Birthday Party Planning Guide


    One of the most exciting times of the year can be when someone celebrates their birthday. A birthday party is an opportunity for you to gather with friends and family to spend the afternoon dancing, playing games, opening presents, or doing whatever else you do to celebrate, whether you’re turning one or 90. Birthday celebrations are unique because they can be customized to any personality type and stage of life.

    You want the birthday party to be epic, amazing, and unforgettable. You want it to be You want the birthday celebration to be spectacular, unforgettable, and epic. You want it to be a topic of conversation among the visitors. It takes a lot of work to plan a party this amazingly. It’s challenging to even get started! This guide is filled with all the information you need to organize the ideal birthday party, which is why we created it. Read on and get planning!

    The Basics

    The core of your party will be these first few things. The fundamentals are straightforward and will be most useful when you start planning.

    1. Date and Time

    The first thing you need to do is choose a time and date. Do you celebrate the birthday on an actual day, the day after, or the weekend before? Your birthday is all about you, but consider who you’ll be inviting and their availability.

    Pro Tip: Consult the event manager for availability if you already have your eye on a location, such as a particular restaurant or bar.

    2. Guest List

    You’ll have a better idea of the cost of the party once your guest list begins to take shape. Who do you want there, exactly? Invite the family and friends who will make a good party into a great one.

    3. Budget

    What are the must-have items for your party and how much are you willing to spend? Perhaps the most crucial person is a caterer if you love food. It might cost more out of your budget to reserve something like a rooftop bar. Choose the features that will help you realize your birthday party vision without going over budget that are most important within your price range.

    The Aesthetics

    You should feel yourself at your party. Make sure you’ll feel at ease with the tone and style of your party as you plan its aesthetic.

    1. Venue

    Setting up, cleaning up, and hosting will be simpler if you host outside of your home. Look at venues in line with your preferences and spending limit; pick one that is within your means and matches the tone of your event. 

    Additionally, there’s nothing wrong with having a party at your house! Regarding guest lists and time constraints, it may be less expensive and more flexible.

    2. Vibe

    The “vibe,” which can be any adjective that captures the spirit of your event, is the party’s energy. This is crucial because your decisions will be affected by the energy. It’s all about you and how you feel, whether you’re envisioning a boho, vibrant, upbeat, chill, or whimsical vibe.

    3. Theme

    Making creative decisions will be easier if you have a fun theme. Select a theme and begin coordinating your decorations, attire, food and drink ideas, and entertainment. Here are some potential themes:

    • Carnival: Make the birthday celebration carnival-themed to transform any gathering into a festival of joy. Set up various stations for traditional carnival games like darts and the ring toss. To create the feeling of a festival, use bright colors, balloons, tents, and stripes as decorations. 
    • The 90s: Parties and events with a 90s theme are becoming incredibly popular among millennials and even generation Z. Put on a scrunchie and a Lisa Frank T-shirt, and then adorn it with memorabilia from your favorite sitcoms and era of toys. There can only be 90s music played. There will be a lot of intense nostalgia at this party.
    • Roaring 1920s Party: Celebrate as though it’s 1922 by channeling the Great Gatsby himself! Invite attendees to dress in flappers, feathers, sequins, and fedoras while playing music from the period. The Charleston is highly recommended.
    • Princess: Transform your space into a castle, and encourage guests to wear costumes from Disney or the royal family. Bonus hint: “Hire-a-Princess” businesses can be found in most cities. Jasmine, Belle, or Moana can be hired to attend your child’s birthday party, sing to the children, and bring a little bit of magic to the celebrations.
    • Superheroes: Is your “Birthday Star” a princess kid or more of a superhero kid? Then amp up the fun by transforming your party location into a covert fortress. If “Rent-a-Superhero” services are available where you are, a quick Google search will help you with this. The decorations are simple and are available at your neighborhood party supply store. If you’re an adult hosting a Superhero birthday party, we urge your guests to be imaginative. Request that everyone dress up as a unique superhero with an oddly particular superpower. Things will become very amusing.
    • Field Day: It’s time to let loose, have fun, and enjoy the sunshine today. You can harness that enthusiasm and vigor by holding your own Field Day. Both children and adults will enjoy this theme. Make obstacle courses, hold three-legged races, and throw eggs, among other activities. Give out silly prizes to the winners, and then have a water balloon fight to cap it all off.
    • Fiesta: Fiesta is a party, so throwing a fiesta-themed party is a surefire way to win over the crowd. Have a margarita bar, a piñata, and brightly colored Mexican banners while embracing the festive atmosphere. Create a dance area outside with string lights, then engage a mariachi band.

    4. Color Scheme

    To go above and beyond, plan a color scheme that complements your theme. Select a few hues that represent your aesthetic choices and tie in your imaginative details. Flatware, balloons, napkins, party favors, and other decor items can all be decorated using the color scheme.

    5. Entertainment

    Party entertainment can include DJs, solo musicians, photo booths, or something special like a tarot card reader or caricaturist to make your event truly memorable. To finish the day, you can tie this feature in with your chosen theme. 

    The Details

    Fix these details to make sure your party goes as planned.

    1. Menu

    Birthday Food

    Choose what would make the most sense: brunch, lunch, dinner, or anything in between. Guests will expect to be served a meal of some kind. If you’ve made reservations at a restaurant, they’ll cooperate with you to plan a menu. 

    If not, you have two options: DIY or catering; alternatively, you could go with a potluck where guests bring appetizers and desserts. You must remember the drinks at any adult birthday celebration. Employ a bartender to make cocktails and mocktails all night long. 

    2. Itinerary

    Establish a basic outline for your party. It doesn’t need to be overly specific unless you have a performance or multiple activities scheduled. Establish times for the arrival of guests, the start of the meal, the dessert, and the cake. Allow people to unwind and socialize during this time.

    3. Supplies

    Make a list of all the supplies you might require, such as food, decorations, cutlery, and more. Start making your supplies list right away, and keep it going as you organize. The last thing you want to do at your birthday celebration is to sprint to get something you forgot, like extra ice or birthday candles.

    4. Decorate

    Birthday Decorations

    It’s finally time to start the process and prepare everything! If your decorations are hard to achieve, enlist a friend to assist. It’s a good idea to plan your actions. These are some of the party decorations you can use:

    • Balloons
    • Balloon weights
    • Helium Tank
    • Birthday Centerpiece
    • Streamers
    • Birthday Banner
    • Scene Setters
    • Cutouts
    • Hanging Decorations
    • Birthday Confetti
    • Party Hats
    • Blowouts & Noise Makers
    • Yard Sign
    • Inflatables

    Timeline in Planning a Birthday Party

    3 Months and Counting…

    1. Pick a Party Theme

    Do you need a theme? The quick response is “yes”! Everything about an event is centered around a theme, like:

    • Venue
    • Decor
    • Activities
    • Catering
    • Dress code

    Knowing that you need a theme, and being able to choose one are two different things. There are countless options, but to narrow it down, think about these factors:

    • Is it formal or casual??
    • What is the birthday person’s favorite thing?
    • Is your theme decorative, or will it filter through activities?
    • When is the party taking place?
    • Do you have a planned activity that would determine the theme?

    2. Decide on your Budget

    Choosing how much you want to spend on the occasion is a crucial next step. It’s entirely up to you how much money you’re willing to set aside for your party budget. The amount of money spent on a party does not determine how successful it is. Even on a tight budget, a well-organized party can be one of the most memorable. Similarly, having a little extra money to spend on unique touches can make for a memorable evening.

    Once you’ve determined the amount, enter it into a spreadsheet and keep track of it at every stage. Parties can be expensive, but monitoring your spending will aid in your decision-making.

    3. Choose a Date and Time

    Pick a few dates that work for you to start. Before you reserve the space, make a list of alternate dates in case your preferred date is not available. If you’re working together to plan the party, make sure the other members of your team are aware of the dates in case there is a clear conflict that you haven’t considered.

    4. Book a Venue

    The internet is a great place to start if you don’t have a specific location in mind. Make sure to read the reviews that customers have left as you scroll. You’ll quickly develop a sense of the location.

    This list of inquiries should be kept in mind when you speak with venues:

    • How many guests can the space accommodate?
    • Is the venue appropriate for your event’s theme?
    • What services come with the rent you’re paying for?
    • Is the view stunning?
    • Do outside vendors have access to the space?
    • Is there a per-person minimum spend requirement?
    • Is there enough room for parking?

    Find a location that fits your theme. The ideal location sets the tone for your party, whether you’re bowling, boating, or hiking up a small mountain for a chic picnic.

    5. Guest List

    It’s a little bit of a juggling act to match your guest list to the spending limit and the location. Make the list as inclusive as you can by beginning broadly. If you need to make adjustments due to a tight budget or an inconvenient location, let those who are not necessary drop off.

    Send out electronic save-the-dates in advance so that people can reserve that time. This is particularly crucial if you’re inviting guests from outside the area who will need to make travel and lodging arrangements.

    6. Book Entertainment

    If live music is what you want, pick and reserve your favorite band as soon as possible because sometimes, they are in high demand. Uncertain about the type of birthday party band to select?

    • For 50 Guests

    You want a more intimate atmosphere for a smaller party. An acoustic duo’s warm voice and guitar combination add just the right amount of vibrancy to the crowd without being too loud.

    • For 100-150 Guests

    A modern party band’s louder sound will appeal to a larger audience. These musicians are renowned for bringing the party with them, filling the dance floor with their songs, and bringing life to any gathering.

    • For Summery Outside Event

    Nothing compares to the full-body sound of a jazz band or string quartet for larger outdoor events. Make it a memorable evening by filling the marquee with lyrical riffs to delight your guests.

    • Other Entertainment 

    Adult party ideas can include a variety of games and activities, in addition, to live music, that encourages conversation among the attendees and increase comfort levels like:

    • DIY pizza stations
    • Themed photo booth
    • Trivia quizzes
    • Party games
    • Karaoke

    7. Book a Photographer

    After the party, you can create a collage from a selection of gorgeous party photos and send it to each guest along with a thank-you note.

    8. DIY Party Décor

    Now is the perfect time to stock up on your supplies if you’re a hands-on party planner who enjoys getting right into the action to make the party look stunning. As a result, you have plenty of time to perfect all the handmade details that will make the party special.

    1 Month and Counting…

    1. Send Out Invitations

    You can use snail mail to send printed invitations if you prefer the old-fashioned method. The nice thing about sending something physical is knowing that it will probably be prominently displayed on the fridge as a reminder of your event! When you send these out, consider the time for printing and shipping.

    Additionally, going green is growing in popularity. Online invitation services are accessible, allowing you to create and send invitations, track RSVPs automatically, and even send out follow-up reminders. Even though your event won’t be posted on the fridge, it will still be visible on their phone.

    2. Place Catering Orders

    Order your beverages and non-perishables. You can always change your final order as RSVPs come in, if necessary. Ask the bakery how far in advance you need to place orders for baked goods.

    Have you given hiring a chef any thought? This hot trend, which is steadily growing, will relieve you of all the stress associated with catering. Select a chef who has a solid reputation, and you can relax knowing that your guests will be well taken care of and will dine in style!

    3. Finalize Décor

    If you’re doing any DIY, now is the time to complete it. The night before the big “do,” you don’t want to be hot-gluing hessian! Go to the stores and purchase what you need if you’re buying decor. This gives the store enough time to order any items they might be lacking. A third choice is to simply style borrowed décor to match the mood and atmosphere you want to create for the party.

    4. Plan Activities

    This step will naturally follow from your theme and the prior planning that you did. You can now begin assembling everything you need for the activities.

    5. Gather Team

    Make sure you have enough help for the event, whether you enlist family members, friends, or event staff for the evening:

    • Setting up on the day
    • Helping throughout the event
    • Cleaning up afterward

    It’s a good idea to hire help for special occasions so that everyone can spend time together without worrying about washing dishes. However, if your group gets along well, setting up and cleaning up can be a really fun time to socialize.

    1 Week and Counting…

    1. Check on RSVPs

    Contact anyone who hasn’t yet RSVP’d. Once your guest list is complete, you can send it to the caterer and other party organizers.

    2. Place Bakery and Catering Orders

    Now is the time to order your cake, tarts, cupcakes, or pies if the bakery didn’t require a longer ordering period. Your confirmed guest list will provide you with precise ordering information.

    Find out how far in advance they require reservations for fast-food catering such as pizza or sandwiches.

    3. Party Hashtag Time

    Make a hashtag for your party and start spreading it. What purpose does a party hashtag serve? A fun party hashtag is a great way to see all the social media posts made by attendees. You’ll be able to relive the momentous occasion and see the party through the eyes of others.

    The Day Before…

    1. Shop and Collect

    Go grocery shopping for what you need. If using a delivery service is more convenient, you can do that as well.

    Pick up your bakery order. While you’re still in the store, take a moment to double-check the contents of the boxes to make sure they match what you ordered. Even though you may feel pressed for time, it is important to complete this task while you are still in the bakery in case they have made a mistake.

    2. Tip Envelopes

    Prepare tip envelopes for the party staff, the chef (if you hired one), and any other entertainers.

    3. Catering

    Place fast food orders, unless the company told you to do so earlier. Prepare any nonperishable foods you may need.

    4. Check and Decorate the Venue 

    You may be able to get into the venue the day before to set up. If the venue has another booking, you’ll only be able to get in on the actual day of the party. Find out before the time so you can plan. 

    To find out who is in charge of cleaning before, during, and after the event, check your contract. If you are in charge, make sure you have a team ready to take on the task. As soon as you enter the area, make sure the lobby and the restrooms are spotlessly clean. Then you can use your decorating talents to completely decorate the place.

    Party Day…

    1. Buy Ice

    You can ask a team member to complete this. Just make sure there are containers for it, whether you use metal tubs, cooler boxes, or deep freeze the ice packets.

    2. Final Décor Touches

    You can arrange fresh-cut flowers on the day of the event if you’re using them. Place table centerpieces and any other finishing touches.

    3. Outdoor Events

    Check the weather and make your plans accordingly. Always have a backup plan in place if you decide to hold an event outside in case the weather turns bad. An outdoor party looks charming with umbrellas, umbrella caddies, string lights, and citronella candles.

    4. Welcome Your Guests

    You’re prepared to take off your shoes and dance the night away now that the scene has been set.  Once you’ve taken care of everything, take a step back, take a break from planning, and allow yourself to enjoy the occasion. It is the right time to make some memories with your guests. 

    5. Clean Up Afterwards

    It’s time to clean up after the party is over and the satisfied guests have left. Get ready to return items by taking down all of your decorations. You should bring a cleanup crew with you at this time.


    Planning birthday parties can be stressful—and that’s normal! We hope that this birthday party planning guide will help you. What matters the most is that you will have a good time. 

    Put on your party hat, celebrate your special day, and wish yourself a happy birthday!

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