How To Name Your Retro Theme Party Using 7 Simple Methods


If you are struggling to come up with a remarkable name for your retro theme party, you’re not alone. 

While there are tons of methods you could consider, these 7 are a great place to start if you find yourself without a name.  

  1. Make it Personal
  2. Combine Words
  3. Use Alliteration
  4. Pose a Question or Use a Quote
  5. Dictionary or Thesaurus
  6. Incorporate the Date or Time of Year
  7. Random Name Generator

Picking the right name for your retro party is something you will not want to take lightly.  The name of your event plants the seed in your guest’s ear and sets the tone for the good times to come.

Naming an event can be very similar to getting writers’ block as an author.   It can get very overwhelming and may lead to decision paralysis. The more names you think of or document, the more curious your mind becomes and by the end of your brainstorm session, you very well could have 10+ epic names to choose from.  It becomes difficult to make a decision.

Or, you could experience the other end of the spectrum as well. Too many choices but none of your names jump off the page as “The One”. You could settle, but that may not be exciting enough for your guests and you end up with a lot of “Not Attending” RSVPs.  So, you go back to the drawing board and the cycle continues, or worse yet, you flat out give up. NOT SO FAST!

Unless you are a super creative, witty, improv comedian who can rapid-fire off the most unique names at the drop of a hat and make instant decisions, you will want to consider some of the methods we outlined below.  But First…


Are You Crystal Clear With Your Theme?

If you have failed to get crystal clear on the type of theme party you want to throw, you must put everything else on hold.  STOP! This essential first step must be completed before moving forward. Don’t get super fixated on your name until you have clarity on the theme.

We suggest you take a step back, take a look at a different article we created that will give you the inspiration and a step-by-step, logical method to select the most appropriate theme.

Chalkboard Question Mark

Don’t have enough time?  You can expedite this process by answering some of the following questions:

  1. What decade am I most passionate about reliving or experiencing with this event?  
  2. What are the goals of hosting this party?  Is there any particular occasion I am trying to showcase or bring awareness to?  Is there a central idea or concept I am shooting for?
  3. Who is my target audience and what are they expecting from this get-together?  
  4. Where will this event be hosted?  Does this limit the theme concept or create constraints in any way?
  5. What will make your event different or super unique from others you may already have experienced or researched?  

Hopefully, you have narrowed down your theme to something more specific which will make the naming process more enjoyable and efficient.  Let’s begin!


Method 1:  Make it Personal

The first and one of the more obvious options to help name your retro theme party is to make it personal.  YOU are the host.  YOU are the one planning the event.  YOU are the one putting forth tons of hard work and effort to make this bash unforgettable.  It’s okay to be a little selfish.

So, don’t be afraid to incorporate your first name, last name, nickname or otherwise into the name of the party.  The party that “Frank the Tank” and “Beanie” pitched for Mitch after the bizarre infidelity incident took place from the movie Old School comes to mind.  They wanted to “release him back into the wild” and threw  “Mitch-a-Palooza” at their soon-to-be Frat House.  Snoop Dogg even made an appearance!

We understand, however, If you are not into the spotlight.

If this event isn’t about you, let’s consider the audience and how we could make it personal for them.

Is this event for a group of your friends?  Did that group of friends have a “clique” name (most do, at least where I grew up) in High School or College?  Is there an inside joke that you commonly refer to? Do you refer to your group of friends as something odd or unique?

Or, is the retro party meant to be a corporate outing with all of your co-workers in attendance?  You could consider the titles of jobs, departments or even teams (if applicable) into your naming convention.  Last, perhaps even thinking about the CEO? Are you able to slyly add his/her name somewhere in the headline?

Whatever the case, making it personal can be rewarding for many years to come if the party is well received and comes off as a hit.  We think if the setting tends to be more on the informal side, then making it personal is one of the better (and acceptable) methods to use.


Method 2:  Combine Words

Also known as “portmanteau”, a linguistic blend of words, in which parts of multiple words or their phones (sounds) are combined into a new word (Source: Wikipedia).

These words are used in our day-to-day speech all the time and we hardly notice or think twice about them.

Examples:

  • Brunch – breakfast and lunch
  • Chillax(ing) – chill(ing) and relax(ing)
  • Emoticon – emotion and icon
  • Ginormous – giant and enormous
  • Turducken – the trifecta, turkey – duck – chicken

Companies do this all the time as part of their brand.

  • Verizon – veritas (Latin for truth) and horizon
  • Intel – integrated and electronics
  • Teavana – tea and nirvana (haven’t done enough research to know if the company has publicly come forth and stated this – but it makes sense)

Okay, you get it.

But what are some practical examples for hosting a retro theme party?  

  • Retroween – a retro Halloween themed party
  • Travoltathon – a John Travolta costume marathon (sun up to sun down – or even dress up in running gear to emulate a marathon – google image “Travolta Gym Clothes” and you’ll get the idea) party
  • Discoiree – a private, formal and french inspired disco-themed party (Disco + Soiree)
  • Swayzies – its Patrick Swayze from the 80s…party (We like this one so much we’re going to feature this in a future blog)

If you’re feeling stuck, give this method a try.  You could have your name in under 15 minutes by simply writing words with the same meaning and smashing them together.


Method 3: Use Alliteration

Next, try using alliteration. Alliteration is defined as the conspicuous repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in successive or closely associated syllables within a group of words, even those spelled differently (Source: Wikipedia).

Popular examples:

  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
  • Sally sells seashells by the seashore.
  • AC/DC’s (alliteration) Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (nailed it!)
  • Mickey/Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Fred Flinstone, Woody Woodpecker (doesn’t always have to be a saying or title)
  • Dunkin Donuts; Bed, Bath and Beyond; PayPal (Companies using alliteration)
  • Kim Kardashian (in fact, almost the entire Kardashian family – Kris, Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kylie, Kendall), Sylvester Stallone, Charles Chaplin (just a few examples of parents that used alliteration)

How could this apply to a retro theme party? 

…Radical Retro Rager
…Sixties Sitcom Shindig
…Jukebox Jubilee in January
…Pong, Pinball and Punk Powow


Method 4: Pose a Question or Use a Quote

Another method we find interesting would be to pose a question as it relates to your theme, and quite literally use that as your name. 

“Is Elvis Alive?” or “Who is Jon Burrows?” (Jon Burrows was Elvis “hotel check-in” name) party.  We’ve all heard the conspiracy theories regarding Elvis’ death. The most notable being he was tied to the Mafia and the only way to “get out” was to fake his death and go off the grid via the witness protection program. 

Despite the speculation, witty questions regarding Elvis’s life status could be all you need to name your event. Elvis also gives party-goers a ton of material to work with, from amazing hairstyles to flashy attire, lip curls, hip shaking and all the “a hunk a hunk of burning love” impersonating you can handle.

Jaws, the amazing movie, came out in 1975.  One of the more memorable lines comes from Brody (Roy Scheider’s character) after he sees Jaws for the first time chumming off the back of their rickety boat.  He’s in awe at the size of the great white shark and slowly walks back to Captain Quint (Robert Shaw’s character) and says “You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat!”. So, if you are thinking of a 70s horror film theme and Jaws is the contender you land on (summer, beach-related), it is sensible to use a quote from the flick as your name.   

We think you can have a lot of fun using this method, so long as you know your audience.


Method 5: Use the Dictionary or Thesaurus

Digging up the dictionary or thesaurus may seem lame but it’s underrated and can expedite the naming process.

Dictionary

Typing in some simple phrases into google such as “alternative words for party” may provide enough options for you to consider, possibly using “one” or “two” of the synonyms, but not all. 

To assist, through our research, we compiled a list to get you started and limit your clicks:

AffairDartyHootenannySalon
AfterpartyDiscoJamSaturnalia
BacchanalDoJamboreeShebang
BakeEventJubileeShindig
BallExtravaganzaKeggerShivoo
BangerFestKickbackShower
BarbecueFestivityKnees-upShubz
BashFeteLuauSocial
BeanfeastFiestaMasqueradeSoiree
BeanoFrolicMixerSplash
BenefitFunctionOccasionSplurge
BingeGalaPLARSpree
BlastGatheringPiss-upStag
BlowoutGaudyPotluckTailgate
BonfireGet-TogetherPowwowThrasher
BopHangoutRageToga
CelebrationHappeningRaveTurn Up
CookoutHarvestReunionWapoo
CrackHoedownRevelryWhoopee
DanceHooley or HoolieRiotWingding

Method 6: Incorporate the Year, Month, Season or Holiday

Incorporating the year like 2019, 2k19 or ‘19 is a no-brainer method when naming your event.  If successful, this method will allow you to keep a recurring, annual get together on the scheduled every year – just change the year.  To keep it more practical, use the year when your theme was the most popular like Woodstock ‘69 as opposed to Woodstock 2k19 (either is fitting as 2019 is the 50-year reunion).

You have to host your party in a given month.  Consider using that month in your name.

Is your theme seasonal?  Fall-Winter-Spring-Summer is keywords you could use.

Holiday related?  Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day (perhaps 1776 is not technically considered “retro” but you get the idea).

These are all very simple concepts.  Sometimes, simple is best. Your audience is a huge factor in this method.  We recommend this method for the more informal get-togethers.  


Method 7: Random Name Generators

The last option and there is a reason we kept it last, is to use a random name generator.  If you are really struggling for ideas and have some time on your hands, use this method as a last-ditch effort and don’t lose hope.

Beware, this can be a massive time suck.  We know, as we spent the better part of an hour looking for these name generating tools and once we found them, it’s really hard not to keep clicking the “next” button.

Name generators may spark the creative juices as the hodge-podge output of words can be super random that you would have never thought about, especially if you have “Type A” personality.  Random words help change your mindset and allows you to think outside of the box.


Conclusion

The importance of your name should not be overlooked.  Your name sparks curiosity from your guest lists, helping to engage conversations and ultimately drive interest.  It makes the event memorable, especially if it has a catchy ring to it. Besides, all of your marketing efforts such as the invitations, email subject lines (not to mention open rates), flyers, decorations, party favors and the like will become easier and lead to a well-branded party. 

At the end of the day unless you’re hosting a party for a massive audience like a corporate outing, socialite banquet or fundraiser, then most of our 7 methods will work as the audience isn’t entirely foreign and you’ll have much less pressure in trying to please your guests. 

Good luck and we hope some of these methods will work for you.  Give em’ a try!

Mark Plevyak

Thanks for reading! Throwing events can be overwhelming but to me one of the most thrilling and rewarding experiences. Since we all grew up in different decades, we can't always relate to iconic time periods of the past. There is so much to celebrate so if you are thinking of planning an event, plan a Retro one. And, if you're attending a party, ensure you relive it to the fullest. Party Unique!

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