How to Create “The Great Gatsby theme” for your event.

What is it about The Great Gatsby that is the current hype theme for almost all the events lately?

Is it because Leonardo DiCaprio’s excessive charm? Or did the movie stirred an emotion deep within us (viewers) a desire to live the high life? Well what ever it is, let’s explore why corporate event dinners and gala nites are steering towards this direction. And I’m pretty sure this will be a theme to stay, just like the cliche themes like Arabian nite or the infamous oscar nite. 

As a designer (self declared) haha, I always advice my clients to always either blackout or whiteout the walls first. I will elaborate more on this in another posting. In this case. 

Base color:

After selecting a theme for your event. the next question is the color. Many agencies and clients do make this mistake. Somehow, after watching the movie, they are left with the impression that the overall ambiance color is white. Well, honestly I don’t blame them. the colors are so perfectly infused. Some images which I borrowed from google search. Let’s do a quick research on this. 




Normally used as photo op wall.




Of course there are plenty more images to choose from, but i prefered this two, because I always base my event designs on 3 main colors. Which can be influenced by Soft decor, hard decor and light decor. The first image is normally used as the photo op backdrop. Some may be bold (or foolish) to use the exact artwork, enlarge 500% and print. but most will add or modify the design. 

The second image is rather, say, cluttered? Well, aren’t most social events like that? In this image, the main decor elements are props, lighting stands and glass mainly. Well, looking at the era the movie was based on, they don’t have much of a choice to work with. So if I were to advice my clients on ambiance light, go gentle on the modern city colors and wall washers. paint around more with candelabra stands, or any thing that bring out the jazzy era feel. So basically go more on props hardware! Gold or bronze in specific colors.

From these two images, I would select my base color to be black. Why? Mainly because I want my secondary colors to stand out, which are either gold or white / cream color. The black is both subliminal yet prominent. Haha, I know I sound contradicting here. But the point is, the black base color helps to bring out the best of the gold/ bronze/ white color. If it is possible, lets not omit this important factor. 

Now of course we might want to add in our own ideas and elements in, lest we look like a copy cat. just some reference which I came across google images. These are some really nice variation we can do for the wall draping, especially when we are on a tight budget for luxury props.


Image Image


How would I do it?

Well, it really depends on a few factors, like venue and budget. 

Base color, black with panels of gold (like image above, and maybe lose the fairy lights effects). then i would flush the hall in warm lights, either from city colors or using existing hall lights, I would keep lights to a good 40% at the most, I’m not too sure if white lights or other color lights are available at that era, but warm lights will be safest. 

Props! Alright. This is the tricky part. let’s start with the hard decor, 


Candle stands! Candle stands everywhere! find something close or exactly like that or at least close to that. matching colors will be Gold/ bronze or rustic silver (if there is such a color). This is a large hall, try counting how many candelabra stands are there. Of course this is just the hallway, or in our case we will use these in the foyer area. Study how the floral stands are positioned. Quiet yet bold and masculine. 



Lush full floral centerpieces and exquisite silverware, simple hotel furniture which you can easily get by asking any hotel manages without extra charges. Instead of using the standard printed backdrop for photo op, consider this option, I think this will be a more effective and exciting photo op. Now imagine your guests posing like Dicaprio in this fashion. Imagine you posing in this.

Lastly, the secret weapon as I would call it, is the glitter effect. Due to the fact that minimal ambiance lights are available, we have to rely on reflective lights. These are the little little things that sets the mood just right.



If this is done properly, it will leave your guest in jaw dropping awe, done wrongly and you will look like a curtain vendor in a the wrong place at the wrong time.

Simple design and quite just a template, should be quite an affordable event set up. 

Cheers and out. 


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