The Classic Cocktail Party: 1950s Theme

In the 1950's people really knew how to throw a cocktail party (or at least in the movies they did, anyways!).

Finger Foods, Mixed Drinks, and Party Games

A Classic Cocktail Party (fifties theme) is the perfect setting for a bridal shower, engagement party, or jack and jill party.

And, here's a great  idea: carry the 50's theme a step further by focussing on that famous 50's married TV couple: Lucy and Ricky Ricardo!

Copy the heart from the TV series credits but replace "I Love Lucy" with the names of the engaged couple. Play your favorite episodes of the show on a TV set (this will give party guests something to talk about - a bonus if your guest list is made up of lots of people who are just getting acquainted).

You can even buy a CD of Desi Arnaz performing his hits - aptly named "Cocktail Hour".


Lucy and Ricky VS. Fred and Ethel

Seat the engaged couple together against the Best Man and Maid of Honor. Print out the faces of Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel and either make them into masks or use them to label the contestants' spots if you are seating them behind table. Or, better yet, make them wear t-shirts with the character's head printed across the chest. Explain that you will be asking questions to see who knows the bride and groom better - the fiance/fiancee or the best friends? Ask the party guests to take sides - who will win? Ask a series of questions. Give prizes to the winning couple and party favors to the guests standing on the winners' side of the room (jello shots perhaps?).

Party Prizes

Get party prizes straight from the source - you can shop at the I Love Lucy online store. Purchases help support the Lucy-Desi Museum and the Desilu Playhouse in Jamestown, New York. They have a whole line of salt and pepper sets based on household items (vacuum, washer/dryer, toaster) all very 50's housewife and reminiscent of classic wedding gifts. Other ideas from their store: a set of Lucy coasters or a tin of of Lucy's Predica-mints!



Time to stock the bar and buy a cocktail recipe book! Designate a bartender for the evening (or several, to work in shifts). Another option is to select two or three cocktails to offer - or one signature cocktail for the couple and a big bowl of fancy punch. You can read more about cocktail party drinks at our previous article about Jack and Jill parties.


Cocktail Party Clothes

A cocktail party also gives you the perfect excuse to wear a party dress and a cute pair of shoes!  Check out a list of top ten Retro Dresses at

You can get your whole cocktail costume at -

Their rock and roll retro looks put the cocky into cocktail.

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