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How to Throw a Y2K Party That's So Fetch

The 2000s were a slightly simpler time when "The Simple Life" dominated the TV Guide, and MySpace pages encapsulated everything there was to know about a person. Do you find yourself longing for the casual-luxe...

The 2000s were a slightly simpler time when "The Simple Life" dominated the TV Guide, and MySpace pages encapsulated everything there was to know about a person. Do you find yourself longing for the casual-luxe comfort of Juicy Couture sweatsuits and the bedazzled back pockets of low-rise jeans? If so, we've got the perfect way for you to get your 2000s fix and feed your nostalgic side.

If you're looking for 21st birthday party ideas or want to know how to plan a birthday party or bachelorette party, try going old school with an early 2000s theme. You can turn your event into the themed party of the millennium with all the signature fixings of a 2000s celebration.

Break out the Bagel Bites and pump up the jams because the early 2000s are calling your name.

alt text, left: An invitation with pink butterflies around the border. Right: A pink collage of nostalgic 2000s-related photos and imagery. Image: "Butterfly Border" by Bernard Maisner for Paperless Post; Collage by South by Sea.

Dreamy 2000s Decor

First, a quick crash course on the 2000s vibe. The aughts were all about glitz, glam, bold colors, and celebrity culture. Thanks to the prevalence of paparazzi, reality shows, MTV, and the internet, celebrity culture reached its peak in the 2000s, and the aesthetics of famous actors, musicians, and socialites became even more sensationalized than ever.

Want to have your guests feeling like they're 2000s reality stars? These are some of our favorite '00s party decorating ideas:

  • Glittery streamers
  • Butterflies galore
  • Rotating rainbow disco ball
  • CDs as wall decor

alt text, left: CDs hang backwards artfully on a wall. Right: An invitation with abstract pastel patterns. Image: Creative Me Inspired You; "Malibu Haze" by Paperless Post.

Go All Out with a 2000s Theme

Bring your early 2000s party to life with a 2000s theme that really goes big. If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the nostalgic kitsch and iconic pop culture moments, you may want to get a friend to help you narrow things down. Here are some of our favorites to start:

  • Y2K hip-hop theme: Celebrate the trademark sound of the 2000s with an off-the-hook hip-hop theme that will have everyone breakdancing by the night’s end.
  • "MTV Cribs" theme: Have you ever wanted to fulfill your dream of touring your own McMansion? Pimp out your pad with a Gold Tinsel Chandelier in the foyer. Keep the cocktails coming in Gold Highball Cups, and end the tour with a baller Pink Heart Inflatable Pool. You'll be shouting "Welcome to my crib!" in no time.
  • "American Idol" theme: Make your karaoke party shine with these Confetti Balloons or these Gold Foil Star Plates that scream, "You're going to Hollywood!"
  • "Mean Girls": A movie about high school stereotypes sets the stage perfectly for a 2000s party. Dress as the clique you most relate to. Were you more like alternative Janis, a mathematician like Cady, or a mean girl like Regina George? If you're hosting a party on a Wednesday, make sure everyone wears pink. You know why.
  • "The Devil Wears Prada": This classic Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway flick shows the wonders and horrors of being a woman in the fashion industry. Get inspired and invite guests to arrive in their most glamorous, runway-ready attire to leave your friends wanting more.

alt text, left: An invitation with an abstract pale blue and white design. Right: A dinner table set with all purple supplies. Image: "Satin Lens" by Paperless Post; Image via Bliss.

Food and Drink Ideas That Scream, "Oh Snap!"

Your guests will need food to fuel all that dancing. Go all out for your party with a snack table full of delicious 2000s delicacies. Mmmm, nostalgia sure tastes sweet. And salty.

Sweet (and salty) snacks:

  • Otter pops
  • Sliders
  • Cosmic brownies
  • Pizza rolls
  • Dunkaroos
  • Gushers

Booyah beverages: For some non-alcoholic beverage options, fill the cooler with 2000s classics like:

  • Kool-Aid
  • Mountain Dew
  • Sobe

If you're over 21 and looking to party like it's 1999, look no further than these 2000s staples:

  • Jell-O shots
  • Aperol Spritz
  • Vodka Redbull
  • Cosmopolitans

Live it Up with 2000s Party Activities

The mantra of the 2000s was to keep the party going all night long. Make sure your party people stay entertained with the best fun and games the 2000s had to offer.

  • Y2K-karaoke: Bust out your karaoke machine, warm up your vocal cords, and sing the night away. Let your guests serenade each other all night long. Or you can borrow from "American Idol" and crown a winner. Take turns as the show's signature judges, practice your best Simon Cowell scowl, your sweetest Paula Abdul smile, and of course, Randy Jackson's signature phrase: "That's a no from me, dawg."
  • Movie trivia: Do you think you're the master of 2000s rom-com content? Put your knowledge to the test with movie trivia. Pick a specific 2000s genre or show off your general knowledge of all your favorite 2000s movies.
  • Reality TV contest: The 2000s introduced us to reality TV classics like "Big Brother" and "Survivor." Create your own "Survivor" scenario by breaking your guests into teams and having them compete in physical challenges or puzzle games. For added fun, you can create a confessional booth for your guests to spill their strategic details and play it back for everyone later.
  • Celebrity couple matching game: Even with the constant tabloid coverage, it was nearly impossible to keep up with celebrity couples in the 2000s. Compete with your guests to match celebrities with red carpet photos.

Taking the initiative to plan activities your guests will enjoy can help make the night feel fun and easy. Give your guests something exciting to look forward to so they are ready to throw down the gauntlet as soon as they arrive.

alt text, left: An online invitation with star-shaped mylar balloons. Image: "Starry Eyed Surprise" Flyer by Paperless Post.

Pump Up the Jams with a 2000s Playlist

The 2000s revitalized pop music in a big way. While the '90s made alternative music mainstream, the early 2000s brought the pendulum back with bubblegum pop music that went along perfectly with the energetic ambiance of the culture. In addition, Hip Hop and R&B grew in popularity and appeared regularly on mainstream radio stations.

Celebrate the 2000s in style with some iconic musicians who speak to the soul:

  • Britney Spears
  • Missy Elliott
  • Avril Levigne
  • Eminem
  • Beyoncé
  • Gwen Stefani
  • Usher
  • Shakira
  • Jay-Z
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Soulja Boy
  • Kylie Minogue
  • Rihanna
  • Kanye West

alt text, left: An invitation with youthful doodles in pink, blue, and purple. Right: A Y2K-style outfit with pink accessories and a ruffled denim mini skirt. Image: "Dear Diary" by Paperless Post; Outfit by Laite on Pinterest.

Dress Codes to Make Your Y2K Party "So Fetch"

Implementing a themed dress code when you plan an event can allow your guests to bring the party to you. Make sure your guests look super fresh by inviting them to come in their finest streetwear.

Signature 2000s style elements: Any outfit can become a 2000s fashion homage with just a few key pieces or accessories. If your guests need ideas, remind them of these classic Y2K fashion trends:

  • Crimped hair
  • Blue eyeshadow
  • Jelly shoes
  • Cargo pants
  • Low-rise jeans
  • Butterfly hair clips
  • Trucker hats
  • Puka shell necklaces
  • Frosted tips
  • Leopard print
  • Bucket hats
  • Skirts over pants

Red carpet throwback: With so many iconic 2000s red carpet looks still getting airtime today, it's a natural move to request that your guests follow a 2000s red carpet dress code. Black-tie denim on denim, anyone?

Celebrity inspiration: But why stop at awards shows? If your event guests need inspiration, encourage them to channel their favorite 2000s icon—and don't be surprised if someone arrives in a bright red leather bodysuit or miniskirt.

Borrow your wardrobe from 2000s guilty pleasure movies: Pay homage to the movies that shaped you by setting a dress code based on your favorite 2000s flick. This being the golden age of Rom-Coms, plus all those colorful campy teen movies, the list of titles to pick from seems endless. Here are some go-tos:

  • "Mr. & Mrs. Smith"
  • "Legally Blonde"
  • "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
  • "The Princess Diaries"
  • "Freaky Friday"
  • "Mean Girls"
  • "The Devil Wears Prada"
  • "The House Bunny"
  • "Maid in Manhattan"
  • "She's the Man"

alt text, left: An online invitation with a pink shag carpet background and the words "Hot since 2001." Image: "Pink Sheepskin" Flyer by Paperless Post.

Party All Night Long with Paperless Post

Ready to embrace the early 2000s with an unforgettable milestone birthday or bachelorette party that'll launch you into the next millennium? Paperless Post has hosting tips and themed invitations to satisfy your sense of nostalgia and set the mood for your soirée.

  • Y2K party favors: Gift your guests with a party favor to transport them back to the 2000s (and the memories of your party) whenever they want. Burn CDs of your party playlist or hand out disposable cameras for them to use throughout the night.
  • 2000s invitations: You can't have a party without extending an invite. Make a smart first impression with a Y2K-themed invitation to give your guests a sneak peek at the fun that awaits them. Gather your gal pals with fun throwback designs like Butterfly Wings, and play into your friends' inner music-lover with HiFi. Want to please the whole crowd? Neon Lights is the way to go.

Whatever the occasion, Paperless Post can provide you with memorable invitations and party supplies to keep the good times rolling. Party on with Paperless Post.

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