“Are you… intrigued?”
My reaction when I first saw the Fifty Shades Darker movie trailer earlier this year, it had nothing to do with the promise of suspense and intrigue. I was enthralled by the masquerade ball scene. Though I have always had an affinity for masquerade masks, I suddenly realized how sexy a ball like that could be. And then I got my master plan: I am so going to throw a Valentine’s Masquerade Ball like the one from Fifty Shades Darker.
Inspiration from the book
Not going to lie. It took me forever to read the famous series featuring Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, written by E.L. James. But the masquerade scene has always been one of my favorites, and then I saw it realized in live action form. My excitement went through the roof.
Spoiler alert. Here are some quotes from Fifty Shades Darker that really inspired me when making up this Valentine’s Day Masquerade Ball:
All of these provided some great images and ideas for what to do during a masquerade ball, especially one for Valentine’s Day. The mystery and decadence of masquerade balls truly create a romantic atmosphere that everyone can partake in and enjoy.
5 Ideas for the Masquerade Ball
One of the things I have always loved about this masked get-togethers is that masks can be as simplistic or as extravagant as you want. Naturally, you could completely hide who you are from others. And like our hero and heroine from Fifty Shades Darker, that intrigue can be quite captivating.
1. Invitation only
A party is bound to attract the friends of invitees, but when everyone is going to have their identity concealed, things can get out of hand quickly. No one wants their life’s Mrs. Robertson appearing during dinnertime to destroy your evening. So, invitation only. Couples and singles with the potential of hooking up with one another would be on the list.
2. Masked entry
Everyone would need a mask prior to getting in. A photographer would be staged at the entrance and snap pictures of these people coming in for commemorative purposes. Only during the grand unveiling at the end of the party will everyone be able to remove their masks.
This would set the mood–and let’s face, masquerade balls always have the most stunning decor. Candles are usually scattered everywhere. The dim overhead lighting matched with the moody flicker of candlelight could accent swathes of royal blue and silver. Or purple and green, black and white, or white and silver.
Cups could be filled with silvery balls (that are secretly after dinner mints). If you read the book, you would get a kick out of that. Centerpieces will definitely be silver and ringed with bunches of feathers, white peonies, and sequins.
What I love is that the mood of the masquerade ball in the book is set by “ethereal” classic pieces, later followed by more popular tunes. Now, while I obviously cannot fit (or afford) a full philharmonic orchestra in an event hall, I can stream Pandora or use the classical playlist on my iPod.
5. Fun and games
This is where channeling Fifty Shades Darker is easiest. All guests will of course be aware of the intention of the night, being that it is Valentine’s Day and all. A First Dance Auction, where all identities are made up by the MC, for both men and women (two first dances to be fair) will be held.
Payment will be made in Mardi Gras beads and play handcuffs, because an air of silliness goes a long way. After that, sparklers will be passed out. The night will end with a fountain of champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries to take home, and a peony for everyone.
While this is just an idea, you have to admit that a Fifty Shades Darker inspired Masquerade Ball for Valentine’s Day would be unfathomably fun. Knowing everything that went down during the party in the story, you can only imagine what might unfold for you. Whether you are single or have your own Mr. Grey or Ms. Steele, Masquerade Balls certainly pleasurable experiences.