By Elle Smith
With my own 30th birthday right around the corner, I have been involved with increasingly fewer weddings/bridal showers, and more and more “Dirty-30s.” Sure, some of my friends have hit this milestone or others with a sniffle, but I also see women embracing traditional milestone birthdays with pizzazz. I like that! My babies’ birthdays are cool, but so is mine. As I just finished my best friend’s 30th birthday party and continue to plan out my own, I can promise you that adult birthday parties are pretty darn cool. I can’t think of any reason not to celebrate and enjoy adulthood. After all, I did spend quite a lot of those younger years waiting to be just this age. With that in mind, here are my top adult birthday party themes. Some are cheesy, and others are chic, but all have the flexibility to be the basis of a small home gathering, or a premiere gala.
Trendy and classic at the same time, I still love the Gatsby Glam vibe for adult gatherings. This is the theme I selected for my bff’s 30th, and I especially love it for that age. It allows the guest of honor to bid his/her “roaring twenties” goodbye. Headbands, feathers, fringe, sparkle, suspenders and pinstripes, this theme is just plain fun. Play it up by using ‘20s cocktails and menu items.
Nerdy also has its place among already trendy themes. But I do love geek chic and I am loving the idea of a “Nerdy Thirty.” Pull out the coke bottle frames, argyle, plaid and high waters. Go Big Bang Theory or Book Club, but let your adorkable self shine.
The pub crawl idea could be tweaked to dress it up or down. It can also combine with any other theme you can imagine. Half the fun of a pub crawl is just the fact that it’s a troupe of ridiculous looking adults. Play it up by dressing nerdy, ‘90s, seasonally for holiday parties, or whatever else you can come up with. (My fingers are crossed for pulling off a Nerdy Thirty Pub Crawl this fall!)
‘80s theme is, like, so over. Stop Walking Like an Egyptian and get ready to Macarena! No really, carry on with the ‘80s if you want, but I am ready to dress a little more Clueless and little less Breakfast Club. Decade parties get bonus points for the cheap option of thrifting for appropriate décor and apparel.
Party to your sport of choice or go with whatever is in season. Whether you go more “box seats” or “sidelines” is totally up to you. Either will be plenty of fun. Go with only one team from the pros or college, or just ask everyone to come dressed supporting their team of choice.
High School Reunion
If you are my age or older, then this theme isn’t too different from the ‘90s theme, but as we age, age makes less difference in the friends we choose. Instead of picking just one decade to work with, this lets every one relive their high school days whether that was in the ’60s or ’06. Encourage guests in arrive in letter jackets or other H.S. attire.
Whether in your own backyard or a community arboretum, there is something truly charming about a garden party. Simple with gingham, or filled with florals and lace, garden parties are truly classic.
This could be a family-friendly affair with Monopoly and Sorry, or more PG with Battle of the Sexes or drinking games. You could also play it up with dealers and more by doing game night Vegas Style.
Let the tastes define the party. Do whisky and cigars, wine and cheese, or coffee and scones. You can even focus on just one taste (like chocolate) and let the other tastes (like beer, wine and coffee!) compliment the main event.
Don’t stop there. Let anything and everything be your inspiration – an outfit, a sitcom, a cool new cocktail. Plan an event that is just right for you or your friend and party like it’s your birthday.
Cheers and happy event planning!