Family reunions are important because they help bring family members together who don't otherwise get to engage with each other often, and it gives everyone a chance to share experiences and memories that will last forever. Now that you're in charge of planning your next family reunion, why not take everyone back to the 1980s for a day? Here's how you can do just that:

The Lighting

One of the most important things to think about when planning your themed family reunion is the lighting. Hire a professional to provide lighting for your event as this is what will most effectively turn the event venue into an 80s-inspired party house. Have your service provider create basic lighting over the food and sitting areas at your event, and ask them to create a multi-colored lighting feature for the dance floor that incorporate popular colors from the 80s like neon green, mauve, and yellow.

Make sure your service provider has access to rotating light fixtures and disco balls that can be used during the event to mimic the look and feel of a dance club, as this will create constant movement of the lighting. During the setup process, have your event lighting specialist spiff up the restrooms and hallways with bright lighting too. 

Contact services like Orange Frog Productions to learn more about other lighting features you can use to set the 80s mood.

The Dress Code

Including a dress code in your family reunion invitations will help ensure that everyone shows up ready for the action and "in character" so they're more likely to engage with all the themed features you've planned for the event. Ask everyone to wear an 80s-inspired outfit or accessorize with a couple items that remind them of the time period.

You should also have a box of accessories such as brightly colored sunglasses, hair ties, jean jackets, makeup, and other items that your guests can use to dress up with if they don't show up in costume. This should help ensure that everyone has an opportunity to take part in the festivities even if they weren't able to prepare beforehand. You can even hold a costume contest to encourage your guests to come dressed up in appropriate attire to the family reunion.

The Food

You'll want the food and refreshments at your family reunion to reflect what life was like in the 1980s, so plan a menu that focuses on popular foods from the decade and ask each guest to choose one dish to bring and share with everyone else. This will give everyone a chance to express their own memories and thoughts about the 1980s by customizing their dishes, and it will save you some time and money in terms of making sure everyone's bellies are taken care of throughout the festivities.

Consider asking guests to bring dishes such as:

  • Pumpernickel bread and spinach dip
  • Jello pudding
  • Pasta salad
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Pesto and crackers
  • Pot pie
  • 7-layer dip
  • Salisbury steak

Don't be afraid to ask your guests for suggestions before putting together a final menu to ensure that all your bases are covered. Once the menu has been finalized, send a group email to your guests so they can collaborate and claim an item to bring while keeping a running tally until everything on the menu has been chosen.

The Games

Of course, you'll need to plan a few games and activities to keep your guests entertained at your 80s-themed family reunion. Peruse garage sales and thrift shops for board games from the 8os to feature at the event on a gamy table, and plan some activities such as:

  • a break dancing contest
  • 80s Trivia
  • a moon walking contest
  • charades based on popular 1980s culture
  • 80s Karaoke

The idea is to make sure that all the activities available at your family reunion tie into the 80s in some shape, form, or fashion. Don't forget to collect a few prizes you can give away to your contest winners!

With the use of these tips and tricks, you should be able to easily put together an exciting and engaging 80s-themed family reunion that guests of all ages are sure to appreciate.