As the nights stretch longer, the sun shines brighter and flowers start to bloom, it’s a great time of year to consider hosting a party. Because themed celebrations are always the most fun, we’ve come up with a throwback night to have with friends and family. And since planning parties is arguably the hardest part, we’ve done some brainstorming for you:
Pick a theme, and send out the invites.
Who you invite is dependent on the nostalgic focus. If you’re hosting a prom event, you’ll likely want to exclude conservative relatives who may not approve of Ludacris rap songs, and invite over your favorite gal pals from high school instead. Going with a college theme? Invite your dorm mates and senior year sorority squad. How about family memoirs? Invite over aunts, grandparents and cousins for some 8mm videos of Dad at summer camp and Uncle Joe playing the banjo at his retirement party.
Once you’ve picked your theme within a theme, so to speak, you’re ready to send out invites. Do this via snail mail for extra nostalgia, or go with the quick-and-easy email option.
Get your party essentials.
Now that you’ve got a theme and a list of folks who’ve RSVP’d, it’s time to decorate the house and prep some flashback goodie bags. Let’s say you’re doing an elementary-school theme with childhood friends and family — well, Lunchables and Kool-Aid might be a good place to start. Going with college throwbacks? As gross as it might be, get that cheap vodka you drank way too much of freshman year, and round up as much university memorabilia as you can find. Sticking to a more generic theme, like the 80s? Plan disco music and go thriftin’ for some electric bell bottom pants (if you don’t already have a pair, which we sure hope you do!). Those who grew up in the ‘90s may have decided to host a party reminiscent of the decade, which would inevitably include lots of Britney Spears music and Gushers. Plan snacks, drinks and decor according to your theme.
Since the point of the party is to look back on old videos and photos from the past, you’ll need to prepare the visuals ahead of time:
- Make sure the videos work. Gather a collection of 8mm film and VHS tapes. Plan the order you’d like to watch them in. Buy ample popcorn, and grab some cozy blankets from the storage closet.
- Round up some photos. Consider putting up a station, where people can flip through albums and take Polaroids on your Instax Mini. If you’re hosting a school-themes party, dig out your embarrassing Yearbooks, to re-read hilarious entries, and invite friends to do the same.
- Why not swap? Have friends bring some of their favorite photo prints from the era, and partake in a photo exchange at some point in the evening. This way, that disposable photo you took of your BFF from high school goes home with her, and you’ll end up with a funky print of your Mom eating cotton candy at the Kentucky State Fair in 2005. Good times.
There’s really no right or wrong way to plan a viewing party. Whatever your approach, you and your loved ones are sure to have a rowdy, hysterical, and maybe even emotional evening! And by the night’s end, you will have not only re-lived some of your favorite memories, you will have created new ones.