Welcome back to Totally Lit Parties, a feature in which Corrie shows you how to throw YA-themed parties!
It took my far too long to discover these books, but now that I have, I don’t want to let go. Luckily, Always and Forever, Lara Jean just came out, and that’s a reason to party!
My invites are inspired by the teal hatbox that started it all. This tutorial includes directions for creating an exploding box with a waterfall card that contains the party details. There are even additional options for the interior of the box, which you can mix and match to make the perfect invitation.
What to Wear
Every time Lara Jean described something she was wearing, I wanted to swoon. I am in love with her (and Margot’s) closet. I wish I could be so effortlessly stylish. I might not actually be, but I can certainly pretend by duplicating one of her many awesome outfits.
[...] so the only thing to do is go for Margot’s closet. She has a cream sweater dress she brought back from Scotland that I can put with tights and my little brown boots. There’s also her periwinkle Fair Isle sweater I’ve been admiring; I can wear it with my yellow skirt and a yellow ribbon in my hair.
Navy sweater with a fox on it that I’ve been saving for a rainy day, mustard-yellow skirt, knee socks.
I’m wearing a red-and- green plaid bow tie with a white button-down and a tartan skirt.
If you decide to make your party USO-themed like the one Lara Jean threw at Bellview Retirement Community, dressing up in costume would be a fun way to add to the atmosphere.
Me with victory rolls for a '40s costume!
• Scrapbook: Lara Jean loves to scrapbook. She makes a scrapbook for Margot for Christmas, and she runs scrapbooking classes at Belleview. To create your scrapbook, gather all the patterned paper, glue, scissors, and pictures you have in addition to embellishments such as ribbon, stickers, and washi tape. Make it a group project by getting each guest to make a page for your scrapbook.
• Write It Down: Nice stationery is really beautiful to write on, but a personal letter is special no matter the paper. You can take a note (ha!) from Lara Jean by writing to a boy you’ve loved before, becoming pen pals (like she did with John Ambrose McClaren), or writing to someone currently in your life so they have that special something to reread. Make it a group activity by going to a stationery store or learning how to do fun hand lettering. If you decide to write to past loves, you might want to play it safe and carefully incinerate those letters à la Friends.
My own box of letters from my husband over the years <3
• Estate Sale: Peter takes Lara Jean to an estate sale where he picks up chairs for his mom's antique store and she ends up with some vintage clothing. Estate sales can be hit or miss as far as goods are concerned, but the experience is always interesting. Make a day of going to the sale and heading out for lunch afterwards.
• Cake Walk: Margot and Lara Jean do a lot of baking for PTA event such as cake walks so that Kitty never gets judged for not having a mother. Cake walks are simple: everyone walks around a circle while music plays, and everyone stops on their numbered spot when the music stops. A number is drawn and the winner receives a cake! Local schools often have cake walks for school carnivals, but you could also host your own.
• USO Party: You could choose to make your party USO themed like the one Lara Jean threw for Belleview, or you could pick elements to add to your party. Host dance lessons, listen to Big Band music, and use war bonds like tickets for various activities throughout the party. (Might I suggest using them as entries into a cake walk?)
• Valentines: While it’s not the right time of year to make a Valentine, it’s always the appropriate time to let someone know you love them. Lara Jean and Kitty made Valentines together, pulling out a box of supplies like doilies and pearls to personalize each card for the person intended. Make one for your mom for Mother’s Day, or hold onto your creation until February if you prefer.
• Assassins: The middle school gang decides to play a game of Assassins when they get together to open the time capsule.
It was like tag: Everybody picked a name out of a hat, and you had to tag the person out. One you got your person you had to take out whoever they had. It involved a lot of sneaking around and hiding. A game could last for days.
• Volunteer: Lara Jean volunteers at the local retirement community, where she meets some amazing people who have lived incredible lives. Pick somewhere your group would enjoy volunteering, and set up a time to go together. You can make it a reoccurring thing, a one-time event, or even a special event that you pitch to the organization. Whatever you choose, make it meaningful for both you and the place you’ll be volunteering with.
Tasty Business and Boozy Beverages
Lara Jean loves food, especially sweets, so you’ll definitely need plenty for your party. Set up a sundae bar with toppings like Cap’n Crunch, fresh fruit, and crushed Oreos. Another option is to serve crepes with a variety of fillings such as Nutella or sweet cream cheese. As a party favor, make a bunch of chai sugar cookie batter and freeze a dozen balls in each bag to give your guests just before they leave. You could also turn your meal into a fun activity by learning to cook together, much like Lara Jean's family discussed taking a Korean cooking class.
While Lara Jean isn’t a party girl, you can certainly make some drinks she would appreciate. A Dark and Stormy would be a nice nod to an older woman who has lived a full life. A white wine sangria in a gorgeous punch bowl would also be an excellent choice. Jazz up your drink with edible flower ice cubes: simply place edible flowers in an ice cube tray prior to filling and freezing. Mint also looks (and tastes) great in ice cubes.
Do you have any other To All the Boys I've Loved Before-themed party ideas? Let us know in the comments!
Corrie Golando lives in Lafayette, IN, with her husband and two greyhounds. She spent 10 years as a middle school/high school English teacher, and her students gave her a love for all things YA. When she's not working at the high school library, she is writing fanfiction and doing something crafty. She has a love of all things coated in glitter, much to her husband's horror.