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How To Throw A Great Birthday Party For Adults

behind the scenes wedding planning by tsc

One thing we don’t do enough of as adults: celebrate our birthdays. 

Think about it. Our birthdays are a huge accomplishment every year. They’re a great time to reflect on the previous year and set intentions for the year to come. 

And between surviving the year and the work we’re doing to set out for a great new year, we deserve a celebration. That’s why we’re declaring that adult birthday parties should make a big comeback.

Plus, birthday parties are one of the rare opportunities we get to have all of our loved ones in one place. And it’s a day that’s all about YOU. What could be better? 

But we’ll admit, planning a birthday party can be stressful. There’s a lot to consider. Just ask Lauryn about Zaza’s Pineapple Soiree and Eloise Birthday. It takes major work, even when you have help.

Don’t sweat it though, we have you covered with both practical and creative tips for throwing the BEST adult birthday party you’ve ever had. Plus, we’ve got some adult birthday party ideas for themes that are sure to kick off a good time.

How To Throw A Great Birthday Party For Adults

Tip #1: Choose a date.

The first step in any party planning venture is to pick a date. For a birthday party, you’ll want to decide whether or not to have it on your actual birthday. Of course, you’ll also want to consider your guests’ other engagements like, having a birthday party on a Tuesday may not be the move, even if it’s your actual birthday. So choose that date and mark it down on all your calendars/planners.

HOT TIP: choose a date between 2 weeks and 1 month ahead of time to give your party goers plenty of time to plan.

Tip #2: Set a budget.

To know what you want to do, you’ve gotta know what you want to spend to celebrate your birthday. Are you going all out for your bad-ass birthday bash, or keeping it more casual? Your budget may make a difference here.

Tip #3: Decide on a theme.

Is the theme the most important part of your birthday party planning? Maybe not, but it’s definitely up there. Your theme determines the look and the vibe of your party and if you’re a diva like we are, it’s probably also going to determine your outfit. 

Pick a theme that matches how you want to feel and how you want your guests to feel at the party. For theme party ideas, keep scrolling–we’ve got some down below.

Tip #4: Pick your venue.

There are some things you’ll want to consider before you pick your venue: your budget (of course), your theme, how many guests you’ll be inviting, and how long you want your party to be. 

Obviously, you want your venue to match your theme, but you also want it to be comfortable and fun for your guests for as long as you’ll be there. Some solid venues include bars, Airbnbs, VRBOs, hotel party rooms, or your own house.

How To Throw A Great Birthday Party For Adults

Tip #5: Create your guest list.

Now it’s time to consider the who’s who of your friends and family: your guest list. First and foremost, you want to ensure that your guest list reflects the atmosphere you want for your party. If you’re keeping it small, you may only want to invite your closest friends. However, if you’re throwing a big bash, grandma might not be on the invite list. Moreover, these little details can make a significant difference in the execution of your party.

Tip #6: Set your itinerary.

Now that you’ve got your guest list, you’ve got to have an itinerary that matches the vibe of your party and your guests. Even if your party is more of an open-house-style get-together, you’re going to want to have a plan for things like when the food and drink will be served, when any planned activities might happen (like singing Happy Birthday), and when the party will end. But either way, that’s something you’re going to want to have a plan for. 

Tip #7: Send out your invitations.

The timing of this tip is CRUCIAL. You want to send out invitations with enough time that people can plan for your party, without feeling like it’s a last-minute assignment. If you want to get super fun with it, we highly recommend using Bliss & Bone. They do evites as well as paper invitations, know how much details matter and always deliver the most high-quality, exciting invitations.

Tip #8: Determine party favors.

Remember when we were kids and we ALWAYS left birthday parties with a goodie bag? Party favors are by no means a must-have, but they do have a nice touch to them. Some of Lauryn’s favorite party favors are Taja candles, Beekeeper’s Naturals and custom candy by Lana Nicole,

HOT TIP: make your party even more memorable by tying your party favors to your theme.

candles for adult party
party favors for adult party

Tip #9: Decorate at many heights.

We learned this tip from Lauryn’s friend Faith, who threw a killer 30th birthday bash at a VRBO in Beverly Hills. Where a lot of people may simply have a “Happy Birthday” banner or have a table where the presents go, you want to create an amazing visual effect at every level from the ceiling to the floor. 

How do you do this? We recommend lots and lots of balloons. They are super affordable and bring all the birthday vibes to the environment, whether you’ve got helium balloons placed strategically, a balloon arch for photos, or balloons scattered throughout the party on the floor, all 3 are good options.

HOT TIP: Splurge for the balloon weights and cut the strings at different lengths so it will look like a sea of balloons.

Tip #10: Photos, photos, photos.

Did you really have a bangin’ birthday bash if you didn’t get any photos of it? Some would say no. However, of course, you can have an amazing party without the perfect pics to post afterward. But chances are, you’re going to want to remember this party. Therefore, make it easy on your guests by getting a polaroid or two with lots of film. Additionally, set up a table with a guest book and fun markers so your guest can write in it. This way, guests can take a picture, tape it into the book, and write out a memory. And the perfect keepsake for you.

Or, you can also go the professional route and hire a photographer to staff a photo booth. It’s up to you, babes! Either way, the results will be picture-perfect.

Birthday Party Themes For Adults

10 Birthday Party Themes For Adults

Dinner Party

A dinner party is always a classy, yet simple option. Make food ahead of time, or cater food in. Then, sit down with your besties and enjoy.

Game Night

Everyone loves a party with an activity. It gives your more shy guests something to focus on until they can come out of their shell. Additionally, it’s just fun. You can pick your favorite games and get them prepped to play. From classic board games to interactive group activities, there’s something for everyone. Moreover, if you’re having a big party, use the games as centerpieces on different tables. It’s an easy icebreaker and a damn good time. Furthermore, you can even organize a tournament or set up stations with different games for variety. The possibilities are endless, and it’s a fantastic way to ensure everyone has a blast at your party.

Costume Party

While many adults still have a love for dressing up, we just don’t get to indulge in it as much anymore. However, you can change that with a costume party. Whether you keep it general for Halloween-like vibes or get specific for something more targeted, the choice is yours. Personally, we adore a masquerade theme. Bring on the ball gowns.

Cocktail Party

Have a birthday happy hour. Hire a bartender to serve up your favorite cocktails. Then, simply host the party.

PS: Want to elevate your party even more? Check out these tips on making smoked cocktails that are perfect for parties.

Murder Mystery Party

If you loved Knives Out, then this may be the party for you. Murder mystery parties involve a game of whodunnit, and they can be tons of fun. Pit your friends against each other in a crime-solving bash that’ll go down in the history books. Who’s the killer? It’s got to be one of you…There are companies you can hire to set this all up for you.

Spa Day Party

Want to keep your party chill and relaxed while also feeling bougie? A spa day party is the move. Play your favorite music, get out your TSC-brand products, and relax.

Here are some of our spa day favorites:

+ Ice roller for depuffing and debloating puffy skin

+ Face massager to relieve muscle tension + contour your face

+ Depuffing oil to restore skin’s natural moisture barrier

Wine and Cheese Party

It doesn’t get classier than this. Pop open a few bottles of wine and bring out the charcuterie. We love this set from Williams Sonoma.

Crafting Party

This is another great option for having an activity-based party: crafting. Everyone loves getting creative, and your crafting projects can double as party favors.

What kind of crafts should you plan? It’s totally up to you. If you have a relatively crafty crew, each guest can bring their own works-in-progress to work on together. If you want something you can do together, try painting canvases or making jewelry.

Birthday Brunch Party

Everyone, and we mean everyone, loves a birthday brunch. (Especially a boozy one.) Consider making a reservation at your favorite brunch spot, or have brunch catered in at your venue of choice.

Pool Party

This one’s probably only an option if, like Lauryn, you’re lucky enough to have a late spring/summer birthday. But it’s SUCH a good option. After all, it’s impossible to have a bad time at a pool party. Just make sure you Get the Fuck Out of the Sun with some sunscreen and a solid sun hat.

What kind of birthday party fun are you planning this year?

Do you have any party planning tips we missed? Let us know below.

Need help planning your other parties? We’ve got great tips for planning a bachelorette party or a kid’s birthday party.

x, The Skinny Confidential team

+ How to throw a cocktail party at home.

++ Tips for throwing a sip and see.


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