Mardi Gras Party Bar Area with purple, gold, and green beaded panels | PartySlate
The Best of | New Orleans | Celebrations

13 Steps for Hosting an Epic Mardi Gras Themed Party

Mardi Gras Party Bar Area with purple, gold, and green beaded panels | PartySlate

Mardi Gras is more than just a party; it’s a holiday. Mardi Gras themed parties often start two weeks before Fat Tuesday — with parades, masked balls, and plenty of brass bands. And while New Orleans might be the “King Rex” of Mardi Gras celebrations, cities all over the world now host Mardi Gras events of their own, making it one of the most popular celebrations world-wide.

Such an elaborate, show-stopping event undoubtedly makes for a great party theme, no matter the time of year. Whether you’re looking to host a private dinner party or a corporate event, Mardi Gras themed parties are bound to excite your guests. We’ve come up with 13 steps for hosting an epic Mardi Gras celebration. From finding a spectacular caterer (we’re thinking king cakes, jambalaya, and po’boys) to enlisting topnotch entertainment, we can’t wait to help you plan the party of your dreams.

1) Hire an Event Planner with a Big Vision

photographer: Riverview Photography | planner: LadidadiXM | venue: Hotel Monteleone, Republic NOLA, & Mardi Gras World | caterer: Pigeon

Showpad’s New Orleans all-company kickoff meeting went above and beyond with a three-venue extravaganza planned by LadidadiXM. The night began with an on-theme cocktail reception, complete with costumed showgirls and a Second Line band. Next, guests enjoyed an awards dinner hosted at Mardi Gras World where real-life parade floats were incorporated into the décor. Not ready to end the party, guests moved onto the next venue—with one more chance to indulge in music, dancing, and exciting catering stations (Did someone say Bananas Fosters?).

2) Draw All Eyes With Instagrammable Décor

Mardi Gras Themed Holiday Party With Giant Blow Up Jester Doll | PartySlate
photo courtesy of & décor: JCD Atmospheric Studios | venue: Palace of Fine Arts | caterer: Global Gourmet Catering

We could look at photographs of this Mardi Gras-themed holiday party all day long. While the soaring blow-up Mardi Gras jester definitely stole the show, we also love the Bourbon Street signage spelled out in Hollywood-style bulb lighting. A luxe lounge area with fleur-de-lis carpeting gave guests one more reason to hang around at this dynamic celebration.

3) Add Glamour with Vibrant Lighting

Mardi Gras party held in Gas Lamp Quarter with vibrant purple, pink, gold, and green lighting | PartySlate
photographer: American Image Gallery | venue: Gas Lamp Quarter San Diego | planner & design: Russell Harris Event Group | entertainment: Entertainment Plus Productions & Champagne Creative Group| lighting: LightenUp, Inc. | furniture: Hire Elegance

LightenUp, Inc. transformed the Gas Lamp Quarter into a Mardi-Gras wonderland with fleur-de-fis projection mapping and colorful uplighting. Illuminated lounge areas and eye-catching geometric installations popped against the night sky. Our love for Mardi Gras beads tripled with one look at the gold, green, and purple string lights suspended overhead.

4) Bring Guests Together with Picture-Perfect Table Settings

Mardi Gras Theme Tablescape with Purple Feathery Décor | PartySlate
photographer: Averyhouse | linen: Windy City Linen | florals, design, paperie, favors, designer: A Perfect Event | rentals: Tablescapes Event Rentals

Nothing brings people together like a shared meal. This Fat Tuesday dinner party kept guests glued to their seats with such gorgeous tabletop décor. Windy City Linen’s marbled runners made a perfect backdrop for purple glassware, silver Mardi-Gras masks, and custom-vintage postcards from New Orleans. King cupcakes and other delicious treats were just the icing on the cake.

5) Keep Spirits High with a Luxe Bar Setup

Mardi Gras Corporate Party Bar Area With Green Neon Table Lighting and Masked Backdrop | PartySlate
photographer: Action Cinema | planner: Executive Productions, Ltd. | caterer: Food For Thought | florist: Artquest, Ltd. | decor: Kleifield Design & Associates, Inc. | lighting: Frost Chicago

This Mardi Gras-themed corporate event gave guests plenty of reasons to cheers, especially with such a glowing bar setup. A giant Bourbon Street sign and candelabras decked with peacock feathers were just a few of the dazzling details included at this celebration. Jambalaya stations and a raw seafood bar kept guests satisfied in true New Orleans style.

6) Serve Delicious (and On-Theme) Cuisine

Mardi Gras party catering station | PartySlate
photographer: Michael Jurick Photography | planner & design: Anthony Taccetta Event Design | florals: Sag Harbor Florist | catering: Peter Callahan Catering | production: Untouchable Events | linens: Cloth Connection | music: Hank Lane Music | rentals: Custom Rentals & Ruth Fischl Event Rental

When it comes to planning a Mardi Gras-themed milestone birthday with mouthwatering cuisine, Anthony Taccetta Event Design was up to the task. In addition to passed bites, guests enjoyed po’boys, beignets, and spicy jambalaya. Cloth Connection gave celebrants one more reason (think beautiful table linens) to linger at the table and enjoy their meal.

7) Entertain Your Guests with Interactive Games

Mardi Gras beads lay on casino table at Mardi Gras themed corporate event | PartySlate
photographer & casino rentals: Chicago Casino Suppliers | venue: Loews Chicago Hotel 

What could make Mardi Gras even more entertaining? How about casino games? Chicago Casino Suppliers hit the jackpot with slot machines, craps, and roulette. Yellow, green, and purple balloons made for Instagram-worthy décor and (believe it or not) fashionable couture.

8) Make Connections with Engaging Activities

Masked Mardi Gras experiential product launch with live make up artists | PartySlate
photographers : Misti Layne, Jim Vetter Photography & Black Cat Photos | venue: The Bently Reserve |  entertain entertainment: Entire Productions | rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen | rentals: Event Drape Rental | caterer: 49 Square Catering | dessert: The Dirty Cookie | av: JL IMAGINATION | rentals: Hensley Event Resources | print and letterpress: Dependable Letterpress | cocktail caterer: Best Beverage Catering

Entire Productions kept guests enraptured at this Mardi Gras-themed product launch with breathtaking décor, show-stopping entertainment, and unique activity stations. Various stations included face painting, tarot card reading, and even typewriter poets. Of course, guests also had the option of sitting back and letting the entertainment come to them. From a wine bike to stilt walkers, there was a lively performance at every turn.

9) Get Guests on the Dance Floor

Hank Lane Music performs at Mardi Gras Themed birthday party | PartySlate
photographer: Michael Jurick Photography | planner & design: Anthony Taccetta Event Design | florals: Sag Harbor Florist | catering: Peter Callahan Catering | production: Untouchable Events | linens: Cloth Connection | music: Hank Lane Music | rentals: Custom Rentals & Ruth Fischl Event Rental

This event was so good, it deserves a second mention. Hank Lane Music put on an incredible show at this milestone birthday party. Who needs a stage when you can have a Mardi Gras-themed dance floor with gold-stenciled fleur-de-lis? Fire dancers and dueling pianos also kept the party in full swing.

10. Play Dress Up

Mardi gras costume attire for Mardi Gras themed birthday party | PartySlate
photographer: Hannah Pickle | planner: Clandestine Events and Experiences | costuming & talent: Ladybeast | hair & makeup: Midori | brass band: Knockaz Brass Band | balloons: Badass Balloon Co. | catering: 12 Seasons Catering

Nothing immerses guests into a celebration like themed costumes. With the help of talented makeup artists and an array of colorful costumes, Clandestine Events and Experiences created a magical destination milestone birthday celebration in The Big Easy. Make sure to see how an on-scene fortune teller and live marching band kept guests engaged from beginning to end — while looking fabulous, of course..

Serve Up a King Cake

Mardi Gras themed wedding with King Cake | PartySlate
photographer: Matthew Foster Photography | design & floral: Firefly Ambiance | venue: Maison Dupuy

It’s not a Mardi Gras Party without a King Cake. This signature Mardi Gras dessert is a treat for both the eyes and palette with colorful frosting and brioche dough. Firefly Ambiance kept this wedding cake on theme with a delicious King Cake iced in gold, green, and purple. Make sure to see other ways this talented design team executed this fun wedding theme. We especially love the unique ceremonial décor. 

12. Create the Perfect Photo Op

Purple couch with giant crown for Mardi gras party photo op | PartySlate
photo courtesy of & planner: Fauxcades

Create long-lasting memories with curated photo ops. We love how a giant-sized crown turns a purple sofa into seating fit for royalty. See how this celebration offered countless unique backdrops for the perfect selfie — and  professional photograph. We especially admire the entryway filled with umbrella ceiling décor and vibrant uplighting.

13. Go Big With Beads

Mardi gras ceiling installation of balloon beads for debutant ball | PartySlate
photo courtesy of & balloons: Badass Balloon Co. | event designer: Z Event Company | florals: Kim Starr Wise Floral Events | venue: The Sugar Mill | a/v lighting: See-Hear Productions | staging: Urban Earth

Think beyond jewelry when it comes to Mardi Gras beads. We love how lush florals by Kim Starr Wise Floral Events and bead-like balloons transformed this venue into a wonderland of color and texture. Badass Balloon Co. used over 30,000 balloons to bring this installation to life. Wow, indeed.

People Also Ask…

What are some Mardi Gras themes?

Mardi Gras has so many rich traditions. You can easily zero in on your party theme with a focus on a specific Mardi Gras element or ritual. Here are some of our favorite Mardi Gras themed party ideas:

  • Masquerade Ball
  • French Quarter Fête
  • Mardi Gras Parade
  • Carnival Celebration

Where can I find vendors for my Mardi Gras themed party?

Now that you’ve found exciting ideas for Mardi Gras celebration, it’s time to find experienced vendors who can bring your vision to life. Head to PartySlate’s curated vendor directory to discover the best local and national vendors. Use the filters to narrow your search by location, event type, services, and more.