How to Plan an 80th Birthday Party
Celebrating A Very Special Birthday
It's quite a milestone to reach 80 years of life. It is a special birthday and should have a special celebration.
When my Dad's 80th birthday rolled around, we worked hard to created a special day that my Dad would always remember. In the end, we decided on a home party so my Dad could spend as much time with whoever he wanted. No rush.
I hope this article will give you ideas on how to create a day to remember for your 80th birthday celebration.
Celebration Heading Your Way
Are you planning a milestone celebration?
What Type Of Party Will You Have?
My Dad's 80th birthday party was going to be memorable. We wanted it to be something he would have fun at and remember.
Many ideas were thrown around. We could rent a hall, go to a restaurant, or spend a special day out. We considered a couple of factors. A couple of the guests were elderly and disabled. One was on oxygen. Several were hard of hearing. Anywhere we went would have to accommodate them.
More importantly, my Dad hadn't seen a couple of his siblings in a long time. He would want to sit with them and chat (something he did quite well). Would he be able to do that in a restaurant or elsewhere?
We asked ourselves what would Dad prefer? What would be important to him would be visiting with everyone in a relaxed manner, being able to yell and not worry about who heard, and spending as many hours as he liked with his family.
We settled on an at home party. This would allow my Dad to be the social butterfly that he was and let everyone enjoy each others company without any bustle.
You Need to Send Out Invitations
I know today everyone likes to do things digitally. But, it is nice to get a formal invitation in the mail for these kinds of events. Makes it seem special.
Plus, you need to consider your guests. Are they elderly? Are they even on the internet? If they have a computer, can they figure out a new fangled thing like a web invite? If not, you need to get some invitations.
Who says you need to be stuffy? Invitations should be colorful and cheerful, don't you think? These invitations are designed in flashy multi-colored dots and stripes with a big bold number 80. They are eyecatching and festive. Perfect for a celebration!
You don't need to get invites with the age on them. But, I think these stand out.
Party To Do List
If you decided to have a party at home, you need to start planning!. Do you need decorations? How many people are your inviting? Are you going to cook dinner or order food? How big of cake do you need?
Don't forget to ask for help! There are plenty of family members to spread the work around.
- Ask for help and delegate duties
- Pick a theme that is special to the person or go with a general birthday theme
- Make up the guest list and send out the invitations
- Buy decorations
- Decide what's on the menu (will you be making the food or ordering out?)
- Order a cake
- Create a memento for the celebrant and the guests
- Make sure you have enough chairs especially if there are elderly guests
- Set everything up, get the food together, and enjoy!
Spread The Tasks Around
Putting on a party can be alot of work. Assign different family members tasks so that the load doesn't fall on one person.
Picking A Theme
Get Ready to Decorate!
When planning the big event, you'd like the party decorations to reflect things that are important in their life. My sister was in charge of decorations. The themes for my Dad's party reflected the things that were most important to him: family, baseball, gambling, and cars (not necessarily in that order).
Poster boards were decorated with casino themes. Then, we got together a bunch of photographs old and new which were displayed on the boards.
The rest of the decorations came from the party store and my Dad's life. My sister found baseball and car themed items to decorated the tables. We found old Little League trophies and awards from my Dad's 30+ years of volunteer work with the organization. Some of his collectible cars were put out as well.
All the decorations held something special for my Dad. Everyone who came knew these things were important to him.
Some Decorating Ideas!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Steamers or Banners?
There are many decorations to choose from. Banners, streamers, balloons, confetti--just to name a few. How much space do you have to work with? Is it easy to hang things? Will hanging decorations be in the way?
I love these streamers. They are so colorful and cheery. Each set comes with 5 metallic "whirls". These curly steamers come in 5 different colors. They are 3 feet long.
Don't you love how springy they are? Makes you want to play with them.
Let's Set the Table
Okay, eventually your guests are going to want to eat. You'll need plates and napkins to set out for dinner and cake.
It's your choice if you want to use real or paper plates. If you go with paper plates do you want them to be plain, every day plates or do you want matching party plates and napkins?
If you go with the plain option, you'll save some money. You can probably pick up big packs at the dollar store. Matching plates and napkins can save you money by setting a festive tone without having to put out money for extra decorations.
It's really your choice.
Start with Festive Plates and Napkins
Depending on if you want to wash a ton of dishes after the party, you'll need to decide o real plates or paper papers. You can go with a solid color or party design with matching napkins. If you decide on matching paper plates and napkins, you have lots of options to choose from. I selected this set because I like the colors and they seem fit for a mature adult. They match the invitations and whirly streamers, too.
BBQs Are Easy
The cook wants to enjoy the day too. Why not have a BBQ? It's easy to prepare and you don't have to spend all day in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun.
A Memento For The Guests
I wanted to put something together for the guests to take home. It had to be something biographical.
I decided to write up my Dad's story. I wrote up a five page biography with highlights from his childhood to the present. I threw in a couple funny stories, too. I included a couple of photographs to compliment the text. I made copies for the guests to take home and one special copy for my Dad.
I used a simple word processor (MS Works) to create the handout. It wasn't very complicated so the layout was easy.
Telling your loved ones story is great way to make sure they are remembered.
Get All The Photos Together
In the digital age, it's easier than ever to save our memories. At my Dad's party there were five people with cameras.
I was the person in charge of getting all the photographs together. I had everyone email or send me what they had. There were some duplicates which were weeded out. And, some bad photographs that the individuals would rather not see the light of day.
The photographs were copied in two places. I made CDs for those who'd like a personal copy or didn't have access to the internet. I also uploaded them to an online photo sharing site. In this way, everyone had copies and could remember that special day.
The Final Touch
It wouldn't be a party without hats. And, it seems to me that the celebrant should get a very special hat to wear to their own party.
This goofy 80th birthday hat is made to look like a cake complete with candles. The words on the front say "old and grumpy".
If you can't make the birthday person look silly on their birthday then there's no fun in it at all, is there?
A Hat to Remember
Where will you have your party?
You've got everything for your party. Invitations have been sent out. So, where are you going to have it?