Party Planning Tips from the 1950’s

How do you have a successful party?

Everyone really knows the answer, but most people just don’t think of it in time. The answer is planning.

Plan every detail, so that no time is left to hang heavy, to become one of those periods of awkward silence which make guests uncomfortable.

Don’t impose your plan on the party, let it go along at its natural speed as long as it has steam. But when it appears to be slowing down, let your plans carry it along.

Planning begins with the timing.

Select a date and time when your guests will be free, relaxed, unworried about the next day’s affairs.

The following are the conventional hours for various parties:

  • Brunch: 10-11 A.M.
  • Lunch: 12-3 P.M.
  • Tea: 3-5 P.M.
  • Cocktails: 4-7 P.M.
  • Dinner: 7-9 P.M.
  • Formal Dinner: 8-10
  • Dessert Meals: 9-10
  • Supper: 8-12 P.M.
  • Open House: 1-11 P.M.
  • Barbecue Party 12-9

The concept of planning applies to every aspect of a party from drinks, menu and snacks to guest list, household help and seating arrangements. Consider all the elements of your affair carefully, decide what would be best suited to your budget, your time, the sort of guests you’ve invited, and, of course, the occasion itself.

The most basic part of a plan is your party theme. A truly successful party must have a unifying idea behind it, an idea which binds together the decor, the refreshments and the activities, which lends meaning to the entire affair. This is not to say that the theme must constantly intrude itself on everyone’s attention. But it should be there in some form, subtly.

Within this web site you’ll find plans for a number of parties, varying from an ordinary birthday to holiday and costume parties. These are just a few of the literally hundreds of kinds of social affairs you can arrange.

The only limitation imposed on your party is the scope of your own imagination. So let it run free. Don’t be afraid to be original and different. Decide exactly what you want to do and how best to do it-then gather your guests together in a spirit of sociability and fun and watch the pleasure spread from one to the other. They’ll all love it, and so will you!

Legendary Party Themes and Ideas

Legendary parties have legendary party themes! What separates a good party theme from a legendary party theme? Specificity.

Your party theme idea should be as specific as you can make it. The more specific you are with your theme, the easier it is to plan your party. Thinking of having a pool party? Great! Expand the theme to be specific as in an 80’s Pool Party. Even then you should take it a step further and be even more specific such as 80’s Neon Pool Party. See the difference? With a pool party, the theme is vague and the vision for your party is weak. With an 80’s Neon Pool Party, you envision bright neon, graphic shapes and big hair! Now you can take that vision and you’ll find it’s easier to get invitations, decorations, food & drink ideas, and party games that all match.

Having trouble thinking of a specific party theme? Here is some inspiration for you!

Decade Party Themes

20’s Gangster

50’s Sock Hop

60’s Psychedelic

60’s Peace

70’s Disco

70’s Hippie

80’s Neon

80’s Punk

90’s Grunge

90’s Hip Hop

Movie Party Themes

Animal House

Austin Powers

Dazed and Confused

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Gone With the Wind


Harry Potter

Pirates of the Caribbean

Star Wars

The Matrix

The Wizard of Oz

Top Gun

Holiday Party Themes (don’t limit these to the specific times of year that they fall)

April Fool’s Day

Armed Forces Day

Chinese New Year


Cinco de Mayo

Columbus Day

Earth Day

Election Day

Fall Equinox



Independence Day


Labor Day

Mardi Gras

Memorial Day

New Year’s Eve



Spring Equinox

St. Patrick’s Day

Summer Solstice


Valentine’s Day

Veteran’s Day

Winter Solstice

TV Show Party Themes

American Chopper

American Idol




Sex and the City


The Apprentice

Top Chef

Sport Party Themes



Euro Cup




March Madness











World Cup

Location Party Themes

African Safari

Around the World



Hawaiian Luau

High-Sea Pirates


Party Bus

Pool Party

Slumber Party

Wild Wild West

Music Party Themes



Elvis Presely

Golden Oldies

Hip Hop


Phantom of the Opera



Rolling Stones

Don’t forget that you can always mix and match themes!  Why not have a 70’s disco pool party, a Grease slumber party, or an Oktoberfest party bus? By mixing and matching themes, you get even more specific and have even more fun!

Use your imagination and the themes are unlimited! And remember, the more specific your theme is, the easier it will be for you to plan your legendary party!

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