Welcome back to Totally Lit Parties, a feature in which Corrie shows you how to throw YA-themed parties!
The Royal We is the perfect book to pair with your Saint Patrick’s Day party. It’s fun, frothy, and full of people making relatable choices while drinking. Throw in a royal romance, an often neglected character age group, and a happy ending, and it's my perfect storm of a story.
For a casual elegance that makes the invitations feel like they belong to the world that Nick came from, use envelopes with a scalloped edge with a gold insert for a pop of richness. To create the insert, trace the envelope with the flap open, and then trim it down by about a quarter of an inch all the way around. Glue the gold insert into the envelope, leaving a small border for the envelope glue. Seal the envelope with a wax seal as a finishing touch.
What to Wear
There are a lot of options here for Bex alone.
• Oxford Bex: Dress in a sailor striped t-shirt and jeans.
• Good friend Bex: Wear a Soj original.
• Bad choices Bex: Put on a string bikini.
• Royal to-be Bex: Style yourself in appropriate but somewhat impersonal clothes with weights in all your dress hems.
I’m also a fan of Halloween Bex (because who doesn’t love a good costume?).
• Devour: Nick and Bex bond over a soapy supernatural TV show. Have a viewing party for your favorite of the genre, or mix and match with episodes from a few different shows. (Be sure to select the zaniest options, like Passions.)
• Go Cubs Go: Bex and her father bonded over Cubs games (and you know Earl would have been tickled by their recent World Series win), so celebrate their family bond by taking in a game. If you’re like me, you know at least one person that owns the World Series on DVD, but if not, you can watch some highlights on YouTube. That way, you can still catch some baseball during the off-season.
• The Crown: When Bex goes from private citizen to public figure, she's suddenly expected to follow a new set of strict rules. The Crown (Netflix) imagines what it might have been like for Queen Elizabeth to live within those confines. (Bonus: the sets and costumes are gorgeous.)
• The Glug: The Oxford bunch sure knows how to drink, and The Glug is a fine example of that. The premise is straightforward -- and a quick way to get drunk.
It involves teams of five competing elimination-style to see who can guzzle the most from their upended jug of Pimm’s without breaking lip-lock with the straw, vomiting, or passing out cold -- like the posh English cousin to a keg stand.
If The Glug is a bit much for you (I’m a bit dizzy just thinking about it), then play your favorite college drinking game instead. For an alcohol-free version, substitute juice or soda pop for the alcohol.
• Hare Chase: The Hare Chase is a game in which one person is the rabbit (and usually is dressed as such). The rabbit goes to a bar, and the group tries to find the rabbit. Once the rabbit is found, it leaves and everyone in the group must take a shot before continuing to track the rabbit to the next bar.
For a Royal We twist, the rabbit is Bex and the group is the paparazzi. Feel free to take turns being Bex. The winner is whoever is still standing at the end, or whoever snaps the best paparazzi photo. To make this alcohol-free, substitute shots for a non-alcoholic drink, or bars for places that sells pastries (including gas stations).
• Theme: Throw a themed party befitting of Tony's Club Theme. Hold competitions for best costume or best themed drink. Personally, I loved the idea of the Prince themed party, but I imagine something like a Backstreet Boys party would be equally entertaining.
• Royal Garbage: Royal weddings have some of the craziest merchandise, like the royal wedding waste basket that's mentioned in the book. Get creative by making your own funky royal memorabilia, with pictures of royalty (or, in my case, tasty celebrities), modge podge, and a random item to decoupage (e.g., the aforementioned waste basket, a candle in a glass jar, a magazine holder, or a phone case).
A commemorative martini shaker, for my wedding to Tom Hiddleston.
• Artsy: Bex loves to draw and sketch. Take an art class with your friends, like wine and canvas, sign painting, pencil drawing, or even something like glass blowing.
• Hunt: Bex secretly wears a a flag pin from Nick as a nod to their secret relationship and as a fun hunt for him when they are alone. Each person hides a pin (or another small object) somewhere within a given parameter (e.g., a room, a block, a city) and writes a clue about its location. Then, together as a group, follow the clues to find each pin, without help from whomever originally hid it, if possible.
Alternatively, this game can be played in a store. Instead of hiding a known item, each person finds the most ridiculous object possible. This is especially fun in flea markets and vintage shops.
Tasty Business and Boozy Beverages
Champers and Cracker Jack are must-haves. For drinks, even if you didn’t follow one of Tony’s themes, you could still serve a themed drink like The Royal Tea. Boxed wine would also be a good choice.
I [...] poured another glass of boxed wine -- the official drink of emotionally confused women on a budget.
Food-wise, there are a lot of delectable options mentioned, but I particularly like the Christmas dinner with Gaz: cheese and onion pasties, pork pie, cheese and caviar, and chocolates. You also can’t go wrong with late night snacks like the ones Nick and Bex enjoy while watching Devour. For a more British experience, recreate a dish from The Great British Bake Off and you’ll be aces.
Do you have any other The Royal We-themed party ideas? Let us know in the comments!
Corrie Golando lives in Lafayette, IN, with her husband and two greyhounds. She spent 10 years as a middle school/high school English teacher, and her students gave her a love for all things YA. When she's not working at the high school library, she is writing fanfiction and doing something crafty. She has a love of all things coated in glitter, much to her husband's horror.