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Everyone loves getting dressed up, whether it’s like a dame from the roaring 1920s, a flirty nurse or their favorite superhero. Make your party stand out by making it a themed affair, from the invitations to the food. Below are 10 tips that will make your party the talk of the town for years to come.

Tip # 1: The first thing to do is, of course, pick the actual theme of the party! If you’re at a loss, turn to pop culture and childhood fantasies – at one point or another, we all dreamed of being a cowboy, firefighter, wizard or secret agent. Of course, there are points for creativity. While you won’t want your theme to be so obscure that no one has a clue how to dress, spend a few minutes brainstorming fun ideas that may not have been done before.

Tip # 2: Ensure your guests stick to the theme. If you’re throwing a toga party, you don’t want someone showing up as the killer from the movie Scream. That would just throw everything off even if only one person were to do so. It might be an excellent idea to have someone doing actual costume checks at the door on the day of the party.

Tip # 3: Try arranging the food and drinks according to the theme. We know everyone loves their pizza and hot dogs, but think of what would be the better fit for your theme. For example, a “Ninja Turtles” based party would be great with different varieties of pizza. It’s the same as a “Mafia or Mob Boss” theme party would be perfect with lots of Italian dishes and not just pizza. All it takes is a little more research into your theme to find out what food fits.

Tip # 4: The music must fit with the era. This is a no brainer; if your inspiration for the shindig is “Old Hollywood,” you shouldn’t have rap music blasting over the speakers.

Tip # 5: It’d be excellent if you could notify your guests weeks in advance to have them study up on your theme. After all, not everyone has the appropriate attire simply lying around their closet. To get them in the mood with a themed invitation or ticket, printed at places like The Stationary Studio and TA Ticket Printing.

Tip # 6: If you have some extra funds and space, plan something major that your guests will not be expecting. Recreate an event that occurred during the time period or was an iconic turning point in the fictional movie or book. Recruit those friends that have a flair for the dramatics!

Tip # 7: Reward those who fully embrace the inspiration of the party; have a costume contest, a dance-off or, if you’re holding a potluck, the most creative dessert. The winner can receive a gift card, a bottle or wine or an item that ties into the theme.

Tip # 8: You most likely have friends that have a creative touch and interest in photography, so ask a few of them to go out of their way to record the special night. Surely you’re not the only person who’s going to want to remember this exciting event. Quick videos may be especially popular.

Tip # 9: Decorations are a must! You will have to rent or purchase things to enhance the scenery and theme of your party. For example, if your themed party is based on the disco era, you know it’d be a great idea to get a disco ball and other things like smoke creators. If you have time and plenty of hands at your disposal, research DIY projects that can add flair to the room. Attention to detail will be appreciated, and experimenting with various lighting options can make all the difference.

Tip # 10: Have an excellent time! By taking the time to cover all your bases prior to the party, you can relax and let loose with your friends during the actual night of fun.

So what are you waiting for? You’ve got a lot of planning to do, and the sooner you start the better. It’s not great to wait until the last minute to plan something as big as this event will be. You could also opt to hire an event planner if the actual planning is not your thing.

What kind of theme party do you want to have?