How to throw a Western theme party: outfits, decorations, food, invitations

How to throw a Western theme party: outfits, decorations, food, invitations

Throwing a western-themed party offers an excellent opportunity for cowboys, cowgirls, and even outlaws to meet and have some fun. The party lets you showcase your taste in decorations, dressing, music, invitations, and food. But it can also seem repetitive if you stick to the old-fashioned western theme party ideas such as line dancing and cowboy dressing.

Cowboy shoes and guitar
The Cowboy classic guitar and boots. Photo: MyFortis (modified by author)
Source: UGC


A perfect cowboy theme party for adults is all about enjoying the great outdoor ambience. As a host, you must ensure an ideal setup that satisfies your guests. Here are the best cowboy party ideas when planning to host your old-school Western guests.

What is a Western theme party?

A western-themed party, Wild West, or cowboy party draws inspiration from the American Old West party culture. The party usually happens outdoors and is associated with cowboys, cowgirls, saloons, and frontier life. It also features Western elements such as cowboy hats, boots, clothing, decorations, country music, foods, and drinks.

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A Western theme party can be anything from birthday to bachelor or bachelorette parties and bridal showers. It can also include old-school classics such as horse riding, swing dancing, and hunting. However, to make it an all-inclusive event, you can host it with a modern twist that includes current trends like espresso martinis and disco balls.

What defines the Western genre?

The American frontier, commonly called the Wild West or Old West, was described as a hostile region under the cowboys, outlaws, sheriffs, and gunslingers.

Moreover, the Western genre is associated with the famous Western lifestyle, country music, and Western-themed outfits. Several factors define the Western genre, but the common elements include:

  • Location: The genre is set in the western United States and features vast landscapes such as arid prairies, rugged terrain, and mountains.
  • Themes: The Western themes often include rugged individualism, revenge, justice, honour, civilisation and wilderness conflicts, and survival in harsh environments.
  • Characters: Iconic characters in the Western genre include cowboys, lawmen, outlaws, gunslingers, pioneers, saloon owners, and Native Americans.

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Cowboy boots and decorations
A pair of cowboy boots sits in front of a coiled lasso adorned with Christmas lights that hangs on a fence. Photo: DNY59
Source: Getty Images

What is an example of the Western style?

The visual styles that characterise the Western genre include:

  • Iconic clothing including cowboy hats, western shirts, denim jeans, cowboy boots, bandanas, and fringe jackets.
  • Interior design elements include rustic furniture, southwestern motifs, cowhide, leather, and western art like sculptures, wall décor, and paintings.
  • Architectural designs like ranch-style homes, log cabins, and adobe structures.

How do you plan a Western party?

The first question that probably comes to your mind is, how do you throw a country and Western party? Organising a Western theme party is easier if you have the right supplies and people to guide you. As a first-time organiser, bringing together your friends for a cowboy-themed party can take time and effort.

Some initial steps in planning a western-themed party include choosing a location and date, setting the theme, and personalising the invitations. Once you have the basics, you can create a memorable day with the following cowboy party ideas.

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Western theme party outfit ideas

You can use what you already have in your closet for a cowboy-themed party. Alternatively, shop for the best combo to capture the Old West mood. Some of the Western-themed party outfit ideas include:

Cowboy hats

A western-themed event is not complete without a cowboy hat. You can get an affordable cowboy hat in your local thrift shop or a western wear shop, ranging from $100 to $500.

You can also visit outfit shops that offer large discounts. Women with long hair can sweep it up in a burn or twist instead of buying a cowboy hat.

cowboy hat, boots and gun on a wooden floor
Displayed cowboy hats, boots, and a gun on a wooden floor. Photo: serikbaib
Source: Getty Images

Western-themed footwear

Cowboy boots are the best to wear when attending a Western theme party. These boots are made from leather and cost a few hundred dollars in western shops and equestrian stores. You can also attach spurs to the boots to add a fun jingle to each step.

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A pair of jeans or a prairie skirt

Finish your outfit with worn jeans for men or a ruffled prairie skirt for women. You can visit a thrift store and get a "used" pair to create a worn-out look. For women, wear a long prairie skirt that reaches your ankles and has neutral colours, western stripes, or patterns.


Fringes can give an eye-catching finish to your Western theme party outfits. Wear a fringed jacket or pants, or accessorise your outfit with a fringe bag or purse.

Western theme party dress

Floral or patterned accent-like dresses can significantly complement your feminine Western look. You can also add a touch of floral kimono or patterned purse for a subtle appearance. Always wear perfectly fitting dresses for a classy and bold look.

Dress on a white background (L) and old-fashioned peasant garments (R)
A floral dress on a white background (L) and an old-fashioned blue dress (R). Photo: Maltiase, Sateda (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Western-theme party outfit accessories

Do you know how to dress for a Western theme? You can finish your outfit with a western neck scarf, red bandanna, or a toy horse.

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A western buckle belt is standard for men looking for a classic cowboy look, while western-style jewellery is an excellent way for women to showcase their luxury taste. These accessories also come in handy during harsh weather conditions.

Cowboy party decorations for adults

Decorating your space with cowboy party decorations for adults creates a fun and authentic celebration atmosphere. Here are some adult cowboy decorations you can try:

Rustic table decorations

Set your dining tables with checked or bandana-patterned tablecloths. You can also place cowboy-themed plates, napkins, mason jars, and tin cups. Add small cactus or succulent centrepieces.

Hay bales and wooden barrels

Scatter hay bales around the space for seating or decorations. You can also arrange wooden barrels to serve as tables or to display drinks and snacks.

Barrels and flowers
Hay bales, wooden barrels and flowers set as decoration. Photo: LaDidymus
Source: Getty Images

Cowboy props

Place cowboy hats, bandanas, and toy guns on tables for your guests to use as props during the party. You can also hang lassos, cowboy boots, and spurs as part of the décor.

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Saloon bar settings

Set a makeshift saloon bar with a rustic wooden bar or table. Display bottles of bourbon, whiskey, or other drinks with shot glasses and cocktail mixing tools. You can also use a chalkboard to list available beverages.

Western-themed photo booth

You can set up a booth area with a backdrop featuring a western landscape or saloon scene. Place props like cowboy hats, bandanas, sheriff badges, and toy guns for guests to use in their photos.

Western wall décor

Decorate the walls with western-themed decorations such as wanted posters, sheriff badges, vintage firearm props, and horseshoes. You can also use rustic wooden signs with phrases like "Howdy Partner" or "Yee-Haw".

Cartoon Mexican characters on holiday carnival
Mariachi musicians, cowboys and woman dancers, vector personages. Photo: seamartini
Source: Getty Images

Western-themed party food and drink ideas

Serving your guests with the right food and drinks is the easiest way to impress and get them to stick around until the end of the party. Some of the Western theme party flavours are already available in your kitchen. If you want to personalise everything, here are some ideas to try:

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Customise common snacks

You can use title cards to rename common treats into western-themed snacks. For example, rename chocolate cookies as "cow pies" and rice crispy as "haystacks".

Buffet style for main courses

The buffet style allows everyone to pick whatever they want to eat. You can use one long table with food or several smaller tables with different foods. Some foods to prepare include fried chicken, pulled pork sliders, Texas caviar, and skewers.

buffet setup
Elegant rustic farmhouse buffet set up. Photo: Cody McDonald
Source: Getty Images

Try a trail mix

A trail mix fits the Western theme party well. You can place a bowl of train mix on the table or use smaller bags that your guests can eat or take home.

Western cupcake toppers

You can use toppers in the shape of horses or cowboy hats instead of party cupcakes. Try to make chocolate cupcakes, use green sprinkles to make them look like grass, and top them with horse toppers.

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Have a variety of drinks

You can have a variety of drinks depending on the ages of the guests. That means you can have two tables, one for adults (alcoholic) and the other one for kids (non-alcoholic).

Some adult drinks include Espresso Martini, a whiskey collection, margaritas, sweet tea, hard cider, and cowboy coffee spiked with whiskey or bourbon.

Glass oh whiskey and cowboy hat
A glass of whiskey and a decanter with a cowboy hat on a wooden table. Alexlukin
Source: Getty Images

Western-themed party invitation ideas

How do you host a country-themed party? Getting more people to attend your country-themed party depends on the uniqueness of your invitations. Here are some invitation ideas to implement when organising a Western-themed party:

Bach boots invitation

The invite features western stars and cowgirl boots suitable for birthday and bachelorette celebrations. It is made for fun walking and dancing.

Grand teton invitation

This nature-inspired and rustic invite celebrates the Grand Teton Park in Wyoming. It features bison, the park's celebrities, and a simple depiction of the towering mountain peaks.

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Yosemite invitation

The invite features the stunning granite face of El Captain and the lush Yosemite Valley. It is ideal for any Western theme party, whether an engagement party, bachelorette, or a milestone birthday celebration.

Illustration of invitation posters
Wood country and western invitation design (L), Wild West Cowboy with Pistols Wanted Poster (C) and Cowboy Boots invitation poster (R). Photo: JDawnInk, Mark Murphy, AlisaFoytik (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Wanted poster invitation

The invitations resemble the old-fashioned "Wanted" posters and feature the "Wanted" headline and the photo of the guest of honour. They also have other details about the party, including the date, time, and location.

Howdy partner invitation

This vintage invitation idea is ideal for kids' and adults' birthday parties. It features an antique-style font and whimsical horseshoes that make it fit for any event. It also has a photo slot at the back to upload a photo of the birthday honoree or the host.

Cowboy hat invitations

Design your invitations in the shape of cowboy hats, complete with a brim and crown. You can authenticate the designs using brown or tan cardstock to add embellishments like a sheriff badge.

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Vintage horse race invitation

The invitation features three racing horses and jockeys that create a rustic vibe. The removable Kentucky Derby allows you to customise the words and send it as a personalised invitation.

Rustic evening invitation

The invitation comes with Western accents like a barn door and twinkle lights, allowing you to create a romantic scene for your guests. The full set also has matching "thank you" cards; the dates are saved for a cohesive look.

An illustration of an invitation template display
Western-theme cowboy props set for a photo booth at a party. Photo: Tharnthip
Source: Getty Images

What is a Western theme?

A Western theme is about recreating the American Wild West vibe. It's more of embracing the moment in a cowboy style with various themes.

Who can come to a Western theme party?

These parties are usually open to anyone wanting to join the fun. Guests can range from friends and family to colleagues and neighbours.

A Western theme party is just like any other party but with a touch of cowboy classics that give it a more Western-style theme. The party has simple rules to interpret. As long as you have the right decorations, food, drinks, and enough space to accommodate your guests, you are set to make your party feel like the Old West.

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A Roaring 20s party was characterised by three famous themes, Harlem Nights, Speakeasy and Great Gatsby. A 1920s theme party is ideal for any occasion, such as a birthday celebration or New Year's Eve.


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