It’s all your show

How To Throw A Welcome-To-Perimenopause Party

It sucks, so let’s have some fun.

How To Throw A Welcome-To-Perimenopause Party
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Welcome to perimenopause. Let’s not mince words here: it sucks. So why not kick things off with a little celebration? A bit of merriment, a few storied rituals, and some quality gifting. After all, we celebrate weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and funerals with all kinds of elaborate festivities. Hell, we celebrate Arbor Day. In mythology, women's lives have been marked by all kinds of goddess rites and initiations. You are about to undergo an all-systems transformation —technically a massive software update. Even Apple and Steve Jobs would throw you a dazzling launch event. So why not throw yourself a peri-party?

Mine was a completely chaotic Bridgerton-style bacchanal thanks to a girlfriend who happened to be a costume designer for the movies. And while it was a bit silly and over the top, the night itself actually meant a great deal to me in the end. I only wish I'd been a little more organized in the approach. Here's what I wish I’d considered going in...

You have some decisions to make. First off: Is the event themed? You could go all-out vaginal Pussy Galore. Or you could embrace the tropics. It’s going to be a warm few years after all. Perhaps this night is meant to convene a new coven and be super witchy? This is where you get to have loads of fun from the décor to the food to the activities. It’s all your show...

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s talk invites. Is it secret society, with old-school Dempsey and Carroll embossed invites secretly slipped into the next book club selection and personally handed to every invitee? Or maybe it's a highly produced video released on all your socials, declaring your rite of passage like a coronation announcement. You could keep it simple and send a group text too.

Now let’s talk dress code. Maybe you suggest costumes? Or do you keep it Succession-esque — simple, with Goop-approved quiet wealth? Perhaps you go for more Bridgerton-style maximalism. Another option is to make it easy on guests by offering a well-stocked basket of fancy hats and wigs they can select from as they come in the door. Or do you challenge your besties to test their creative mettle and devise their own getups? It’s up to you!

We can’t forget the music to set the mood. Or are there multiple moods and phases of the night mimicking the roller coaster and swings of emotion of menopause? Have a friend program the playlist.

The food could go two ways: clean eating where you set out on a new wellness adventure menu or a last hurrah of delicacies that you probably won't have for a while because you’re now switching to clean eating. Could there be a blind taste test between the newest no-alcohol adaptogen cocktails and the real hooch? You don’t want the very likely chance that, being perimenopausal, everyone drinking vino will doze off by 9:30 PM only to wake up feeling horrendous at 3:00 AM as our hormonally fluctuating bodies tend to do right around this age. French Bloom makes some fabulous alcohol-free bubbly and sparkling rose from Maison Taittinger that will prevent all the above scenarios and tastes just like the real thing.

Next, is an initiation ceremony. Set an intention for the evening, write it down and throw it into a fire.

Write an oath to uphold each other throughout the journey of perimenopause. Then, put it into a calligraphy template in Canva and print it out for everyone to take home. Imagine it framed in your office as a declaration of where you're at, where you're going, and that you're always empowered by it.

Hold a power voice session where you have a coach in to learn to master your midlife power voice. This is something that can be incredibly life-changing for women who grapple with the issue of either being overly assertive or who they feel like they're always nagging. Coaches like Alicia Dara do them onsite and virtually for female CEOs and major film & TV stars. It can be incredibly cathartic.

A perimenopause tarot reading or a goddess workshop could also be another activity—whether you have a reader join live or virtually, or you do it yourselves.

If you’re more the Mrs. Maisel type of crowd, you could have a roast of all of the men or various partners in your lives or men in general.

In terms of documenting things, you definitely want artifacts from this night, but is it "no phones allowed" to keep things distraction-free? Is it old school film you adore? Or is it video? Do you secretly love Polaroid cameras? Maybe documentary footage is more your thing. The point is to give yourself something to look back on, spark joy, and laugh, so it's important to assign someone the job of documenting or often it just doesn't happen.

And let’s not forget swag bags. (Why should elementary-school-age kids be the only ones to get party favors?) You’re about to be tampon-free for the rest of your life. (You’re welcome, Earth!) So whatever swag you send home with people should be funny, meaningful, and, most of all, sustainable. Maybe a digital swag bag with your official playlist, the oath you wrote together, a mockumentary of the night, and an e-gift card for some Lusomé PJs. They self-dry from night sweats in less than 10 seconds so you can go right back to sleep! What more could a crowd of hot and sweaty perimenopausal women ask for? (Besides HRT, lol.)

Have the best night ever!

Alisa Kennedy Jones is the mom of two daughters, an author, a screenwriter, and EIC of The Empress, a cultish weekly newsletter dedicated to obsessively curating a less hellish peri/menopause for women everywhere. Her next book THE EMPRESS AGE: Awakening Women’s Wisdom at Midlife to Rule Your Best Life is due out in 2024.