How to plan the perfect birthday party

Birthdays are an important milestone in any person’s life: it’s another year lived, a brand new set of 365 days to continue growing as a person. What better way to celebrate than by throwing a fun birthday bash?

Not all birthday parties are created equal, and the difference between a party that everyone wants to go to the entire night and a party that’s a fluke? Proper planning. Planning a great birthday party is more than just ordering cake and some big balloons. Make sure you don’t forget these essentials when you throw your next birthday bash.

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1. Consider a themed party. It doesn’t have to be an outrageous costume party if the celebrant isn’t too keen on it. If you and your friends are a fun-loving bunch, go ahead and pretend it’s Halloween and go all out with the costumes. Want something a little more sophisticated and grown up? Try a black-and-white affair, or go for 1950s glamor style. Go vintage-retro, or stage your own #ThrowbackThursday themed party. Want something a little more modern? Dressing up as your favorite pop culture icons should do the trick.

2. RSVPs are important. Make it easy for your guests to confirm. Out with the paper, in with the digital invites. Make it as easy as one click for your guests to confirm their attendance to your party. Make the invite functional as well by including a map, the dress code, and other important details.

3. Make food and drinks a priority. No one wants to leave a party half-starved. Select a tasteful menu that’s filling for your guests, and make it easy to eat too. If it’s a sit-down affair, you can opt to have fancy food, but easy-to-eat ones are best for parties with a lot of action. Don’t forget the open bar as well if you’re having a fun, casual party!

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4. Decide on party games. Now here’s an issue that can draw lines. Some people can’t imagine a party without party games, while others would rather just drink and socialize with other people. There are no hard and fast rules here, so it’s best to consider the personality of your guests and whether they’d like to have games. If you’re planning some games, make them easy, active, all-inclusive, and friendly for the uninitiated.

5. What’s the rule on gifts? Some hosts already indicate what sort of gift they would appreciate from their guests on the invite they send out. Others may find it awkward to ask for gifts. Make it a little less awkward by providing a wishlist of sorts, to help friends with different budgets to get you something you genuinely like.

6. Consider the venue. If you’re having a house party, you may want to consider how much noise you and your guests will be making. You don’t want a fun party getting crashed by police after your neighbors complain, do you? If you know you’ll be needing a lot of leeway to make noise and have fun, consider renting an outside venue instead. That way, you’ll even take the hassle out of cleanup.

7. Consider a surprise. Most people like a little surprise – consider planning one when throwing a birthday party. It’s great fun for the host, the celebrant, and the guest alike.

The key to a good birthday party is proper planning, to make sure that the guest and the birthday celebrant will be having fun without the stress and hassle. But it’s good to be a little spontaneous too, for that extra kick of fun and excitement they won’t see coming.

So plan accordingly, but leave a little leeway for fun surprises. You never know how much fun it’ll add to the birthday party.