The Hoedown Throw-down – Country Western Theme Party – Cowboy & Indian Theme Party – Western Corporate Event – Old West Theme – Old West Theme Wedding – Wild West Theme Wedding
Howdy, partner. I recon you are thinking about throwing a hoedown as a Country-Western theme party. Yeah, you can slap on a cowboy hat and put some straw in ‘yer teeth, but that and a mason jar of moonshine may not be enough!
If you really want to stike gold and find true success in your theme party, you really have to go all the way; close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. If you don’t look at the whole picture, by the end of the night, there may be no one left but tumbleweed.
This comprehensive list of party invitations, decorations, table settings, centerpieces, and fun ideas can help make your shindig be one that no one will forget.
COUNTRY WESTERN RSVP INVITATIONS
At the get-go, round up your western theme party guests with something that screams country. Statistics have shown that the more time you spend on paying attention to fine details on your invitations, the better your turn out will be. Rustle up your people in the country spirit.
WANTED SIGN INVITATIONS – I am sure you have seen the old “wanted posters” from the old west movies where a villian is out there and a reward is being offered on their head, dead or alive. How about this format for your invitiation on parchment? If you don’t have the money for the fancy paper stock, dip it in coffee to age it or burn the sides. Roll the poster up with all of the party details on the inside, and tie it with some cheap twine, or maybe a bandana.
COME IN COSTUME – Before thinking about what decorations to choose, make sure to instruct your buckaroos to dress like the old west. This way, pictures of the night will look right in key with the tone of the theme. Tell them you are dressing the role and hope for the same. List out ideas for the uncreative and lazy guests suggesting such country fashion staples including: western bolo ties, leather fringed vests, spurs, cowboy hats, bandanas, cowboy boots, holsters, toy guns, toy horses, or whatever they can rustle up that fits the bill.
COUNTRY WESTERN PARTY ATMOSPHERE SETTING
Location is everything. If you hold your party in a place that already lends something to the country-western theme, then you are half way there. Let’s say you were holding the party in a very modern place. The fixtures and decor that is already set will work against you. However, a rented barn like The Pruyn House in Latham, NY, or the or ranch, this would be a great setting for all your favorite to gather at. If you can pull this off for your venue, you have a lot of your must-have decorations already built in.
SHUTTER DOORS – These are a “must-have” decoration to set up the old western bar shutter doors wherever you can. This will make your guests enter in style.
TOWN BANNER – Welcome your guests with a long banner at the entrance to the party that says something like “Company Hoedown” or some other creative title that follows the theme. This should look like what you would see in the movies when the town was celebrating something, with the Sheriff or town Mayor on a stage. HAY – Set the stage for your event with real hay bales outside the entrance. You can also put bales of hay around in the corners, and if possible, put handfuls of hay all over the place! If your venue will allow, cover the floor!!! This really sets the tone, when possible! ROCKING HORSE – Set these up for photo ops! People of all ages will have a blast rocking out! HOBBY HORSES – Get those cheaper horse heads on a stick and lay them around for fun! VARMINTS – Place rubber rattle snakes all around the ground, but fear not, your cowboys and cowgirls will surely be able to handle them. CACTUS – Get some real cactus plants for decorations. If it isn’t in the budget, try cactus cutouts. TUMBLEWEEDS – A number of large tumbleweed balls to kick around would really be a mood setter. SADDLES – Borrow or rent a horse saddle and put it somewhere like on top of one of the bales of hay. WASHBOARDS & WAGON WHEELS – These are also a great touch! COWBOY BOOTS – Western boot danglers are an easy and fun party decoration. Use them all over the room or highlight a special area, like the buffet. Either use real boots from a thrift store, perhaps, or cutout paper ones. WANTED POSTERS – Hang up silly wanted posters all over the walls with funny crimes listed under the mug shot. You can personalize the posters with the host/hostesses pictures or even ones of key guests. LABELS – Mark “Cowboys” and “Cowgirls” signs on your bathroom doors. LASSOS – Make giant lassos as wall decorations. XXX BOTTLES – Make ‘em think they are drinking that moonshine! NOOSES – While this may not be great at a children’s party, a properly tied noose may be a great conversation piece in a sick and twisted way! They are also great in case you need an impromptu hanging of a guest who had one to many drinks and is acting ornery. BAGS OF GOLD – Make prop bags of gold so people can stage shoot outs for photo ops, as well! INDIAN STUFF – Focusing on the cowboy stuff sometimes makes us forget… Don’t forget the Indian decorations. Hatches, head dresses, teepees, buffalos, war paint… this avenue opens up even more fun!
3) TABLE PLACE CARDS
There are many ways to show your guests to the chow line and still stay within the theme. One way to do this is with the selection of country western themed table place cards.
CUSTOM COWBELLS – Make a ringing impression with customized cowbells. Buy cowbells, paint the name of each guest on the outside and attach the seating details to the ringer inside. Country Western Cowbells can be found in bulk at novelty and craft stores, or discount mass merchandisers online. BANDANAS – Roll up and ribbon-tie a cowboy bandanna for each person as a seating card. Tie off the seating card with their name and table number and you have a party favor, too. HORSESHOES – Another idea for seating cards is plastic toy horseshoes. Print the name and table number of your guests on each one. GUEST ACCESORY TABLE – Set up a table by your place cards with a baskets chock full of bandanas and cowboy hats, Marshall and deputy badges, and bolo ties. Make sure this is near the front door so your guests can fill out any gaps in their costumes, or lack-there-of costumes. Putting your guests in the garb will allow them have the full country western theme party experience.
4) TABLE DECORATIONS
When it comes to rustle up some grub for the guests, make your theme hit the dinner table. While you don’t have to go too crazy, you should at least have something that barbeque sauce and cornbread goes well with. But what about the décor?
TABLE CLOTH / LINEN – Use checkered toppers over red linens for great looking tables, for a little more pizzazz. Denim table covers are another way to go, too. NAPKINS – Use solid red and solid white napkins, alternating for every other place setting. Another fun idea is to use metal sheriff’s badges as napkin rings, by pinning the middle of each napkin. If a badge is too costly, buy cheap twine and tie each napkin in the center. WESTERN THEME CONFETTI – Don’t forget to sprinkle western confetti around. Look this up online. They make all different shapes like cactus plants, cowboy hats, guns, sheriff badges and more. It’s a great finishing touch! COWBOY HAT NACHOS / CHIP AND DIP HOLDER – You can use a real cowboy hat, turned upside down and line with a check napkin or bandana to hold chips. You can place bowls inside the hats, too, if you are hesitant about napkins.
5) CENTERPIECE IDEAS CACTUS – A real cactus will really drive the point home with your guests. To brighten up your centerpiece, tie red and blue bandanas around the clay pots that the cactus plants are in. You can also accessorize the soil by sticking mini-spurs in the plant soil, or maybe a cap gun. ANTIQUITIES – Re-create a “western setting” in the middle of the table using antiques. For a really creative centerpiece, use an old metal coffeepot, an old style colored bottle, a bandana-lined basket (that you can fill with just about anything), some old-style metal coffee cups, and/or several bottles of fancy barbecue sauce. Just arrange these all together in the center of the table. STRAW BALE – A mini bale of straw might be the way to go, accessorized just right!
For kids’ tables, try a cowboy play set as the centerpiece. Not only will it look inviting to them, but also they can entertain themselves as they sit and eat. POKER CARDS – Throw them around randomly, like a game just went wrong and the players are in the road engaged in gun slinging!
6) ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT MECHANICAL BULL RIDE – While this can be really costly, if it’s in your budget, this is the greatest thing you could add to your party’s entertainment factor! WESTERN BOOT PIñATA – Rustle up your guests all together and try to break the western boot piñata. Fill the piñata with candy and fun toys that go with the western theme. MUSICAL HATS – Play “musical hats” to keep everyone entertained. Make sure to buy authentic cowboy hats and American Indian headdresses though, or the game won’t be nearly as much fun. LINE DANCING LESSONS – Bring in a local dance instructor to teach line dancing. Then later on during the dance part of the party, have the guests show off their new learned steps! You can also hire a professional “line dance caller” to entertain you with authentic square dancing emcee. CARD GAME TABLES – Texas Hold ‘Em, Poker, or Black Jack tables would be great! Set up chips that you can cash in for fun prizes! HORSESHOES – games / tournament with a prize to the winner(s)!
7) MUSIC IDEAS DINNER MUSIC – During this time, set the mood and use the legitimate country music that you can’t really dance to. Have real Country Western playing. You might also play other classic country artists like Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, June Carter Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings. COUNTRY MUSIC – Not everyone loves country music, but there are a lot of mainstream faster tracks out there today to keep the playlist somewhat in the theme. Check out artisits like Brooks And Dunn, Taylor Swift, Trace Atkins, Carrie Underwood, and Eric Church for starters. WESTERN THEME POP MUSIC – Do not be afraid to mix up the playlist. All country music tracks may kill a party where people don’t really like it. While typical country music isn’t the best for fast dancing, there are some alternatives you can add to the mix to keep with the theme. Here is a list of non-country music songs that follow the western cowboy theme:
Wild Wild West – Will Smith Wild Wild West – Kool Moe Dee Apache – Sugar Hill Gang Cotton Eyed Joe – Rednex Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi Where Have All The Cowboys Gone – Paula Cole I Wanna Be A Cowboy – Boys Don’t Cry Hoedown Throwdown – Miley Cyrus The Wild Wild West – Escape Club Rawhide – Blues Brothers The Good The Bad & The Ugly Theme Kid Rock – Cowboy Rhinestone Cowboy – Glenn Cambell Cowboy Take Me Away – Dixie Chicks Back In The saddle again – Aerosmith Rhapsody – Cowboy Lover
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. It has been another one of Kenny Casanova’s “Massive Theme Party Checklist Editions”, much like his our 80’s Theme Party Blog, where we painstakingly share at great length the many things we have seen go well at certain types of parties. While you do not need to accomplish everything you see above, the more you can afford, the better.
…And it goes without saying, book an experienced DJ for your event, partner! And everything will turn out great. 🙂
Albany Weddings DJ Kenny Casanova is an event disc jockey for "The DJ Service.com" out of Upstate, NY. He has been DJ’ing for over 15 years transitioned out of sports announcing into becoming one of the best Wedding DJs in his area.
Winning awards and "BEST OF" titles from Capital Region Living Magazine and Metroland, DJ Kenny Casanova is well sought-after and is booked solid with a few gigs every weekend. For booking information, call 518-506-3305.
Visit www.theDJservice.comDJ Kenny Casanova for more information about how to keep everyone happy at a wedding reception.