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How to Plan an Unforgettable Birthday Party



Not everyone is a project manager. Some people have that organizational streak; others don’t. Either way, there usually comes a time when you’ll want to throw a birthday party for someone special in your life. Of course, you want that party to be amazing. You want the guests to have fun, talk about it in the future, and most importantly, you want the guest of honor to have the best birthday ever. That is no small task. It’s time for you to become a party planner of epic proportions worthy of Van Wilder himself.

Start With A Theme

Repeat after me, “Themed parties aren’t just for kids,” and they really aren’t. Pre-planned and executed well, an adult-themed party can be sensationally fun. The trick is to pick a theme that is easy for everyone to get on board with. A theme that directs the party’s mood. Try and make it something that makes it e to cohesively brings the décor, dress code, and fun together.

Great options for adult-theme parties tend to lean into historical periods or pop culture. Think the roaring 20s for a Gatsby-themed sophisticated affair, or throw on the flares for a 60s shindig. You might be tempted to just pluck a theme from thin air and hope that it’ll work out, but rather than that, consider the person whose birthday it is. What do they like? How does the theme connect to them? This’ll make it altogether more memorable.

Arrange Quality Entertainment

There was a time and a place for your mate Dave to try DJing, but this is not it. There are plenty of professionals out there that will deliver quality music or entertainment. They’ll also help you to structure the event. By booking a professional entertainment option, you’ll know precisely when they’ll be on. That helps everyone understand the outline of the party.


Alongside that, consider some casual ad hoc entertainment that people can opt-in and out of to their heart’s desire. That might be a photo booth, some sideshow games (coconut shy, cornhole, etc.), or a smores station. Again, where possible, relate this back to the theme, and importantly consider what the birthday person would want!

Put On A Decent Selection Of Food

Food is an important part of any party. Unless you’re going for a straight-up drinks party, but even then, without food to line the guests’ stomachs, you might be faced with a short-lived party! The best advice when it comes to party food is to keep it as stress-free as possible. Always plan for people to eat with their hands and minimize preparation and mid-party cooking as much as possible. That means burgers, hotdogs, pizza, and canapes, are all welcome. Whereas a steaming bowl of beef bourguignon probably isn’t appropriate.

Aim to keep your food waste to a minimum by asking yourself some questions related to the number of guests coming, such as, “A 14 inch pizza feeds how many?” and “How many burgers should a person eat in an evening?”.

Always Plan Ahead

The best thing you can do is be as prepared as possible. That might mean planning starts weeks or months beforehand. You’ll thank yourself when the day comes, and you’ve got everything prepared and ready.


The first step, at least a month in advance, is to let the guests know that the event is happening. There’s no event without guests! Then begin to work through the day in chronological order, noting each part and what you’ll need. This’ll create something of a checklist for you to work through. Or unleash your inner project manager and get a spreadsheet going!

Key Takeaways

It’s tricky to keep a level head when organizing an unforgettable birthday party. There’s a huge number of moving parts, and you’ll feel desperate for it to go smoothly. A piece of advice, try to relax and enjoy it yourself, yes, the day is for the person celebrating their birthday, but you should be able to get into the spirit too!

  • The more preparation work you do before the day, the smoother it’ll all go.
  • It’s always better to be over-catered than have people go hungry.
  • Give people as much notice as possible to ensure maximum attendance.