.
3. Send an initial invitation about a month in advance asking for an RSVP. Again, this is a must, because the parties will have a specific number of people that will need to come to make it a success.
4. Once you get your RSVPs back and know how many people you have, then you will order your party. We had 25 guests, so we needed to order one of the larger parties. The packet you receive to download is full of everything you need to have a great party right down to the wanted posters!
5. Now, comes the tricky part. I wanted to be just as surprised as my guests about who the murder victim and killer were, so I chose to read very minimal information. At times, this proved a bit difficult when assigning characters, but the instructions were detailed and told me exactly what not to read if I didn’t want to know.
6. Once you assign characters, you will need to send them their particular role that has a detailed description about their character and costume suggestions. I suggest sending this at least two weeks in advance allowing them time to order costumes if needed.
7. Now comes the rest of the prep work, once guests arrive they will have objectives to complete. Each guest will have their own envelopes with specific things for them to do like creating a bit of drama with another guest or taking a bribe. You get the idea. You will need to have all of this done way beforehand. Ashton and I of course wanted to be extra so we chose to seal the envelopes with wax. She even has the blister to prove it!
8. Any other things your packet has for you to do or gather ahead of time..DO IT! Our packet had money for me to photocopy and give each guest a set amount to bribe other guests or purchase things. For example, the cigarette girl sold Cracker Jacks and cigarettes, but she charged a little extra for clues taped to the merchandise.
Again, once all the initial work is done, you will have the time of your life. I would definitely do it again! One other piece of advice, when assigning guests, if you have enough people try to keep yourself as an “extra” less important role just in case someone cancels at the last minute. That way you aren’t scrambling trying to reassign parts after people have planned on being a specific character.