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5 Tips for Preparing for Large Milestone Birthday Parties

June 14, 2022

by Katie Tejada, guest contributor

Sweet sixteen or over the hill? Regardless of your age, a milestone age is deserving of a party that’s truly special. There are a few guidelines to take into consideration when it comes to planning an unforgettable milestone party, and we've also got five tips to make the whole process easier. 

1. Celebrate Their Life

A birthday party is all about the birthday boy or girl, and ultimately, it should be a celebration of their life so far. There are tons of ways you can commemorate their life and put a smile on their face — or even bring a happy tear to their eye. 

  • Put together a big scrapbook of pictures of their life for the event and put it out on display for all the guests to sign. 
  • Pick a music playlist based on their all-time favorites in life, from childhood to the present.
  • Play home movies in the background. (Make sure they’re not too embarrassing!)
  • Theme the event around their interests or passions. For example, if they’re insane about Star Wars, make the event Star Wars-themed with personalized favors. 

2. Theme Around the Decade They Were Born

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A fun idea for a milestone birthday party is to theme the event around the decade the celebrant was born in! This will make theming super easy and enjoyable, and it’ll also help spark fond memories in everyone who was born in this era. 

Furnish your party from head to toe in this decade! Make your mixtape the top hits from this era (premade Spotify playlists abound). Have every guest dress in the fashion of the times — a '60s hippie theme or a '90s boy or girl band theme, for example. Try to procure food or candy that was popular then that might not be so popular now. 

3. Serve Many Guests With Party Rental Equipment

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A milestone birthday might require much more seating, tables, lighting, speakers, etc. than you actually have. Don’t worry about it: that’s why party rental equipment exists. 

With a rental, you can get the perfect equipment delivered, set up, torn down, and picked up for you. Everything from DJ equipment and stages to banquet tables can be set up in whatever venue you choose! You can even rent fun and special décor like neon signs or fun candy carts. Best yet: party rentals are often not as expensive as you might think.

4. Make Planning Easier with a Unique Caterer

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Milestone birthday parties can often involve a large number of guests of all ages. Cooking for this amount of people can be stressful, and it’s hard to cater to a large amount of dietary requirements, ages, and tastes. A milestone birthday is the perfect excuse to get a caterer!

Whatever caterer you choose, make sure it’s something the guest of honor absolutely loves. Get your birthday guest’s favorite cuisine (Mexican, Italian, Korean) from a local restaurant. Hire a few food trucks in the backyard for something really unique, or hire a private chef to cook something special in the comfort of your own home.

5. Be Sensitive About Age Jokes

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Some people might be having a crisis about getting older. People turning 30 might feel older than they are, and people turning 40 might be terrified of the idea of being “over the hill." Many milestone age birthday parties take a humorous approach to this, but make sure your guest is going to actually enjoy that. 

It can be very funny for some people if their 40th birthday party is gravestone themed, but this could be totally inappropriate if they’re insecure about their age or they’ve recently experienced a death. Likewise, turning a milestone birthday into a comedic “roast” of your loved one may or may not go over well, depending on their personality, current life situation, or other factors. This rule goes for both your party planning and your gift-giving as a guest!

Make It All About Them!

Whatever your birthday party entails, make sure that it’s catered to the birthday guest of honor. Everyone’s different, after all, so a perfect milestone birthday party will look different for everybody. Have fun with it! We hope these tips helped.

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