30th Birthday Party Ideas – Invitations, Decorations and Gifts

Planning a 30th birthday party doesn't have to be hard work--use these ideas to make it easier!

Throwing a 30th birthday party for a friend or loved one involves a lot of planning, but it doesn't have to be a lot of hard work--instead, it can be a labor of love. Here are some ideas for throwing a great 30th birthday party:

  1. Set a date. A 30th birthday is quite a milestone, so before you choose a date for the party make sure the guest of honor doesn't already have plans for that date. You should work with her spouse or a close friend to come up with a date that works for everyone.
  2. Decide where to have the party. Depending on the size of the party, you can opt to host it at someone's house, a rental hall or even a restaurant. Make sure that you find a place that is large enough to accommodate all of your party guests.
  3. Choose a theme. Do you want your guests to step back in time to the year the birthday boy or girl was born? Or perhaps you want to have a party theme that reflects the guest of honor's hobbies or interests. Costume parties are always a hit, too. Theme parties are a huge hit when they're done right. You could also try a Scavenger Hunt themed party - complete with 30 items for guests to search for. 
  4. Create a guest list. When it comes time to send out 30th birthday party invitations, you should enlist the help of the guest of honor's spouse or a close friend to help you get the guest list together. If you want to keep it small, then close friends and family may be all that you need to invite. However, for a big 30th birthday party bash, don't forget to send those party invitations to neighbors, co-workers and old friends as well.
  5. To surprise or not to surprise? It's always fun to try to surprise the birthday girl or boy, but it's not always feasible. If keeping the 30th birthday party a surprise turns out to be too challenging, there's nothing wrong with telling the guest of honor about it. If you do decide that it will be a surprise party, be sure to indicate that on the invitation! Imagine how guilty you'd feel if you were the one to accidentally spoil the surprise!
  6. Invitations. You can get fun 30th birthday party invitations at party supply stores or you can order 30th birthday ideasthem online. If you're a whiz on the computer, you can even make your own party invitations using a baby picture of the birthday boy and your computer's clipart program. If you're planning to invite a lot of people to the party, consider telling the guests to RSVP only if they will not be attending--this will save you from having to answer your telephone repeatedly. In addition, if the birthday girl lives in your house, have the party guests RSVP to you via email instead of by telephone.
  7. Menu. If you're hosting the party at someone's house or at a rental hall, plan to serve food that can be made ahead of time. Crock pot dishes, a deli meat platter, meatballs and casseroles are all good selections. If the party will be outdoors, why not fire up the grill and serve hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled chicken? For a theme party such as a Mexican fiesta, serve make-ahead chicken enchiladas, rice and beans and tacos with fixings. You can also opt to order the party food--pizzas and submarine sandwiches are popular fare. Check out the party platter selections at your favorite supermarket or warehouse market--having someone else prepare the food will save you time and be less stressful. Keep things simple by having a self-serve bar area where guests can help themselves to beverages.
  8. Play a few party games. Party games are a must for any 30th birthday party. You can do something elaborate, like hosting a "roast" for the guest of honor--have friends and family stand up and say a few humorous words about the guest of honor. Or walk down memory lane with a "This Is Your Life" presentation or a recap of the guest of honor's first 30 years.

    If you don't think the birthday boy will like a roast, why not recite some funny 30th birthday poems? You can find a ton of these online, along with many 30th birthday jokes and sayings (some famous, others obscure but still hilarious).

    Trivia games are also fun--ask the guest of honor a question about himself and have party guests write down what they think he will say.

  9. Decorating ideas. Decorating for a 30th birthday party can be a lot of fun. You can blow up old baby pictures and hang them around the party area. Set out some memorabilia, such as items from the year the birthday boy was born. Put out yearbooks, old report cards, books and other nostalgic items. You can also play retro music to fit your 30th party theme--check out music download sites such as iTunes to download popular songs from 30 years ago.
  10. Give a special birthday gift. A scrapbook of the guest of birthday girl's, complete with pictures, postcards and clippings, is a great gift to present to her at the party. Leave it out for guests to look through and everyone will have a great time reminiscing about the past 30 years. And you can never go wrong by making a heartfelt, funny 30th birthday card.


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how about a 20th or 40th? =) this was very well done. Thank you. It puts into perspective something one believes is simple, on actually how to get it done.

By James Goetz

These ideas seem good for all occasions, thanks

By Elhusseiny Shahin

very nicely done.
These are all good ideas for any celebration
thank you for this article

By Brandy Bryan