I apologise if I have appeared a little quiet or distant recently. There is a very good reason why- I am hosting the July Oxfordshire Lolita meet! Originally I was meant to be doing a scavenger hunt around Oxford but it turns out that the date we settled on was the same day Alice Day is being held. Yes, it is that time of year again! Last years Alice Day was one of the first events I reported about on this blog.
So all the scavenger hunt plans were put aside and I started planning a meet based around all things Alice. There is going to be a picnic, we are watching a few of the performances and we may even make some Mad Hatter hats! Of course, the dress theme is going to be Alice in Wonderland. As a result, I have been spending a lot of time trying to plan the picnic and some Alice themed games to play.
Planning a meet around a theme has been very interesting. For some reason, I feel themed meets are different from the usual lolita meets. Here are a few of the many things I have had to consider-
Getting to know my theme- I have a confession to make- I have NEVER read Alice in Wonderland! Of course, I have heard the story and I know the characters which has been a huge help. The better you know the theme, the more confident you will feel when you are making plans.
Working out the key characters and themes- Usually with themed meets, especially those based around books, there are a few stand out moments in the story or certain characters that people remember more than others. These are the parts that people remember fondly. To take an example from my own upcoming meet- I have already based a game around the Cheshire Cat. I am also trying to think of ideas based around the tea party scene and we will be attending an event where you make Mad Hatter hats. I want people to take one look at my ideas and instantly recognise it from Alice in Wonderland. If I can include the main themes, I can always add some more subtle themes in afterwards.
Little details- As well as focusing on the main themes, I will be paying attention to little details. For my picnic I have been thinking about how I can turn it from a normal picnic and in to a themed picnic. So items such as the plates, napkins and cups will hopefully be themed too. Given the choice between plain napkins and Alice printed napkins, I know which one I would choose! I am also making Drink Me and Eat Me tags. It doesn't even have to be too expensive. Think about colours and shapes etc. Is there a specific colour that sticks out with your theme? Are there little pieces you can make yourself?
Dress code- Something that worries me about a themed lolita meet is making sure it still fits lolita. I have suggested an Alice dress code but for my own outfit, I have still tried to keep the usual lolita "rules" in place. When does an outfit stop being a themed lolita outfit and become a costume? It is up to you how far you go with the theme. It could be that you wear lolita and just wear a few themed accessories. Or you could go completely crazy about the theme and not worry about how it fits with lolita. To be honest, I want my fellow lolitas to be as creative as they want. The most important part of the entire meet is to have fun!
Don't overload yourself- There have been a few times where I have gotten a little stressed with all the planning. Break up all the planning in to manageable chunks, make lists and leave plenty of time. Never leave stuff to the last minute!
Problem solving- I am a bit worried that it will rain and the events will be cancelled. So I have been thinking of alternative ideas to do inside as well. I have also had to make sure that there is somebody on hand to carry all the games and stuff I intend to bring! (I feel sorry for my husband who is bound to end up carrying loads of stuff!). There will always be things you can't control or predict so try not to too upset if there are a few hitches.
Online inspiration- We are very lucky to live in a time where we can type something in to a search engine and come up with lots of search results. There are loads of party suggestions available and I have bookmarked a few websites that have been especially useful. Also, try asking your friends. They may come up with an idea that you hadn't thought of.
As the date of the meet slowly creeps up on me, I am hoping that we all have a good time. I also want to thank everybody who has been helping me come up with ideas and have offered to help. I have tried not to reveal too many details because I am hoping some of the meet will be full of lovely mini surprises. After the meet, expect a full blog post about it!