Turning 50 represents a well-lived half century — and that is worth celebrating. A cake is nice, but a party is even better. We’ve done the work for you and have rounded up our favorite 50th birthday party themes, as well as examples from real birthday party celebrations. From 50th birthday colors to 50th birthday music, we’re sharing all of the ways to make this milestone birthday a memorable one.
1. Music-Inspired 50th Birthday Parties
Studio 54 was the epitome of 70s-era cool, with stars flocking to the nightclub to drink and boogie the night away. We appreciate how this party recreates that disco decade glam with inspired décor, like ceilings and walls covered in geometric silver balloons and Warhol-esque installations and performers.
photographer: Art De Vie | event design And production: Z Event Company | florals: Urban Earth | venue: Tableau Restaurant | rentals: Fancy Faces | linen: Mosaic Inc, Cloth Connection | video: Bridges Cinema | lighting, sound, production: See Hear Production | entertainment: Élan Artists | catering: Tableau Restaurant | craft cocktails: The Grand Bevy | photo booth: Snap And Sketch Photo Booths | floor installation: AD Event Group | balloon décor: Badass Balloon Company
Guests followed the call of the disco ball at this Colorado birthday party celebration. We can’t get enough of how the venue’s walls are completely covered in silver streamers — making it feel as if you’re inside of the disco ball itself — while oodles of the classic mirrored orbs sent festive specks of reflected candlelight throughout the space. Also, don’t miss the disco-rific signage.
Red Rabbit Club
A subterranean New York club is the perfect setting for a dance-all-night celebration for a music lover. Painted rabbits roamed the venue, while guests boogied on the dance floor all night long. And when it comes to making any party more festive, we absolutely love a good confetti drop — oh, and late-night passed sliders and a food truck visit doesn’t hurt either.
With a wooded setting and a bar dressed up as a rock ‘n’ roll-style graffitied van, this 50th birthday party theme has the feeling of a secret concert. The Queen tribute band had guests on their feet while low lighting and string lights offered just the right amount of musical moodiness. We also love the custom dance floor.
photographer: Docuvitae | design And production: JOWY Productions | venue: Private Residence| catering: The Kitchen For Exploring Foods, APL | specialty bar: Snake Oil Cocktail Company | props and decor: Studio D Decor | invitations/printed materials: La Artista | rentals: Bright Event Rentals | linens: La Tavola Fine Linen | props and Decor: 1540 | Entertainment: DJ Jason Jasepi and Queen Nation | Sound: CBC Technical | Lighting: LightenUp, Inc.
2. 50th Birthday Colors in Chic Combinations
Purple with Pops of Pink
This birthday girl’s 50th featured a chic, modern scene — drenched in purple hues. There are so many elements we adore, that we can’t fit them all here: that wow entrance with its enveloping lavender uplit draping; the hanging mini mirrors as place cards; the sparkling linen and exquisite place settings — and the list goes on.
Red & Gold
We would describe this beautiful celebration as sparkling, glittering, and any other shimmery adjective you can come up with. Its dual hues flowed from an awesome balloon installation to the tabletops, with their red rose centerpieces and gold chargers, and even onto the cake — see more photos to ogle this ode to iconic fashion and world travel.
When one color is not enough to express the personality of the celebrant — only all of the hues of the rainbow will do. This colorful celebration employed a hovering rainbow of balloons, a bright blue statue of David, and happy, artful iconography to celebrate one lucky birthday girl. We also love the restrained, yet totally glamorous look of the lounge space.
Black & White — With a Touch of Gold
We love this indoor-outdoor event. The black, white, and gold theme is a classic and was taken up a notch with the addition of green trees and leaves around the venue — bringing the garden in. The light weathered wood added another outdoorsy element to the party and softened the expansive venue.
This citrus-inspired celebration started its theming with invitations boasting bright fuschia and yellow hues accented with delicate florals and images of lemon slices. Guest enjoying dining at color-filled tabletops in the form of sunny florals in towering arrangements and lemon, lime, grapefruit, and orange colors. We adore how sliced and whole lemons joined the blooms in a fresh take on décor.
photography: Melissa Queen Photography | event planning: Monica Pardo Events | florals and furnishings: Gilded Group Décor | venue: Villa Woodbine | venue sourcing: Bill Hansen Miami Venue Sourcing & Production | champagne: Veuve Clicquot | coffee: Aroma Espresso Bar | cake: Moulin Rose Bakery | video: Bella Quinces | production: Maxon Productions | linen: Nuage Designs | chairs: Decora Event Rental | table top: Atlas Event Rental
Black, White, & Pink All Over
We love the mix of patterns that amp the personality of this chic affair. On-trend black accents in the form of striped runners and chairs offset the pops of red and pink florals that ran down the tables’ centers. Hot pink napkins continued the color story.
3. Gatsby 50th Birthday Party Ideas
Modern Gatsby Glam
The 20s earned its reputation as the most glamorous era by continuing to inspire year after year. We love this party’s fresh take on the decade, with its modern twist — dramatic lit on-trend geometric shapes that define the dance floor, and gold tassels blanketing the ceiling and providing movement. And the custom-printed black and gold floor is something to behold.
Glamorous feather centerpieces and sparkling gold runners set the table for a Prohibition-perfect party. Luxe lounge areas with black and white silk striped furniture created perfect spots for gathering. We love how vintage-style signage directed guests to cocktail areas and the photobooth.
4. Decade-Themed 50th Birthday Parties
Birthday celebrants turning 50 spent their formative teen years in the epic 80s. This celebration took its vibe from the period with rad signage, a light-up dance floor, and table arcade games. We adore the way guests donned leg warmers and shiny leggings inspired by 80s workouts and even the band rocked fashion from the era.
It’s impossible for us to narrow down what we love about this celebration so we will list a few: that trippy, mod print on the bar, the giant mushrooms on the tabletops, and the glam gold décor. Guests revived the sexy fun of the 70s with slinky dresses, sequined shirts, velvet jumpsuits, and dramatic wigs.
The inaugural celebration in this renovated event space ironically called back to another era. Disco music set the tone for this dance party, as did guests’ sartorial choices which recalled a time of knee-high white patent leather boots and mini-skirts.
5. Personalized 50th Birthday Party Themes
A Few Of Her Favorite Things
“50 and Fabulous” was the perfect 50th birthday party theme choice for a celebration that incorporated all of the birthday girl’s favorites. Décor in the chic combo of hot pink and sleek black with some silver sparkle thrown in set a luxurious scene. We love the clever idea of the step-and-repeat photo spot complete with paparazzi and celebrity look-alikes for guests to pose with.
Golf + Scotland + Cigars + Scotch = A Good Time
This Scottish pub-themed party incorporated all of the hobbies and interests of the man turning 50. That meant guests got to enjoy dancing on a custom plaid dance floor, a cigar bar, and whiskey cocktails from a rustic wood bar. We adore the tartan, dark wood, antlers, and barrel décor — as well as the super-cool balloon installations.
Calla Lillies & Candlelight
This chic soirée featured dreamy white candlelight and alabaster calla lilies against the backdrop of a stunning, sprawling, sparkling Los Angeles city view. Gray velvet chairs and lounge areas added to the modern elegance. We love the inspired touch of photographic prints of the birthday boy’s face on sticks for fun photo ops.
6. Food-Themed 50th Birthday Parties
This sunny southern-inspired oyster roast was garden set, infused with greenery and crimson and pink florals. Lanterns and hanging candles and a raw wood bar set a decidedly rustic mood. We love how this 50th birthday party incorporated guest fun and learning in one fun activity with oyster-shucking — complete with mesh metal safety gloves and nautical-striped aprons.
Brooklyn Food Tour
What do you get when you take a couple from Germany who live in Mexico and bring them — and their international friends — to New York? A fun, food-filled weekend. We would have loved to have been a passenger on this party bus, making stops for Brooklyn’s best bites before ending in Manhattan’s meat-packing district for a dinner party.
7. Elegant 50th Birthday Party Themes
For a diamond- and champagne-loving 50-year-old, a Hollywood penthouse created the perfect backdrop for a gorgeous celebration, offering dramatic views of the sparkling hills at sunset. We love how the theming was carried to the cocktails with giant diamond ice cubes and onto the custom gold mirrored dance floor that was almost too pretty to dance on (almost).
photographer: Gene Higa Photography | design, planning + production: Kristin Banta Events | décor & florals: R. Jack Balthazar | venue: Sunset Tower Hotel | lighting: Lighten Up | rentals: RCD Dance Floors | rentals: Town & Country Rentals | ice bulb, LA ice art| cake: Fantasy Frostings | DJ: RedShoe | photo booth: LA Photoparty
This soirée offers room after room of changing moods and designs, and we’re having a hard time picking our favorite. You know it’s going to be a beautiful celebration when you enter into a stunning floral peacock with its petals trailing the floor and leading the way. Guests dined inside in an improbable starlit fantasy hovered over by clouds of white balloons for a dreamy vibe.
photographer: Katie Beverley | event design & décor: Sonia Sharma Events | floral: Celio’s Design | lighting: Images By Lighting | balloons: Balloon Celebrations | rentals: Town & Country Rentals | paper goods: Invite Ink
This celebration was the perfect pairing of a mid-century modern setting, furniture, and décor with a mid-century 50th birthday party theme. Fresh design included pops of citrus hues, bright lacquered tables, and vintage glassware serving up “Lounge Lizard” and “Steady Freddy” cocktails. We appreciate the nod to Palm Springs chic with palm tree prints throughout.
8. Celebrate Culture with a Themed 50th Birthday Party
This celebration perfectly captured the spirit of Bollywood with its explosion of color, festive dancing, and drapery galore. We’re obsessed with the use of ornate umbrellas as décor and the gorgeous golden cake topped with a mini elephant. Shiny silk, gauzy deeply-hued drapes, brocade, and more mix for a global feel.
Colorful drapery and a glowing nighttime tent created a dreamy Moroccan-themed 50th birthday party theme. Richly-hued decorative pillows and table linen created a vibrant backdrop for this beautiful soirée. We love how red and pink florals coordinated with the custom laser-cut bar front in a pattern resembling classic Moroccan tiles.
photographer: Ettore Franceschi | event planner: Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli | design & decor: Dejuan Stroud, Inc. | floral design: Roni Floral Designer | venue: Beldi Country Club | event producer: Cocoon Events Management Group
9. 50th Birthday Destinations Worth Celebrating
Poro Cervo, Sardinia
Italy’s seascapes are hard to compete with, but this Sardinia-set 50th birthday party created a sunset vision with kings tables drenched in red florals with chandeliers and string lighting floating above. Lucky guests experienced creative entertainment in the form of costumed, stilted performers and fireworks. In a word: sigh.
planning & production: NYLUX Events | venue: Hotel Cala Di Volpe, Sardinia | catering: Chef Massimo Bottura
This 50th birthday party made the most of all of the natural beauty Oregon has to offer. Guests enjoyed white water rafting, fishing, and more, capped by sunset dinners. We can’t think of a better way to end an active day than by sipping cocktails with friends while indulging in fresh grilled fish in our custom, matching plaid shirts.
photographer: Ely Roberts | event planner: Events by Mint | florals: Events by Mint – Floral | cake: Foxtail Bakeshop | rentals: Curated Event Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linen | catering: Crafted Life, Ingredient Studio, Twist Cocktail Catering| print: French Lil Designs | DJ: Flip Flop Sounds
Sojourn to Morocco
Most celebrations feel like a vacation from the everyday, but this affair was truly an escape — a weekend in Marrakech, Morocco. A dreamy entrance flanked by hundreds of candles led guests into an architecturally stunning space uplit in vibrant red. We adore how the mirrored tabletops reflected and multiplied the vision.
10. New York-Themed 50th Birthday Parties
It doesn’t get much more NYC than pairing the iconic Rainbow Room with the also-iconic Rockettes dancers for a city celebration complete with views and a towering four-tiered 50th birthday cake. We love the way the urban space has been made to feel like a lush, luxurious indoor garden — but with stunning city views.
Immersed in New York
Yet another way to experience the grandeur of New York is by rooftop — surrounded by the very skyscrapers that made the city famous. We appreciate how guests were seated at one long table to enjoy toasts and each other, as well as the picturesque outdoor fountain and sculpted topiaries.
photo courtesy of & venue: InterContinental New York Barclay
11. 50th Birthday Themes of Flowers & Blooms
This celebration added authenticity with its florals inspired by Marrakech’s lovely Jardin Marjorelle — a favorite of tourists and locals alike. We love the striking Ikebana-like arrangements of blooms, as well as the exotic romance of printed linen and rows and rows of flickering candles.
Pink Peonies & More
This bloom-filled 50th birthday party theme looks like the absolute definition of spring. Peonies, roses, orchids, and phalaenopsis (try saying that three times fast) in all shades of pink, pink, and more pink made for an ultra-feminine and super luxurious affair. We love this 50th birthday party’s inspired, glam setting — in Beverly Hills, of course.
Everything’s Coming Up Roses
Florals cascaded over tabletops, hovered in midair arrangements, and even adorned each and every place setting at this 50th birthday party. Gleaming gold chairs and chargers brought additional glamour to tabletops, as did towering candelabras. We adore the way the rose-theming carried over onto the bar — not with a mere arrangement, but in the form of a gold, laser-cut design.
12. Surprise 50th Birthday Party Themes
Masquerade Birthday…Masquerading as a Gala
Step one: invite your friend to a charity ball. Step two: surprise her with a 50th birthday party celebration with a masquerade theme instead. With sleek purple uplighting, luxe gray draping, and dramatic candelabras, this 50th birthday party went big on the glamour. We especially love the custom-printed, rose-filled dance floor.
What’s better than a tropical-themed 50th birthday party? A surprise tropical-themed 50th birthday party! This elegant and chic take on the tropics utilized a refined palette of white florals and lush greenery combined with beachy elements like rustic wooden chairs and a “message in a bottle” station for well wishes. We love the fresh take on seaside fare with a live oyster shucker.
Fun Life Retrospective
This surprise 50th birthday party theme aimed to please the birthday girl, with photos from her life which created a retrospective while a live event painter captured the current celebration. Guests enjoyed a cake that convincingly resembled tree bark carved with messages, a s’mores bar, and a Good Humor ice cream truck. We adore the signage representing meaningful Chicago mainstays.
13. Double the Milestone, Double the Fun
Meeting of Musical Minds
This double milestone birthday party — celebrating a 21st and a 50th — proved that music can bridge the generational gap. We love the play on words, with band UB40 playing live and t-shirt, hats, and more swag emblazoned with “UB21” and “UB50.” The luxe lavender lighting created a club vibe.
Aqua hues flowed from tabletops to walls adorned in immersive projection mapping images. Navy velvet lounge areas provided luxurious gathering spots for guests of this double milestone party, celebrating a 50th and a 60th birthday. We love how bright white florals pop against the gorgeous monochromatic blue scheme.
14. Gold-Themed 50th Birthday Parties
This 50th birthday party was all things elegance, luxury, glamour, — and gold. Golden tones were carried from the signage and sequined pillows to the tabletops on chargers, chairs, and even gorgeous gold-tipped white roses. We especially love the engraved Maker’s Mark bottles that doubled as place cards and the gleaming gold dance floor.
photographer: PS Photography and Films | event planner: Creative Touch Party Design | design, décor & floral: Xquisite Events | venue: The Country Club at Mirasol | entertainment: Motiv8 Events | bakery and desserts: Earth and Sugar | invitations & print: Carla Hagan Calligraphy and Design
Tables covered in deep-red velvet and topped with crimson roses were the perfect backdrop for glamorous rose gold accents. We love the shimmer of the sequined rose gold cocktail tables and the custom bar in the same hue. Don’t miss the carved ice display and the fun cake with a likeness of the birthday girl in tree pose atop its turquoise icing — and gold candles, of course.
15. Rock and Roll 50th Birthday Party Ideas
Rock N’ Roll Forever
This Rock ‘n’ Roll-themed celebration rocked it through an entire weekend with a Friday night fantasy welcome party followed by a tented affair on Saturday. We adore the attention to detail like the seating by band name and the custom-designed concert tickets that each guest received.
photographers: Madison Fender & Jeremy Garretson | florals: Sag Harbor Florist | design & catering: Art of Eating Catering | friday venue: Topping Rose House | saturday venue: Private Hamptons Estate | DJ: Party King Entertainment | tent: Nassau Tent | rentals: Party Rental Ltd. | lighting: Matt Murphy Event Lighting
This birthday girl celebrated her milestone alongside family, friends, and a great cover band playing her favorite Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, and Beatles tunes. A black, white, and red color scheme was carried through every chic detail, from the clever quote-printed napkins to the wow-worthy custom cake we can’t stop talking about.
16. Movie-Inspired 50th Birthday Parties
007 for the 50
“James Bond” is short-hand for all things cool and classy, so it makes perfect sense to take an icon of manhood as celebration inspiration. We appreciate the attention to detail that went into elements like a bar constructed entirely of ice, hanging crystals, red uplighting, and, of course, Bond-worthy girls clad in bikinis to feté the guest of honor.
photographer: Emily Harris Photography | event planner & design: Jackie Bressler Events | florals: Ociana Group – Miami | caterer: Silver Sac | jazz trio: Samantha Natalie Music | DJ & lighting: Party Pros | photo booth: ShutterBox Photo Entertainment | blackjack: FL Casino | ice luge: Style Ice | rentals: Unearthed Rentals, Atlas Event Rental | linen: Over The Top Rental Linens
Pretty in Pink Prom
John Hughes captured the angst of a generation with his movies, and Pretty in Pink was an iconic flick for teens everywhere. We love all of the ways the party theme was expressed, from the recreation of a high school prom (complete with guests donning 80s-style prom dresses) to the florals, table décor and more in all hues of pink.