Once people hit their 30s, they usually give up the hard partying ways of their 20s and settle into a responsible adult life. Even though they may have left the wild days of their college and early adulthood years behind them, it does not mean that they want to skip celebrating their birthday in style. Birthday parties for a 30-something should be fun but not out of control.
Begin planning the party by choosing a date, time and length for the party before you settle on any other details. Decide whether you will have the party at home or out on the town. When you go to choose the guest list, decide whether to make the party adults-only or if parents can bring their small children along. Remember that if it is adults-only, some people may not be able to attend.
Most birthday parties succeed when the host chooses a theme, and everyone goes along with it for the night. Select a subdued, but still fun, theme for the party. You can select a favorite movie from the year the person was born and structure the theme around that. Another idea is to choose a theme based on the season. For instance, throw a Cinco de Mayo birthday party for someone born near or on May 5. A Halloween or harvest-themed party will work for someone born in October or early November.
Use the birthday party as an excuse to show off your cooking skills. Invite a small crowd, no more than 10 people, over for dinner. On the invitations, you may want to specify the time when you plan to serve dinner and a start time of an hour or so beforehand, so guests can mingle and have a cocktail. If you like the idea of a dinner party birthday but cannot cook, consider hiring a private chef or catering company for the event.
Make the party area look festive and nice without being tacky. Arrange a floral centerpiece on the dinner or buffet table. If you chose a theme, look for decorations that match the theme, such as a pinata for a Cinco de Mayo party or jack-o-lanterns for a Halloween-themed party. If the party is at a restaurant, ask if you can put a few balloons around the birthday person’s chair.
You don’t have to spend the duration of the party making idle chitchat with other guests. Instead, think of an activity or two to get everyone involved and prevent people from coming up with excuses to head home. If your crowd likes to play cards, turn the party into poker or blackjack night. If the guests like music, see if you can rent a karaoke machine or clear an area and have a dance party or contest.
- birthday decoration image by Renata Osinska from Fotolia.com