I chose an 80's themed High School Reunion and had lots of fun planning the food, decorations and of course, my costume!
Make sure to pick a theme that people can have fun with and that isn't too difficult. I wanted people to be able to come up with costumes from home or thrifting (the 80's) versus having to buy things (flapper outfits). I also like all the fun personalities in this murder mystery kit: cheerleaders, nerds, cool kids, movie stars etc. It made for a really fun and diverse group for the costumes and personalities. Make you do pick a theme your crowd will have fun with it!
Every person who attends is given a character with a name and told to dress and act their part. They are also given a basic background of the storyline for the evening and told how the murder mystery part of it works.
The host can choose to decide if they know who the murderer and victim are, in my case, I wanted to make sure the murderer and victim would be fine playing dead and I also wanted to make sure one couple didn't have both parts.
Typically, guests arrive and mingle with drinks and appetizers for anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. They also receive their first envelope with objectives (like talking to certain people and getting them to answer questions).
Then, the murder occurs when the lights go out! The lights come on and everyone is shocked! The victim is then removed from the room and given a new character for the evening so they can still participate.
Next, everyone is given a second envelope with more secrets and some people receive evidence to present to others. Dinner can be served from any point. I served after about 20-30 minutes of mingling during this portion.
I also let guests take a break from their characters while eating since although it is fun, it can be tiring to stay in character for 3 hours! Just feel how your group is doing, if they are loving it, continue the characters, I thought people just needed a little break :)
Then once people feel like they have heard enough evidence and talked to enough people, everyone casts their vote for who they believe the murderer to be, as well as best dressed and best actor.
Finally, after tallying the votes, you reveal the murderer and the winners of the parts. I also served dessert during this time.
Now for the pictures.....