A college graduation symbolizes a great deal. It’s a representation of you moving up in the world. It shows you can achieve goals by advancing both your intellect and world skills. Most importantly, it’s a landmark in maturity and shows that you know how to buckle down and get things done independently. You are expected to carry out this newfound maturity in all aspects of your life. Not only are we talking about the professional world, but also your drinking world.
Your days of getting the cheapest packs of Keystone and Natty Ice are over. As an educated adult, you have the responsibility to drink like an adult and discover that beer isn’t just a party favor anymore: it’s a culture. And what better way can you initiate yourself into professional adulthood than a graduation party themed around the largest beer festival in the world? Of course, we’re talking about Oktoberfest.
Theming your party around Oktoberfest is more than just a fun idea. It exemplifies your interest in German culture and, yes, beer. But in order to pass on that appreciation to your attendees, you need to get this party right. Stick with the Oktoberfest theme and you won’t just impress your party’s attendees, but you’ll impress yourself. You’re a real adult and you can throw a sophisticated party now.
Dirndls: Oktoberfest is not officially Oktoberfest without women wearing dirndls. Whether you hire a bartender or if you have some wild guests that don’t mind dressing up, make sure that the dirndl is part of the celebration. This outfit is a staple for anything German-themed and will be the most recognizable décor of the party. These outfits can be found at any specialty vendor site from Halloween-themed stores to general party decoration websites online. You could also dress up the men in lederhosen for the full German effect, but dirndls are definitely a higher priority. Germans would agree.
A Table Right with Blue and White: The iconic Oktoberfest design is the blue & white gingham from the Bavarian flag. Blue and white are the official Bavarian colors and they can be found everywhere at Oktoberfest. Therefore, you need to make sure this design is found everywhere in your dining area. Make sure all of your table covers, napkins, cups, tableware, and plates have blue and white. All the décor should tie together so no one has to search for the theme. It should jump out at them. Above the table, hang a blue and white canopy. If you’re outside, you can hang these from the trees. From inside, they can be hung from the ceiling. As long as it’s not a windy day, this will add a nice finishing touch to the seating area.
Hanging Décor: Your tables aren’t the only places to have fun with Bavarian colors. Put up a big blue and white banner outside of the house to welcome your guests. Also, you can hang some blue & white bunting across your patio rail or gates.
Balloons: With all this talk of growing up, you should know that one thing never changes: A party isn’t a party without balloons. No one ever gets too old for balloons. We’ve harped on the importance of blue and white, but they aren’t your only options for color scheme. Because Oktoberfest is held in the fall, they often use some yellow, orange, and red colored decorations. Yellow is probably the most prevalent color, so it might be good to throw in some yellow balloons with your blues and whites.
Mugs for Everyone: Don’t even think about serving drinks in those red plastic cups from last week’s beer pong tournament. If you do that, it’s ruined. Everyone knows that a proper Reinheitsgebot beer should be served in proper glass mug. You should be able to hold half-liters of beer by a handle to maximize your party’s legitimacy. But if that proves to be a little pricy, you can always go for pint glasses instead. As long as those red plastic cups are in the trash, you’re good.
Beer is Decoration Too: Oktoberfest officially starts once the first keg is tapped. Your party should respect the festival by honoring that same code. Use your funds to get a keg of German craft beer to satisfy the spirit of Bavarian celebration. Note: If you want to take it to the next level with authenticity, try and fill your keg with beer from one of the following Munich breweries:
- Staatliches Hofbrau-Munchen
Every year, beers from these breweries are sold at Oktoberfest. If you have access to any of these, go with it.
Food Sets the Mood: Oktoberfest isn’t beer-only, and neither is your party. One of the festival highlights is getting original German sausages and pretzels. For your party, it’s okay to have an assortment of food that isn’t served at Oktoberfest (we have to accommodate for vegetarians, right?). However, you don’t want to forsake the Germans’ love for sausages and pretzels (If you have to choose one, choose the sausages. They’re easier to prepare on a barbecue and we can live without pretzels).
Beer Lights: Since beer-themed party is likely to carry into the night, you should have some lights set up so you can effortlessly plug them in when it gets dark. These lights won’t just help people see, but they’ll add to the party’s atmosphere. Get some hanging beer lights for this. Not only will your guests get a kick out of how detailed you are, but beer lights will also emit a yellow glow. This will add onto the fall colors that Oktoberfest reveres. Yellow Paper Lanterns: If your lights aren’t putting out enough power to reach the further tables, hang some yellow paper lanterns. You can hang one per canopy to keep all the seating visible. Just like the beer lights, the yellow glow will add to the autumn theme.