1. Set the date and set it early
The key to any successful event is careful and timely planning. You should start planning your party at least two months in advance: make venue and catering reservations in advance so you don’t miss out on the ones you most want, and send out your invitations as soon as possible so your guests can reserve.
Set your RSVP date four weeks before your birthday party. This way, you’ll have an accurate guest list to give to your vendor and venue rental company so they can finalize arrangements for your event.
two. Choose the perfect catering service
As with any event, the food you serve will influence the success or failure of your party. At a 21st birthday party, catering is particularly important to limit the number of intoxicated guests at your party. 21-year-olds are notorious for overly-indulgent partygoers.
A cocktail service is one of the best options for catering your party, as your guests will constantly be consuming small, delicious bites of food and will be encouraged to mingle and chat with each other. Talk to your supplier about putting together a cocktail menu for your party.
Your caterer will have a set menu of past performances that you can choose from: however, don’t be afraid to talk to your caterer about your own menu inspirations. Infuse their standard menu with some of your own personal twists.
Book a tasting session with your supplier so you can experience the full flavor and presentation of your food. A tasting session is also the perfect time to bring your own ideas to the table. Get inspired by your theme, old family favorites, or even the time of year.
3. Liven up the party with a theme
Use your wildest imagination to come up with a fun and whimsical theme for your party! Take notes from your favorite music, TV shows, movies – you could even incorporate your favorite hobbies or cultural interests. Some of the most popular themes for 21st birthdays include:
Hollywood: Dress up as your favorite actors and actresses with a Hollywood theme. Have a few of your guests act as paparazzi at the door to take photos of you and your friends as you arrive – it could even include a red carpet! If you’re going to include a short slideshow in the evening’s formalities, you could present it like a movie premiere.
Themes of the era: 60’s, 70’s and 80’s themed parties are as popular as ever. Not only are they fun and evocative, but they are simple themes: the costumes and music selection are simple. You can also use the year you were born to theme the evening.
Colors and Letters: Theme your party subtly with a color theme. Your decorations, tableware, choice of clothing, and even some menu items can be chosen to reflect your theme. Alternatively, you can use a particular letter to theme your evening, such as the first letter of her name.
casinos: Having your 21 in a casino does the whole thing for you. Put on your best Vegas-style outfit and host some themed games and activities.
Your theme can be subtle or overt; sophisticated or scandalous. For a toned down theme, you can take inspiration from your venue: Celebrate 21st by the beach and serve seafood and summery cocktails, and have your guests dress for the water; throw a good old-fashioned pool party and ask your caterer for barbecue-style catering; or you could even host a large-scale picnic in a picturesque setting, imagination is key!
Four. Choose the ideal place
The length of your guest list, as well as your budget, will help you determine the type of venue you will hire for your party. You want your venue to be large enough to hold all of your guests comfortably. A hired venue will help you with the arrangement of all your tables and chairs, tableware, decorations, and sometimes even entertainment and open bar. Find an affordable venue that suits your theme as well as your logistical requirements.
5. Taking care of the paperwork
The key: If you’re sticking to tradition, handing over the keys is an important part of your 21st birthday party. The passing of the key symbolizes your becoming an adult—your freedom to open new doors and accept new responsibilities. There are several ways to ‘hand over the key’. You can have a key custom made and cut for presentation, or place one on a piece of jewelry such as a necklace. You could even have your cake made in the shape of a key.
Giving gifts: If your guests are encouraged to bring gifts (and most will, without being encouraged), arrange for a clear table where they can place their gifts. Some parents will have a special surprise gift that they want to present to their son or daughter at the party. The best time to present this gift would be during speeches.
Speech, Speech: Today, the format of speeches at birthday parties and weddings is less formal: however, they still give your party a sense of occasion and add a personal touch to your special evening. Talk to specific family and friends about how to make short, simple speeches for the evening. They could include funny anecdotes or poignant words. Set a specific time for speeches to be delivered, usually early in the evening and between meal service times.
6. Recruit some helping hands
With the amount of organization you’ll need in the days leading up to the party, you’ll want to enlist the help of some of your family and friends. Ask family and friends to help with decorating, table settings, balloon blowing, playlist creation, and even catering. Help from your family and friends is an easy way to lower your costs, as well as help people mingle.
7. Have fun!
Once all the planning is in place, your guests start arriving and the drinks start flowing, sit back and enjoy your own hard work! Turning 21 is once in a lifetime: so enjoy the company of your family and friends, a good meal and a long and unforgettable night.