Do you want to throw a 40th birthday party that truly celebrates the life of the guest of honor? Then it’s time to focus on that special person and make this a happy occasion. Here are the top dos and don’ts to help get you there.
1. DON’T procrastinate. Get started right away. Give yourself enough time to come up with ideas, do the planning, and order anything custom or personalized. Make sure all the details come together with time to spare.
2. DO send out great invitations. The right invites will grab your guest’s attention, set the tone for the party and generate excitement for the upcoming festivities. One good choice is photo birthday invitations with multiple pictures of the celebrant at different ages. Or, you could select a design that ties into your theme, highlights your guest of honor’s interests, is funny or nostalgic. Just make sure it communicates that this is an occasion that can’t be missed.
3. DO ask guests to contribute photos and stories about the guest of honor. Collect them all and put them in a memory book as a gift for the celebrant. Or, you could compile them into a PowerPoint presentation to be shown at the birthday party.
4. DON’T skip the birthday party favors. It’s a nice gesture to give your guests a little parting thank you gift for sharing this happy occasion. Look for something inexpensive, useful, unique and personalized; maybe even with a photo of the celebrant. This kind of keepsake serves as a nice reminder of the wonderful celebration to all who attended.
5. DON’T make fun of the fact that he or she is turning 40. An over the hill party, complete with Grim Reaper decorations and wrinkle cream gag gifts, may seem like a good idea, but some celebrants may be uncomfortable with the joke.
According to a recent study conducted by MetLife, 65% of the population wish they were under forty. So, instead of teasing him or her about this milestone, make this a celebration of another year of growth. Why not throw a party commemorating the 19th anniversary of their 21st birthday. Unless you are absolutely sure he or she has no qualms about their age, stay away from the jabs.
6. DO look into alternatives to traditional settings for this milestone. A 40th birthday party at a restaurant, rented hall or even at home can be wonderful. But if you’re looking for something unique, you might have the celebration at the zoo, botanical gardens, amusement park, ski lodge or beach. How about inviting guests to join you for a tour of a winery, day at the spa, or a hot air balloon ride? If there’s something that the guest of honor loves to do or has always wanted to try, think about building your plans around that activity.
7. DON’T rule out a smaller celebration. Take into consideration the guest of honor’s preferences. Would he or she love to be the center of attention at a big bash? Or is the celebrant the quiet type, who would enjoy a less crowded venue? You don’t have to go over the top to make this 40th birthday party memorable. Plan a dinner cruise with a few close friends or an all night movie marathon featuring his or her favorite movies. You can emphasize the quality over the quantity.
8. DO consider a theme party. Invite your guests to a fiesta for the celebrant who is spicy at 40, and they will anticipate a fun-filled occasion. This celebration could be a tropical luau, retro 70’s dance party complete with a spinning disco ball or a costume party where guests dress up as their true inner selves. Whatever direction you choose, everyone will imagine a lively night before they even get there. Going with a theme will help break the ice when guests arrive and will keep them talking long after the event is over.
So, plan in advance. Send out eye-catching, personalized invitations. Ask the guests to share pictures and memories, then send them home with cool party favors. Build the festivities around the celebrant’s personality and interests. Make it unique. And give that special person a 40th birthday party they will never forget.