Debutantes often ask us for a simple yet elegant and sophisticated theme with a touch of class and artistry. If you are one of these debutantes, look no further because this theme is just right for you. Here are some pointers in throwing a Zen-inspired theme.
Choose warm and neutral colors, as well as earth tones. Examples of neutral colors include black, gray, white and sometimes silver. Earth tones are subdued range of green, red and brown hues examples of which are dark brown, tan, beige, and sage among others.
Remember that minimalism is the key to a Zen theme, so in choosing colors, go for two color combinations with the second one being an accent. You can have dark brown for instance with sage as an accent, or black with white as an accent. An all white zen theme would be just as divine. Combining a cherry blossoms debut theme with the Zen birthday theme would give you a more youthful color palette with the addition of light pink. The light pink on dark brown will give you a more sophisticated and mature take on the youthful pink.
Zen theme enables you to incorporate as many of the five elements of nature as possible. Wood, earth, fire, water and metal which are said to help increase harmonious interaction with nature, giving your venue ambiance a very relaxed look. Making wooden boxes with stones and candles as a table centerpiece is an example of combining these elements.
You can never go wrong with candles. Placing a clear fish bowl or clear square glass vase with water and floating candles can also be a great centerpiece for a Zen-inspired debut party. Clear glass vases are usually preferred because of its simplicity and understated character. Plus, it is much cheaper and readily available than wooden zen boxes.
For tablecloths and runners, opt for simple textures and designs and clean lines, for instance a solid colored chocolate brown tablecloth with table runners with minimalist designs.
Another item that will add to your ambiance of tranquility and simplicity would be Japanese paper lanterns of subdued solid colors. Hanging these around your venue will create the feeling of oneness with nature as the wind blows causing the lanterns to sway.
You can also place luminaries around your venue, on the sides of the red carpet and in your stage. Be mindful of safety when dealing with candles. Make sure that it is in a safe place where it will not catch fire. You can make luminaries yourself by cutting out intricate designs on a paper bag and putting tealights inside.
The best venue for a Zen-inspired birthday theme would be a garden venue, although an empty function room can be a potential canvas on which you can express your creativity.
Create a solid colored invite of dark brown, black or white with a simple font for enveloped invites. You can print cherry blossoms on the edges for cherry blossoms inspired theme parties. Other ideas for your birthday invitation – scrolled invite on chopsticks and origami folded invites.
Your dress or gown should display minimal details, simple texture and design, and clean lines. Your chosen color can be incorporated in your dress with minimal accents of your secondary color. For cherry blossoms theme though, you can go for floral (cherry blossom) accents.
For a more authentic Zen-theme, go for Japanese dishes like sushi, egg rolls, rice bowls and maki among others. Red or green iced tea for drinks will be a healthy treat!
Meditation music is the best for your Zen-themed 18th birthday celebration because it adds to the ambiance of relaxation. You can play this music during cocktails or before the program starts, but this is as far as it goes. When your program starts, choose music that you like, something more upbeat and youthful.
After a period of relaxation, it is now time to party. Throw in some games to make your party alive. Here are some party games you can choose from:
Origami folding game
Hand out paper and folding instructions at the entrance. While waiting for the program to start, your guests will be able to study folding the paper. Call on five persons to join. The one who is the fastest and correctly folds the paper wins.
Research yoga poses online and choose what poses to use in your game. Ask a flexible friend of yours to do these poses. The contestants will have to be in this position for as long as they can. The one who can hold the position the longest wins.
Challenge your guests’ ability to use the chopsticks with this game. The object of the game is to pick up beads of rice with the use of the chopsticks. The group with the most rice wins.
Potted plants (taragon tea, basil, etc.) or bonsai is an excellent party favor for a Zen-inspired debut celebration, which can double as a decor initially. This debut party favor can be distributed when the program is over.
Other party favors that you can also use for this particular party theme are paper or wooden fans, bento boxes with egg rolls or minicakes inside, mini take out rice boxes with potpourri or cupcakes inside, chopsticks, tealight candles, scented candles, green leaf and bamboo-scent oils and citronella incense.
The key to the Zen birthday party is simplicity, a term not often used in parties nowadays. There is beauty and elegance in simplicity especially if you choose your items carefully. Do not overdo. Use your creativity in planning for your Zen debut. I’m sure your 18th birthday celebration will be a one-of-a-kind night to remember.