Timeline for Planning a Murder Mystery Dinner
The invitations are sent. The food is prepared. The costumes and decorations are ready. And a murder lurks.
That’s where you’re trying to be. Here’s just the tool you need to help planning a murder mystery dinner:
A CHECKLIST TO HELP YOU THROW THE WORLD’S BEST MURDER MYSTERY PARTY!!!
Planning a Murder Mystery Dinner Party
Whether or not this is your first foray into the criminal world, planning a murder mystery dinner party can seem intimidating. How long does it take? When should you do what? Will you make a mistake that will help the killer run free?!
Fear not! This timeline will help you check all the boxes when planning a murder mystery dinner.
(1) AS SOON AS YOU LIKE.
Decide on a theme.
Often people ask what theme they should use and here are a few guidelines:
- Consider what era/genre/characters your friends would most enjoy dressing up and re-enacting. For some, it would be a time period (like a medieval mystery), others would be something light and fun (like Margaritaland) or something outrageously fantastical (like Once Upon a Murder).
- If you are hosting a conservative group or a teen party, please see the Clean and Teen versions of our mysteries.
- Find all of our mystery party themes here.
Send out save the date postcards or emails.
- Send out as early as you desire. Remember, people’s calendars book up fast, especially around Halloween and the holiday season!
- We have downloadable invites and save-the-dates to help with this
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THEM HERE!
4 – 6 WEEKS AHEAD
- Send out initial invitation (can be downloaded from site)
- Have a RSVP date of 2-3 weeks before party – you want to give people time to plan their costume.
- Some mysteries have additional ideas for sending out invites. Check the “party tips” section on Night of Mystery to find out if your party theme has these additional ideas (like picture above for invite for Lights! Camera! MURDER!).
- If you know you are going to have more than 20 people, you can go ahead and order the party (20+ version). If you are unsure of guest count, you will want to wait until you have accurate guest count before ordering.
- Start researching ideas for party — This will get you excited for party!!
Places to look:
- PARTY TIPS SECTION ON EACH MYSTERY PAGE!
Simply find the tab and scroll down for the latest and greatest ideas on Costumes, Decor, Food, etc.
– Check out the Pinterest page for your mystery
– Be sure to “follow” the page, so you can get updated when we publish new ideas!
CHECK IT OUT NOW!!!
- Surf our galleries to see how other host/ess have planned for and ran their parties! An excellent source of inspiration!
2 – 3 WEEKS AWAY!
- Get rsvp count for party
- Order correct party (do this as soon as you know your correct guest count)
- Assign each of your rsvp’d guest a character role.
- Send out character invitations (either via email, through post or handing out)
- Book party space (if needed)
- Plan decorations, food, music and awards for the party. Purchase as many as you can at this time.
- Order/purchase/make your own costume!
1 WEEK AWAY:
- Print out the mystery materials and put them together.
5 DAYS OUT:
- Go shopping for food for your party.
- Make sure you have all the decorations you need and, if not, get them!
2 DAYS OUT:
- Start decorating for your party! Set out all that you can ahead of time.
- Prepare any food ahead of time that you can.
- Send reminder email to guests.
- Finish decorating.
- Prepare any last-minute food and/or drink.
- Set out materials (name tags, etc.) for guests.
- Get into costume.
Have FUN! And relish in the mystery!
How to Host a Mystery Dinner
If you are the type of person that likes to print out the instructions and check things off, then we have just what you need! This checklist has all the steps you need in how to host a mystery dinner.
Plenty of Mystery Dinner Ideas
Not sure where to start? We have a wide range of mystery dinner ideas for you to choose from.
- What you would like the theme to be
- How many guests you’ll have
- If you have a risque crowd or a more conservative group
Once you solve those mysteries for yourself, you’re ready to buy a game and start the planning process. Before you know it, you’ll be solving a murder.