Party Like It’s the 1980s: a How-to Guide
Big colours, big fashion and even bigger hair, plus songs that you still know all the words to three decades later… Ah, you can't beat a bit of 1980s nostalgia.
We've had a brilliant response to our fantastic competition to win a 1980s party weekend for 25 people (plus kids) at the lovely Lodge at Ickworth, but if you haven't entered yet, don't panic – you have until 23rd April 2014 to do so.
In the meantime, we've been thinking of ways to make any 1980s party go with a swing. Read on for inspiration – and we'd love to hear yours over on our Facebook page.
The soundtrack to a 1980s party is key, so hire a DJ or dig out your Madonna, Prince, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Duran Duran, Michael Jackson, A-Ha, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen et al. Make a playlist in advance, asking invitees for all their suggestions so no one misses out on their favourite tunes. Use a streaming service, or see what you can find in the way of compilation discs. And if you're feeling brave, hire or buy a karaoke system and let everyone sing their '80s hearts out.
Another crucial aspect of a 1980s party is dressing up – let guests know that fancy dress is NOT optional. Pop and rock stars and movie characters are the most obvious bet (everyone will have their own favourite, or browse a fancy dress supplier for inspiration), or there's always retro and vintage shops for the likes of ra-ra skirts and leg-warmers, fingerless gloves, shoulder pads, string vests and acid-wash jeans. Don't forget about hair – side ponytails for the ladies and mullets for the guys! To encourage guests to go all out, offer prizes for categories such as biggest hair.
It wouldn't be a party without a few games. One of our favourites is name-that-1980s tune, which works brilliantly with TV theme tunes, or try charades based on 1980s movies. You could also set up a Rubik's cube tournament, play Trivial Pursuit (it has a special '80s edition), Twister or 'pin the glove' to a Michael Jackson poster, or stage breakdancing, air guitar and moonwalking contests.
Anything bright and gaudy will help set the scene, but for a true '80s vibe decorate your space with old album sleeves, movie posters and perhaps even some cardboard cutout stand-ups of 80s characters.
Food and Drink
Fill bowls around the room with snacks and sweets – everything from cheese and pineapple on sticks to sherbert dips. Scour eBay and charity shops for retro serving plates, ice buckets and drinks decorations, and set up a drinks trolley with classic '80s tipple – Babycham, Malibu and pineapple, and Bacardi and Coke come to mind.
What better for post-party chilling on a Sunday morning than a 1980s movie? It's also a great opportunity to introduce the kids to some of the classics, including ET, The Empire Strikes Back, Top Gun, Back to the Future and Ghostbusters. What are your favourites?