HOW TO THROW A TOTALLY RAD 80s THEME WEDDING – A checklist of ideas
Have you been to a bunch of weddings and can’t really remember one from the other a few years later? There is a way to really make your special day stand out, and have fun at the same time. At what cost? How about, $19.80. Having a theme-based wedding set in the 80s can be awesome. This campy era saw the rise of the King of Pop Michael Jackson, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran, and even one-hit-wonders like Flock of Seagulls.
Here is a comprehensive list of 80s wedding theme ideas that can really help you make your 1980s wedding theme a success.
INVITATIONS – Setting the mood immediately, when you send out your RSVP’s, do it 80’s style. A good way to get inspiration for this is to take a look at 80s pictures on a Google search and work with your invitation printer. Looking at images will give you a glance at the neons and pastels that were trademarks of this time frame. It will also bring some ideas into the mix. Any 80’s color schemes and images that you choose are fine are fine, but most important of all is to remember to tell everyone to dress 80s, and/or come dressed as their favorite 80’s star.
ENTRANCE – Rides with style were everything in the 1980’s. If you can find one, it may be a perfect blast from the past to use a DeLorean as your limo! (One complete with a flux-capacitor would be even more so ideal.) Also a customized A-team van, a Trans-Am or any iconic 80s ride would be unforgettable. Imagine how “def” a Knight Rider entrance! Word!
CLOTHING – Television proved to be the driving force behind 1980’s fashion trends. No matter what you go with, first and foremost, black and white lace like Madonna for the brides maids would be classic. For the groomsmen, think Duran Duran and Miami Vice; pastel colored jackets with sleeves rolled up to the elbow.
Encourage your guests to engage in the fun too. Have them dressing up in bleached and torn up jeans, neon legwarmers with excessive makeup, and sport some crazy 80’s teased up hair. For accessories, dig up some jelly bracelet’s, Swatch-watches, and Risky Business sunglasses.
Typically, some guests will not want to dress up, but will wish they did after they see all the fun the other guests are having, once they get there. For those who do not come prepared, make sure to have extra of jelly bracelets on the tables, and a stashed duffle bag full of ugly neon bright t-shirts, fishnet gloves and punky wigs.
The 80s was not only hair bands and rock. Hip hop became really popular in the 80s. The guys could dress up in the Adidas jumpsuits and big gold chains and sunglasses. Girls in the baggy overalls, big buckle belt and stupid fresh gold jewelry, you know, def dookie ropes.
Again, I cannot stress enough to you that looking at pictures is going to be one of the greatest ways to come up with ideas that you will want for your wedding reception. You may want to put pink and blue streamers all over the room. Or, perhaps, how about decorating with neons and pastels, like blue, yellow, pink, and green balloons?
If you are going to go 80’s, why not go all the way. Posters and pictures of Back To The Future, Silver Spoons, The A-Team, and The Ninja Turtles are a must, pinend up everywhere you can. (Make sure you check with theh all before pinning up anything. If they are against this, you can always use foam boards and make little displays.) How about tossing garbage pail kids collecting cards all over the tables? Old Teen Beat magazines, and pull-out magazine posters. Vintage 80’s clothes like a Michael Jackson glove or jackets, Cabbage Patch Kids , cardboard cutouts, and don’t forget movie posters like Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles.
Another good idea is to incorporate music into your décor. That’s what it is all about, right? Look for 1980’s record singles, that’s right, 45’s from the eighties and hang them everywhere, from the light fixtures to the head table.
FAVORS – Another idea for the nostalgic romantics, why not make Custom Mix tapes? If cassette tapes feel too much of a waste of time to you, you can cheat. Burn a CD with top 80’s movies and tv show themes, as well as some of the number one hits of this era.
CENTERPIECES & TABLES – At a recent 80’s wedding I was the disc jockey for, they had decorated their tables with eighties albums and 45’s, including Like a Virgin, Pac Man Fever and Olivia Newton John’s “Physical.” As a centerpiece, a basket full of 80’s junk like magic eight balls, rubik’s cube, pop rocks, Star Wars and He-Man toys and what ever eBay can help you with. A basket full of 80’s retro junk is totally awesome.
But how can you give your centerpiece away? Well, how about a Rubik’s Cube Contest? (They now have pretty decent Rubik Cube knock-offs at the dollar store. Maybe these would make good party favor answers as well?) While the Rubik Challenge can be done several ways, probably the quickest payoff is to award the winner as being whoever can solve the most sides done within one song. The Rubik champion will then get the centerpiece.
TALK THE TALK – 80s WORD LISTS – Why not put 1980’s dictionary sheets around the dinner tables? In the 80’s, “Valley Girl” speak totally took off in a big way, dude… ‘fer shurr.
While you can still have a blast with your traditional flower and garter toss festivities working in songs and styles of this theme, there are other 80s activities you can do as well. For one, 80s lip synch contests could be a great option. Since many people will be dressed up anyhow, you could put the spotlight on a few of your guests and hand them a microphone… if you dare!
Once the dancing begins, an impromptu “Breakdance Contest,” is also a must-have at an 80’s wedding.
Jeopardy Challenge – During the meal, Jeopardy questions could become a big party favorite. All you need are some standard 80s trivia questions, here and there, and the people will love it. (Make sure to ask your DJ if he can grow an Alex Trebek mustache to sport during the audio daily double.)
Name that 80’s theme – is also fun. Before the dancing portion of the reception, have the DJ play a sample of an 80’s television show theme song, first correct guess, wins. (Double the prize if they can name the ARTIST!)
Pepsi Challenge Drinking Games – How about Pepsi Challenge. (Coke vs. Pepsi. Can you tell the difference blindfolded? Pour some rum in one of them and really get the party going.)
Video Game Challenges – A lot of people rent photo booths for weddings now. The photo booth has really turned into an up-coming fun past time at weddings. How about renting or even buy an authentic 1981 Pacman arcade game and setting that up in the corner?
ATARI! If you can’t afford a legit Arcade game, Atari Inc. recently released a new game system with the feel of the original Atari system. It is black and wood grain and also has the original joysticks. The new classic system easily plugs directly into the a/c jack of and runs on AA batteries… it gives the feel of the old joystick and the games are not updated at all
…imagine having a Space Invaders, Asteroids or Combat contest using the original joystick, on a big screen TV, or digitally projected on the wall.
MUSIC IDEAS – Thanks to the early music video-playing channel, MTV, a defined style came into existence. If you choose to go this theme, everyone will be able to join in on the fun. Yes, back then, MTV played Music videos.
A year or two back, I put up an awesome music list post to help you pump up the jam, appropriately. Here are a list of songs you may have heard and seen watching MTV back in the day. CLICK HERE TO OPEN LIST
Albany Weddings DJ Kenny Casanova is an event disc jockey for "The DJ Service.com" out of Upstate, NY. He has been DJ’ing for over 15 years transitioned out of sports announcing into becoming one of the best Wedding DJs in his area.
Winning awards and "BEST OF" titles from Capital Region Living Magazine and Metroland, DJ Kenny Casanova is well sought-after and is booked solid with a few gigs every weekend. For booking information, call 518-506-3305.
Visit www.theDJservice.comDJ Kenny Casanova for more information about how to keep everyone happy at a wedding reception.