A Party for the Ages: Here are Some Quick Tips to Help Kick Off Your Vintage Party

Just how old is old? 

According to Wikipedia, there are three stages of age. Something is "antique" if it was made before 1920. It is considered "vintage "if it was made between 1920 and 20 years ago. Those things made in the last twenty years are, well, just plain old. 

When does everything old become new again?

When you decide to throw the most fabulous vintage party of this, or any other, decade. 


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Why Throw a Vintage Party?

If you've ever been tasked with planning an event, whether it's an intimate birthday dinner or the corporation's annual meeting cocktail party, what you do first will determine whether the party is a success or not. That first thing you have to do is decide what you want your guests to remember about the event.

The last thing you want is for the event to be bland and easily forgotten. You can spend months choosing great centerpieces and the perfect mix of appetizers, but the individual elements of the party are not things that people remember. 

What you should do first is choose a theme for the party. As the event planner, once you have that settled, everything else falls into place.

The same is true for your guests. When they learn what the theme for the evening is going to be, they already have a hint of what to expect and they can plan their participation accordingly. 

Deciding to throw a vintage party opens the doors to your own creativity. If you're afraid that "it's been done to death," allow us to prove you wrong. 

Dig Into the Decades

First, let's look at some of the different ways you can refine your party theme. When you consider vintage, you actually have eight decades to choose from.

So why not literally consider one of those decades as your theme?

For a party set in the 1920s, here are just a few of the angles you can take:

  • A roaring 20s dance theme

  • Gangster speakeasy style

  • Art deco inspired

  • Silent films vs. talkies

If you want something a little more recent, here are some of the places that could inspire a 1950s party:

  • A school sock hop

  • A drag strip "greaser" party

  • A roller rink

  • A drive-in diner or movie

You could sit down and come up with four or five ideas for anyone of our vintage decades. In the process, one of them is bound to stand out as being an appropriate match for the type of event you'll be hosting. 

What do we mean by an appropriate match? There have been successful bar mitzvah parties featuring lots of fedoras and boas. However, the theme might be more appropriate for an overage party where Tommy Gun shaped gin bottles could be a bartender's weapon of choice. 

Expressing the Theme

Which brings us to the heart of your vintage party planning process. There are five different places in you'll want to develop your theme. 

1. Food and Drink

Here again, you need to choose things that are both appropriate to the theme and to the occasion. Throwing a 1940's style garden party? Don't forget the crustless finger sandwiches but do save the popular veal scallopini dinner dish for another time. 

2. Decorations

There are so many possibilities, you're the biggest problem may be knowing where to begin. You can rent a classic Chevy to be parked outside and decorate your tables with jukebox centerpieces to evoke that 1950s diner feel, for example. 

3. Music

Nothing is as likely to get your guests in the mood as the music. Whether your budget calls for a big-name act or a versatile DJ, there's a playlist to match every mood. Make sure you provide a good mix of background and dance-worthy tunes to keep the party moving.

4. Dress

Not every party should be a dress-up party. You can invite your guests to rock their favorite poodle skirts at your sock hop. Or, you can provide them with groovy shades and peace symbol necklaces for your 1960s lovefest. 

5. Photos 

Can you say selfie? You'll want to provide plenty of opportunities for your guests to commemorate your event. You'll know your party was a hit when you see all the pics of that tabletop jukebox on your favorite social media network.

Pulling It All Together

So just what would all this look like in one party? Here's an example of a 1960s style cocktail party to help you visualize the final event. 

Before your guests even step inside, help them begin to feel the "Don Draper" vibe. If you're in the LA or New York City area, do something totally unexpected. Wow your guests when you rent a 1960 Cadillac or another vintage vehicle from Vinty.

You can set this up as an official photo opportunity by having a professional photographer on hand there. Or you could leave a pipe and some cat-eye sunglasses for people to use as props when they take their first selfies around that car. 

Even if you weren't a fan of Don Draper or the hit show "Mad Men" you probably already know you'll need to serve martinis. You might also want to consider daiquiris or a sweeter punch as drink options as well.

Finger food is the order of the day. In this case, though, pigs in a blanket can be served alongside Oysters Rockefeller or molded steak tartare. There should be room on the table for small Swedish Meatballs and plenty of colorful toothpicks to skewer them. 

If elegance is what you're aiming for, small prism lights on stand-up tables draped in white linen will do the trick. Elegant small plates and forks along with the martini glasses used can also be considered decorations as they help to set the mood. 

Finally, a little bit of low piano-bar music in the background will help keep conversations humming.

Want to know if your party was a success? Just search your favorite social media site for all the selfies that were snapped with your rented classic car. 

Enjoy Your Vintage Party

No matter what decade you choose, or what sub-theme you select, you may still be worried that it's "been done before," but that's the wrong way to look at it. 

Yes, these parties have been done before. That's one of the reasons they are growing in popularity. These parties were successful then and yours can be successful now. 

All you need to do is add one element into your vintage party that hasn't been seen before. It's an affordable and unique idea that beats a cardboard cutout decoration every time. 

For the parties we've touched on above we mentioned two ways that you can rent a classic car to help set the stage for your event. Check our for more information on how to bring your era back to life with a classic car rental.