How to Throw your own Epic Oktoberfest Party!
In June the news broke that Oktoberfest in Munich was once again canceled. 😭😭😭 But that got me thinking... It's time to bring the spirit of Oktoberfest to our own backyards!
Doesn't this sound great? 🤩 You can have your own backyard Oktoberfest celebration with all the traditional Bavarian cultures. Think about it:
You can dress up in lederhosen, decorate the area with blue and white checkered flags, play some polka music, and serve delicious German food like sausages and pretzels. You can also add some fun activities, like a beer stein-holding competition and Bavarian games like Hammerschlagen. 🍻 And don't forget to serve your favorite local beers or brew up your own Oktoberfest beer for the occasion. It's a great way to get everyone in the spirit and to have a great time.
AND it's a safe place for little kids to run around! So, let's don the dirndls and lederhosen, raise a toast to the spirit of Oktoberfest! I’ve thrown many a party before and I love a good theme, so here are my tips to throwing your own epic Oktoberfest party in your own home or backyard.
1 | Plan an Authentic Menu
Authentic doesn't mean complicated! Something like leberkase sandwiches, pretzels and obatza cheese, or a fabulous wurst und käse (sausage and cheese) platter can go a long way. Add to that some real German beer and you have an authentic experience!
For those looking for a twist on the traditional, there are plenty of new recipes to explore. Spätzle with mushrooms, pretzel flavoured pastry bites, or classic dishes with a modern twist like currywurst – these all make for delicious meals full of flavour. For those who prefer a lighter touch, there are plenty of salads and side dishes to enjoy such as potato and cucumber salad, goulash soup or sauerkraut.
There is something for everyone when it comes to traditional German cuisine! With its unique blend of hearty ingredients, subtle spices, and rich sauces, you can be sure to find something to satisfy all your cravings.
Here are some links to my favorite recipes from dirndl kitchen (that are easy... cuz I make dirndls... not gourmet meals!)
Another option is to contact your local German restaurant and order carry-out. This is a great way to support a local business while also providing your guests with a great German Oktoberfest experience.
photo from https://dirndlkitchen.com
And here is great recipe from Our Gabled Home for authentic German Pretzels
photo from Our Gabled Home
2 | Get Oktoberfest Beers and Steins
Oktoberfest beers are all over the place right now, so even if all you can find in your local store is Sam Adams Okotberfest, that's better than Bud Light. Some of my favorites are Weihenstephaner Festbier, Ayinger Oktoberfest Märzen, and Erdinger Oktoberfest Weissbier. You will also want the proper glassware. Glass liter steins are preferable and most commonly associated with Oktoberfest. Here is a link to get some for your party.
Also don't forget to get an Edelweiss Wrap Bracelet 6-pack to use as beer markers... very important to prevent unwanted beer sharing! However if you don't want to buy new glasses, you can ask your guests to BYOS- Bring Your Own Stein.
3 | Wear Dirndls and Lederhosen
This is a no brainer! If you are someone who "doesn't think they can wear a dirndl" or "doesn't have a 'dirndl' body" I double dog dare you to test the waters at your own party. A dirndl is seriously one of the most flattering outfits and wearing it in your own house is the ideal way to start your dirndl addiction. While you can't wear your dirndl for Oktoberfest you can invite your guests to dress the part at home! And if you need help getting ready here’s our guide to wearing a German dirndl. OH and don’t forget to accessorize!
For your dirndl... I highly recommend Rare Dirndl and lederhosen can be found on websites like Ernst Licht or Bavarian Specialties. If you have any friends that are single and ready to mingle, remind them that the side they tie their dirndl apron on signifies their relationship status!
4 | Turn your Home into a Bier Tent
There are classic and iconic things that make Oktoberfest look the way it does and the Bavarian flag is one of those things. You can find a good amount of decor with the Bavarian flag on it on Amazon. The table cloths and banners are easy 'Yeses' and you can also print your own version of the Wilkommen zum Oktoberfest sign on printer paper or at your local UPS store etc.
I like to get creative with the decor which means visiting your local dollar store. Some garland and ribbon can also go a long way... and if you can get your hands on a old barrel to "tap" you're golden. Here is a link to see how Scott from Backyard Oktoberfests recommends you decorate for a personal Oktoberfest party.
5 | Don't Forget the Music
You gotta have a solid Oktoberfest playlist. No need to research it though. Nowadays there are Oktoberfest Pandora stations and pretty good Spotify playlists. In essence, the key elements of a good Oktoberfest playlist include traditional German polka music, traditional Bavarian and Austrian songs, and more modern tunes with an oompah vibe.
Here is a link to my favorite that I recommend you play at your DIY Oktoberfest party. Or you can get some CDs from some of the best German bands from right here in the US like Alex Meixner, die Schlauberger and the Klaberheads.
6 | Go all in!!! #PROST
Now this doesn't mean that you need to spend your entire month's salary on decor, but pay attention to the details so your guests feel more inclined to dress up and get into the spirit.
Hang up a few balloons or streamers on the walls and add some cheerful colors to your space. Whatever you do, make sure that it adds to the theme of your event so people can have a memorable time.
You could also have a fun Photo Booth area with props that you can print with your home printer and tape onto a bamboo skewer (literally what I did for our wedding, so it can look legit!). This will give your guests a fun way to take pictures and share their memories with you. Lastly, if you have the budget for it, hire a professional photographer to capture all the amazing memories from your special day.
For more ideas, here is an entire pinterest board I made to help inspire your Oktoberfest party.
Jennifer Ruwe is a self proclaimed Rare Dirndl lover & "customer for life!"
Rare Dirndl is your one stop shop for stepping up your dirndl-game. Unless you're going for the full vintage, nostalgia look, your Grandmother's dirndl is not going to turn any heads at your backyard/home Oktoberfest party.
One of the things Jennifer loves most about Rare Dirndl is our customer service. We are a team of REAL women who design, make, pack & ship all of the dirndls. Plus all dirndl orders are shipped for FREE from Chicago and if you don't love what you orders, you can send it back at no cost to you.
Our innovative designs, unique fabrications, and dedication to your happiness makes Rare Dirndl the perfect place to get your outfit for your personal Oktoberfest party this year!
I have looked all over for a dirndl (other sites etc) but was always worried - Would it fit? Would I look OK wearing it? Could I wear it with confidence? You know, your basic first time dirndl buyer question/fears. I kept checking the website trying to decide which would would be best for me. The website says wearing a dirndl increases confidence. It sure does! I put on one of my Rare Dirndls and I feel confident, pretty. The design and colors are fantastic. The quality is unbelievable. You can't help but feel pretty in something as well crafted as one of these dirndls.
It's so easy to look fabulous in a Rare Dirndl!
From the dirndl to the dirndl blouse, bloomers and accessories, we've got you girl.
Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take out quiz and find out now!
Please note that some of the links in select posts are affiliate links and, at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you make a purchase.
As always, ideas and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. - Erika