The age at which we celebrate passing from adolescence into adulthood varies from family to family, but is generally either 18 or 21. Some lucky people have two parties thrown for them by relatives, others opt for one or the other. If someone in your circle of friends or family is approaching this milestone birthday, here’s how to throw them the party they will remember for a lifetime.
The best parties are those which have been planned carefully, especially if they are to be structured around a particular theme. If you are planning to hire a function room in a hotel or pub, booking months ahead mean that you will have the greatest choice of different venues. Once the venue is booked, start letting people know so they can keep the date free in their diaries.
Getting the right theme for a party can make the difference between a distinctly average event and a fabulous party, so spend some time speaking to the birthday boy or girl and their friends to come up with a theme. Stick to a theme which is easy to understand and simple to find clothes for. Some popular themes which are suitable for guests of all ages include black tie, Hawaiian style tropical party complete with inflatable palm trees and cocktails or a “bad taste” party where everyone comes wearing their most lurid and unfashionable gear.
Some people having a party prefer to ask for contributions towards a larger gift rather than receiving several small ones, and others prefer not to receive any gifts at all. Clubbing together means groups of friends can afford to buy something like an Emporio Armani chronograph watch instead a cheaper alternative which won’t last. Sometimes it’s best to get gift vouchers, so that if the recipient decides they would prefer an iPod to the carefully chosen watch they have the flexibility to choose the ideal present.
A party isn’t a party without loads of good food, but if only a small group of people are catering then the task can be quite daunting. Make things easier on the organisers by thinking about asking every guest to bring something along with them, or if you can afford the expense, get outside caterers to supply the buffet food. Keep things simple; most people do not want a formal, three course dinner at a party and will be more than happy with burgers, sausage rolls, crisps and sandwiches. Drinks are the other important aspect to any party, and if using a function room this is usually provided for you. Organising your own bar is the other option, but unless you know exactly how many people will be attending it can be hard to judge how much to buy. A popular alternative plan in these recession-hit times is to ask everyone to bring their own bottle, and most people are more than happy to contribute towards the cost of the party in this way.