Thursday, November 14, 2013

1920s Murder Mystery Birthday Party

- Part I -
About a week leading up to any party that myself or my friends put on, I start to get thoughts of “oh why do I do this to myself?” and I’m sure my friends feel the same way. Parties are a lot of work, but the end result is reward enough. When people arrive and are taken back with how great everything looks, have a great time and then leave with smiles on their faces, then I know all the hard work was worth it in the end.
Mine and Bianca’s birthdays are only 10 days apart, and with lots of common friends between the two of us, it’s a great excuse to throw a party. Back in the summer I saw the new Great Gatsby movie (twice) and was blown away. The spectacular costumes, the awesome music, and the huge parties gave me lots of inspiration and I just knew I had to have a 1920s party. So I meet up with Bianca and told her my idea, and see seemed very interested. With Crystal’s help we decided to add a Murder Mystery into the mix. To give it a cool vibe we called it a “Prohibition Murder Mystery Party”, as the title “The Great Gatsby” didn’t exactly fly with the guys (too girly I suppose?).
So planning went underway, and Crystal ordered a 1920s Murder Mystery package online and we began to invite people. It was a little unique inviting this time around, because even when people RSVP, there are always a few who don’t end up showing up, which is okay.
With it being a Murder Mystery, everyone has a vital part, and if someone doesn’t show up, it could mess up the whole plot! So we were pretty adamant that if you said you were coming, that you had to come (I know – we are so mean making you come to a party).

When trying to think of a place to have the party, we had a pretty tough time coming up with a plan. Though my place was an option, it’s a little small, and not only is Bianca having the Christmas party at her house, but she also was moving around the same time (turns out her possession date ended up being the day before the party). Finally I thought of my father-in-law’s place/restaurant, and it ended up being the PERFECT place.
Once basic plans were made and RSVPs were received, Crystal started assigning characters and invitations went out in October. It was fun reading your character profile and finding out a little bit about others as well. I seriously think Crystal did an amazing job in matching up profiles with everyone’s personalities.

Well the day of the party finally arrived and it started very early for me. I was up early icing cupcakes and gathering things that needed to be loaded into my car, and sending off my print order to Staples. Once Nick was up, I had him load my car with everything including those damn mason jars! (Side note: Since my wedding I have used those mason jars for a few other parties, and they aren’t exactly easy to deal with, and so Nick has grown to hate them.) Finally I was ready to go. First I headed to the McKenzie dollar store to pick up last minute cups and plates and a cap gun for Nick. I then picked up my print order from Staples and headed to Okotoks to meet my mom. We first went to the salon to get my hair done, and then to Michael’s for some feathers to add into my hair. My last stop was Wal-Mart for juice and pop. I originally wanted to be in DeWinton by 2pm to begin setting up, but I didn’t end up getting there until 3pm (I blame this on my mom for saying she just needed to pick up some groceries too, but clearly  we have very different views on what “a few groceries” means). It ended up being okay because the party didn’t start until 7pm (I originally thought the party started at 6pm). Nick was suppose to meet me there around 2pm, but he also got very behind in running his errands (he got stuck in line for over 2 hours at Future Shop for a game swap...). It ended up being fine, because his dad Ray ended up being such a huge help. First we had to de-Hawaiian the place from last year’s rehearsal luau dinner. So we took down many of the masks and flower pictures and replaced them with more fitting decor. Then we had to dust and clear out the space of tables and chairs as it was going to be more of a standing party. Ray then brought out the bar stools and helped put up the fabric for the photo booth backdrop. Eventually Nick got there and began to string up lights while I had Ray cut up the photo booth props and hot glue them to sticks (I’m not afraid at telling other people what to do, even my own father-in-law! lol) In the meantime I set up the food table, blew up balloons, added gold tinsel, and placed mason jars and candles all over the tables and piano. One of my favourite things was Ray had this actual old phone sitting in the corner that looked like it came straight out of the 1920s.
Ashley and Calvin arrived around 6pm to set up the camera for the photo booth and help me with final touches. Finally 7 o’clock rolled around and everyone began to arrive. Crystal handed out packages to all of the guests containing 2 letters, one to open right then, and one to open after the “murder” took place.
As everyone arrived, I was so blown away with how great everyone looked. I loved that everyone made such an effort to look their part and the excitement they had for what was to come. Everyone commented on how great the place looked, which helped me feel like it was worth all of the effort. Soon everyone got into their role and the Murder Mystery began. I played the big mob boss’s (Carus) little sister in love with my brother’s enemy Southside Sal (Nick). My best friend Dina Diva (Danika) was trying to get into a movie that Hollywood Hal (Chad) was producing, but had some competition with Molly – the mob boss’s girlfriend, whom I despised. Flora (Breanne) who was my brother’s ex-wife was also going after my love interest. There were a few other stories happening, but these were the main ones pertaining to my character.
Carus’s character was the one who got murdered, and lots of people thought I was the murderer because I was the sister who had lots to gain financially and so I could be with the one I loved.
At the end of the night it ended up Andrew, who played the cop/sheriff who was the murderer, and not one person guessed him. In all seriousness, I had NO idea who it was.
Danika ended up winning best dressed, but it was definitely hard to pick because everyone looked so great. Nick won best character, and it wasn’t hard to see why. Nick was very into it, and was very in character the whole night.
Spencer won “richest player” as he collected over $1800 in fake money (he played the mayor).
It was a great night, and lots of people stayed to help clean up. I know we left the place cleaner then when I first got there, which is great because Danika is having Chad’s birthday there in a few weeks, so the place is all ready to go!
I would just like to thank everyone who came and participated – it wouldn’t have been as fun otherwise.
Thanks Bianca for being my birthday partner and helping clean at the end.
Thanks Crystal for being such a great host and organizing the whole Murder Mystery portion.
I was would also like to thank Ashley for coming a little early to help, and letting us use her camera.
I know this is silly, but thanks Breanne for doing such a great (and much needed) sweep.
Thanks everyone for bringing such amazing and impressive appetizer and dessert dishes.
And last, but not least, thanks to my husband and Ray for being major helps in setting up.

Without further ado, here is the first half of pictures I would like to share. These were taken with my new camera throughout the night. Later this week (or early next week), I’ll be sharing the Photo Booth pictures from Ashley’s camera. Enjoy!
Jenn, Amanda & Ashley
Spencer & Whitney
Sean, Matt, Melissa & Bianca
Jordo & Nick
Whitney & Ashley
Calvin & Ashley
Bianca & Danika
Amanda & Melissa
Love these three!
One of my favourite pictures of the night
Funny story about this picture - Andrew arrested Kris halfway through the evening, but then lost the keys to the handcuffs. It took over 30 minutes and lots of help to break him free.
Chad and Danika
Carus & Nick
Such a cute couple!
Breanne & Kevin
Breanne, Crystal, Jenn, Sherri & Bianca
Amanda, Matt & Nick
Nick, Joe & Melissa


  1. Such a fun party idea! I love your dress!

  2. Thanks Jenna. I had bought it before I got pregnant, so it barely fit - I was lucky because I spent a pretty penny on it, and Nick would have killed me if I didn't end up wearing it afte spending so much money on it,