25th Wedding Anniversary Parties: A Retro 1980s Party

  • 01 of 03

    25th Wedding Anniversary Parties: A Retro 1980s Party

    Mirror ball
    ebiq/Getty Images

    Celebrating your 25th anniversary? Celebrate with an anniversary party that recalls your dating heyday. The light-hearted, retro fun of a 1980s theme party evokes those days before your wedding, when hair was big, fashions garish and the music incredible. Hello, Madonna!


    Set the mood with a great party invitation. Tell your guests to dress like their favorite 1980s pop culture couple – Han Solo and Leia, perhaps, Marty McFly’s parents, Adrian and Rocky, any pair from “The Breakfast Club” – or...MORE just go for the inimitable fashions of the excessively big hair era. Just be sure to host a photo booth to capture all the fun, and don’t forget to include some perfect props – leggings, wristlets, fishnet fingerless gloves, head bands, flouncy skirts, popped collars, shades, and perhaps a nice pointy, Madonna-like bra.


    Assembling a suitable playlist will be as entertaining as listening to it. This was the age of Madonna, Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper, after all. So queue up some “Material Girl,” “Thriller” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Don’t forget Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away,” REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before you Go Go.” Plus, Thompson Twins’ “Doctor Doctor” and Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love.”


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  • 02 of 03

    Invitations for a 1980s Anniversary Party

    CD invitation
    Photo by Jackie Burrell.

    If you're celebrating your 25th wedding anniversary with a 1980s themed party, you'll want to set the right mood. That starts with a great 1980s party invitation. Here are a few ideas.


    The LP Invite


    Use a CD case to hold your party invitation, as a nod to the 21st century,but make the invite itself resemble an old vinyl record. Sandwich musical note confetti between the invitation wording - "What a Thriller! Join Michael Jackson, Madonna and other 1980s legends as we celebrate a record of our...MORE own - 25 years of wedded bliss - in 1980s style" - and a mix CD of 1980s hits. Be sure to include the date, place and rsvp information, as well as any additional information. You might, for example, ask guests to dress like their favorite 1980s musical figure or song, or bring photographs of themselves, circa 1986. Or, tell them to work on their Thriller dance steps.


    A Pop-Up Surprise


    A DIY pop-up party invitation sets a properly festive move when the very act of opening it launches confetti into the air. Fill it with neon-hued stars, hearts or musical notes, and suitably dazzling exterior paper - metallic silver, perhaps, or copies of 1980s sheet music, in keeping with the theme.


    Trivial Pursuit


    The famous trivia board game first captured hearts back in the 1980s. Instead of standard invitations, create your own, slightly oversized Trivial Pursuit cards with appropriate questions - about the legendary couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, party location (there's your geography question, right?) and so on. Print the answers on the back, along with the rsvp information


    1980s Movies


    Invite your guests to opening night of a 1980s salute to legendary love stories - yours, plus those of the silver screen. Print your invitations and glue them to the back of a film clapper or wrap them around an Oscar statuette (both available at party stores). Tell your guests to dress like their favorite 1980s pop culture couple – Han Solo and Leia, perhaps, or any pair from “The Breakfast Club” – or just go for the inimitable fashions of the excessively big hair era. Just be sure to host a photo booth to capture all the fun, and don’t forget to include some perfect props – leggings, wristlets, fishnet fingerless gloves, head bands, flouncy skirts, popped collars, shades, and perhaps a nice pointy, Madonna-like bra.


    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Retro Food for a 1980s Anniversary Party

    Retro candy
    Abbazabba, Dots, Pixy Stix and other old school candy make a sweet ending for a retro party. Photo by Jackie Burrell

    If you're celebrating with a 1980s theme party, certainly you can serve your guests modern refreshments. But there’s lot of amusement to be had by setting up a buffet of retro ‘80s foods.


    A Swanky 1980s Party


    Go the swanky route by stocking the bar with ingredients for a Kir Royale, a sparkling wine and crème de cassis aperitif that was the Cosmopolitan of the 1980s. Offer Sangria and Perrier too. Then host a sit-down dinner or buffet with then-trendy blackened Cajun seafood, cooked Paul Prudhomme...MORE style, served with baby vegetables and pasta with pesto.


    Too swanky? Go the opposite route instead...


    A Casual 1980s Party


    The ‘80s was a time of onion dip and Ruffles potato chips, spinach dip in a bread bowl, Fresca and Coke Classic (you haven’t forgotten the Coca-Cola Company’s ill-fated attempt to tweak the beloved soft drink, have you?). Serve up cocktail weenies and meatballs with that oh-so-retro mixture of half grape jelly and half Heinz chili sauce.


    If your 21st century palate rebels at the very thought of such scandalously outré food, you can opt for a more modern take: Aidells’ mini-chicken-apple sausages, for example, or turkey meatballs in an orange-cranberry glaze; high quality sweet potato, beet and potato chips served with caramelized onion dip (blend half a cup mayonnaise, half a cup sour cream, a pinch of cayenne pepper and flavorful, homemade caramelized onions to taste).


    Either way, fill a galvanized bucket with ice and tuck in small glass bottles of Coke, Fresca cans, and Corona beer, whose popularity began rising stateside in the ‘80s.


    The Dessert Buffet


    A wedding anniversary party should end with a wedding cake, perhaps iced with chocolate frosting instead of wedding day white -- or a tower of cupcakes. But adding a candy buffet with 1980s sweets can be a very fun touch. Go for a little whimsical romance with Wax Lips, Bit O' Honey, Sweet Tarts, Sugar Babies and Ring Pops. Or look for Smarties, Jolly Ranchers, Fruit Stripe gum, Pixy Stix, Pop Rocks and Bazooka gum from old-fashioned candy stores or online at www.groovycandies.com or www.oldtimecandy.com.