Throwing a Black-and-White Birthday Party

Young woman in gown with three men in tuxedos
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A black-and-white party theme is often associated with elegance or a very special occasion. That's what makes it a popular theme choice for teen celebrations such as sweet 16s, proms and birthdays. If you're planning one of these occasions, here are some ideas to help you pull off the black-and-white event of the season.

Black-and-White Party Tips:

  • On the invitations, ask everyone to wear either black or white or both.
  • The birthday girl can wear black and/or white, too, but consider having her wear a completely different color to make her stand out on her special day. 
  • Fill the party space with black and white balloons, streamers and decorations. 
  • Set up a photo backdrop and a tripod with a camera where an adult friend takes pictures of the party guests throughout the evening. You could put out fake mustaches and top hats for the kids to use as props. When the party is over, turn those pictures from color to black and white images (most photo-management computer programs can do this for you with a click of a mouse) and send them to the kids as a way to say thanks for coming. 
  • Another photo booth idea is to create a backdrop and just let kids snap pictures with their cell phones. As a party favor, you can give them coupon codes to get a black-and-white photo app for their devices. 
  • Set the buffet or dining table with a combination of black and white linens and dinnerware.
  • For dinner, serve black and white food, such as white pizza with black olive toppings, blackened chicken over white rice or black-and-white ingredient sushi,
  • For dessert, serve whoopie pies (also known as devil dogs), black-and-white cookies, black-and-white cupcakes, cookies and cream cake or a black-and-white cake (like this lacy cake by Andrea's Cakes). By the way, if you end up using one accent color, check out this black, white and blue cake, also from Andrea's Cakes. 
  • Hang white twinkly lights in the party space.
  • For music, create a playlist of songs that mention black or white in the lyrics. Suggestions include Black or White by Michael Jackson, Black Velvet by Alannah Myles Black Magic Woman by Santata and White Wedding by Billy Idol. 
  • Hand each female party guest a white rose as they enter the party. Give all guests a simple black or white half mask to wear during the party (and take home as a favor).
  • For black-and-white party favors, fill plastic champagne flutes with black and white chocolate chips, or black and white wrapped candy.