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​Retro Redux: How to Plan a Vintage Theme Party

Having a theme wedding or party makes planning easier. From the food and decorations to the invitations and attire, everything fits neatly in one big theme box. It’s like having a goal with a project at work: the more detailed your plan for the project is, the more likely you’ll hit the mark.

One of the most popular party theme ideas is choosing a specific era to recreate. With a vintage theme, you can capture the feeling of a decade – for example, the fun colors and cute kitsch of the 1950s, or the glamour of the ‘20s.

Start by choosing a timeless venue like Southfork Ranch as the setting for your party. With ten unique ballrooms and several scenic outdoor locations to choose from, there’s a place on-property to perfectly fit your vintage theme. Here are just a few of our trendy ideas for hosting a retro wedding or party at our iconic Dallas ranch.        

1920s: Flapper Fabulous

The Roaring 20s were known for flappers, speakeasies and big-name gangsters like Al Capone and Bugsy Malone. With this type of theme, you can go as in-your-face or subtle as you want. Plan a glamorous costume party where guests attend in period attire, and watch Baz Luhrmann’s recent remake of The Great Gatsby (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) for inspiration. Or simply add small 1920s details like headbands, feathers or pearls. 

· The Dress: Look for Art Deco inspired gowns with heavy beading or fringe, in champagne with touches of sparkle.
· The Invites: Geometric fonts in gold print on a black background are beautifully Art Deco.
· The Cocktail: Despite prohibition, the Roaring Twenties inspired a ton of vintage cocktails. Make your signature drink a refined classic like the sidecar (cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice) or the French 75, a gin-based champagne refresher.

1950s: Pinups and Sock Hops

As with most date-based themes, there are a ton of roads you can go down for a ‘50s wedding. Channel Frankie & Annette with an adorable beach picnic, host a diner-inspired sock hop, or relive I Love Lucy in black & white. This era is about rock n’ roll and All-American pastimes, so keep it lighthearted and fun, but classic. Catering ideas range from burgers, fries and adult milkshakes to beachy picnic foods.

·  The Colors: Turquoise, pink and black make for a retro diner feel, while red/black/white will give your party a more refined and adult look. 
·  The Tunes: Swing out on the dance floor with a live band playing rock n’ roll classics from the likes of Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. Vinyl records or a retro jukebox are also keen.
·  The Dress: Two silhouettes were popular for women – the classic A-line and the tighter “wiggle dress.” Consider a tea length A-line gown with a tulle crinoline for yourself or your bridesmaids, especially if you’re having a daytime wedding.

1980s: Big, Bold and Bright

Southfork Ranch is known for being the exterior filming site of the long-running 1980s TV soap Dallas, so why not play to the site’s history? Big hair, bold colors and upbeat music were some of the hallmarks of the era. Host a murder mystery reception party where guests try to guess who shot J.R., or go all-out Texas country with white Stetsons and cowgirl boots. There are a ton of options for your Dallas-inspired ‘80s party, from lacy frocks and country rock to big hair and fluorescent colors.

·  The Grub: If you’re waxing western, keep it simple with grilled meats or Texas BBQ.
·  The Tux: Go for a modern suit with an ‘80s accent such as a hot pink flower or cummerbund… or pay homage to the Ewings with a bolo tie or ten-gallon hat.
·  The Favors: Mason jar favors are one of the trendiest gift ideas for modern brides. Pack small mason jars with homemade cocoa mix, useful office notions like mini binder clips and Post-its, or your favorite ‘80s candy.

Your wedding or party at Southfork Ranch will be a hit no matter what theme you choose. From ballrooms with crystal chandeliers for your Roaring Twenties bash to outdoor locations for a mid-century picnic, we have a venue tailored to your retro theme. We can also help arrange every detail of your special day, including flowers, food, decor and entertainment. Call 972-442-7800 or contact us online to set up an appointment with one of our event specialists.

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