A Professional Party Planner’s Guide for Hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner Party
If you are looking to plan an amazing and memorable party for adult guests, consider the idea of hosting a murder mystery dinner party. I have had the pleasure of attending a murder mystery dinner party in the past, and I can tell you that we all simply had a blast.
You may be wondering exactly what a murder mystery party is about. If so, I can tell you that it was similar to a murder mystery dinner theater, except that we as the guests were the actors rather than simply observers trying to figure out who was the murderer. And, unlike professional dinner theater, all of the guests had a much easier time communicating their clues to each other.
When you are planning your murder mystery party, you have two options as for what to do about the storyline and characters. The first is that you can attempt to create your own murder mystery. The second, and much more common, is to purchase a kit from your local party store. The party kit will contain a murder mystery story, a specific number of characters (depending on how many people will be at your party), background information on the characters, costume suggestions for guests, a package of clues for each guest, and usually initiations to the party itself.
In addition, many kits come with a guide that you can follow to have a fun and successful party; and some even come with gifts to give to the winners of the game. Some guides let the party host know how the murderer is; other kits let that be a surprise.
When you are throwing a murder mystery dinner party it is vital that all of your characters attend and come on time as well. Let your guests know this ahead of time and require a simple RSVP for the evening early enough in the planning process that you can always find new characters to attend if you need to. The worst thing that could happen is that your murderer will be absent from the party – and how horrible would that be!
Once you know for sure who will be attending your murder mystery dinner party, then it is time to deliver to each person the information on who their character is, their costume suggestions and their specific background story to share with the other guests as part of the game. As the evening progresses your guests will be providing each other with information which has come from your kit.
It is common for a murder mystery dinner party to start out with each person introducing their character. Then, between courses, each person will again speak about their character and give hints which will be needed to solve the murder mystery. When you run your dinner in this fashion, you can count on your dinner lasting about two to three hours, and your mystery to be solved during, or directly after, your desert time.
The murder mystery dinner party I attended was a mob hit in Italy. We came to the party dressed as stereo-typical mob characters from the old days, and our location was in a local Italian Restaurant. We had all of the characters you can associate with the mob, and we shared our information and hints with each other between courses. Our murder mystery dinner party lasted about three hours and our murderer was given a small prize for the amazing acting they did that night.
A murder mystery dinner party can be a great escape for you and your friends to play one night while the kids are out of the house. The only real limitation on the evening is your own imagination and that of your friends and relatives who you invite. This is definitely an informal party and one which you will want to invite everyone you know to attend – especially the “odder” people in your life. To your party!