photographer: Clane Gessel Photography | event planner: NYLUX Events | design & florals: Patrick J Clayton Productions
The Best of | Birthdays

How to Plan a Milestone Birthday Party in 2020: A Step-by-Step Guide

There’s no better reason to throw a party than a birthday. Whether you’re celebrating another decade older or your child’s very first year, throwing a soirée to ring in a new age doesn’t have to be stressful. Use our 7-step guide to plan a birthday party that you and your loved ones will remember for many years — and ages — to come.

photographer & planner: Sugar Branch Events | floral: Merci Bouquet | décor: Balloonzilla

1. Hire an Event Planner

Hiring an event planner is optional, but highly recommended. An event planner will not only attend to every detail day-of so you can enjoy your event, but will also have clever ideas and creative tricks when it comes to planning the décor, theme, and style. Event planners featured on PartySlate know the business – and the people in the business. They have built strong connections with sought-after event professionals, and will not only be able to recommend the best venues, photographers, caterers, bakeries, bands, and more, but will also ensure you lock them down for your milestone birthday party celebration.

photographer: Eddy | planner: Marcy Blum Associates | design & décor: Ovando Design and Production | venue: Seagram Building |

2. Find a Venue

Choosing the perfect venue should be your next decision. There are three key factors that go into venue selection. The first is to consider what amenities you might need. Do you need WiFi, valet, A/V equipment, or in-house catering? Use our filters to sort by what you need. Second, think about what type of space will work best for your milestone birthday party. Favorite venues include rooftops, gardens, restaurants, and lofts and warehouses. Lastly, consider if your desired spaces have the capacity to accommodate your event type and guest list. With the help of your planner, you can decide which event space meets all of your needs, whether you prioritize a spectacular view, a venue with activities, or a convenient location.

photographer: Allen Tsai Photography | planner: Pop Parties | florals: Petals Couture | design: Nuage Designs

3. Establish a Theme + Incorporate Personality

Birthday parties are meant to be fun, so now is the time to get creative. Your special day calls for a theme and party elements that reflect your personality – and the options are endless. Themes are a fun way to get the ball rolling, whether you instill a dress code for a roaring 20s bash or transport guests to a tropical paradise at a luau. PartySlate has hundreds of curated photos to help you select your perfect theme. There are so many ways to personalize a birthday soiree – think custom signage, monogrammed napkins, and creative photo ops. Spelling out the guest of honor’s name is an easy way to add a personal touch to the décor.

photographer: Clane Gessel Photography | planner: Leslie Mastin Events | design: Dejuan Stroud, | venue: Topping Rose House | Inc. | stationery: Alpine Creative Group

4. Choose + Send Invitations

Once you’ve selected a venue, curated a theme, and determined your event style, it’s time to invite your guests. Introduce your milestone birthday party in style and make a good first impression with on-theme invitations and beautifully curated stationery. Your birthday party invitations can range from simple and elegant to playful and personalized.

photographer: 2me Studios | event planner: Geffen Events | venue: Buffalo Club | rentals: Hire Elegance | lighting: Daylight Lighting

5. Select Entertainment

There is no better way to ensure your party is enjoyable and memorable than by hiring engaging entertainment. An energetic DJ that gets every guest to the dance floor or a talented band that captivates its audience is an invaluable addition to any event, especially a celebratory birthday party. Event entertainment is not limited to musicians and MCs  – magicians, dancers, and acrobats can keep guests engaged and captivated throughout the entire celebration. And don’t forget to hire a photographer to capture every exciting moment, so you can relive your party for years to come.

photo courtesy of caterer: Wolfgang Puck Catering – Los Angeles | floral: Whit McClure | venue: The Ruby Street

6. Find a Caterer

One of the most anticipated milestone birthday party elements is the food. Passed hors d’oeuvres, a sit down dinner, or a decadent buffet can be an event highlight your guests will look back on with watering mouths. Creative catering is a popular birthday party trend, from nitrogen ice cream stations to epic charcuterie boards, you don’t have to play it safe when it comes to birthday party cuisine.

photographer: Sarah Kate, Photographer | design: Emily Clarke Events | floral: Branching Out Events | lighting: Pink Monkey Solutions

7. Finish with Something Sweet

What’s a birthday party without a birthday cake? All eyes will be on your delicious confection when you blow out your birthday candles. Desserts are the perfect way to incorporate your party’s theme or enhance the event’s color palette. Take your sweet treats a step further with decadent spreads that can range anywhere from creative cupcake displays to donut walls and candy stations, all of which are featured on PartySlate. Another delicious trend we love is a cake constructed out of different cheeses. Don’t forget to send your guests off with a sweet surprise – mini macaroons and custom wrapped pastries are party favors your guests will adore.

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