Is a special loved one getting ready to celebrate their 90th birthday? Well, that’s a great reason to have a party! Here are nine tips to help you plan for this milestone occasion.
1. The best party consultant for this event is the guest of honor. Include the birthday guy or girl in all the planning. Get his or her input on the location, menu (including dietary restrictions), guests, decorations, favors and music. Listen to their preferences and build the day around their choices. Make it truly all about them.
2. Have the birthday party during the day. Some of the guest of honor’s friends and older relatives may not like to drive when it’s dark. They may not want to eat after a certain time or go to bed too late. Even if the celebrant is full of energy, his or her friends may not want to dance until dawn. If you schedule the party for the afternoon, then everyone will be in top form.
3. Include the time the party will end on the invitations. This is also a consideration for older guests, many of whom take prescription medications. If they see that the celebration will be from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., they will automatically know whether they should plan to bring pills, or can wait until they get home to take their medicine.
4. Find out if the birthday party location is handicapped accessible. Some of the guest of honor’s older friends and relatives may have trouble getting around. A few may be confined to wheelchairs or need the help of walkers. It will make it easier for them, if you select a place that can accommodate their needs.
5. Create a tribute to the guest of honor with photos. Start by sending photo party invitations that include a baby picture and a current snapshot of the celebrant. Then decorate your party location with poster size enlargements of the honoree in different stages of his or her life. Add grouped framed photographs for centerpieces. Finish off the day with photo birthday favors as a memento to thank the guests for sharing this milestone occasion.
6. Consider putting together a slide show, PowerPoint presentation or DVD of photos and video as entertainment to show at the party. If you don’t know how to tackle this project, then it’s time to get the grandchildren (or great grandchildren) involved. It doesn’t have to be a big production, with Hollywood style special effects. A simple succession of pictures in chronological order will tell the touching story of the guest of honor’s life.
7. Encourage the guests to share memories of the honoree. You can ask them to get up at the party and talk about the celebrant. Or you can request that they write down those thoughts, which you can then include in a memory book you’re creating. Or you might do both. A 90th birthday celebration is a great opportunity for all those people to let the guest of honor know just how much he or she means to them.
8. Inspire reminiscing. Music stirs up deep memories, so play CDs that feature songs the guest of honor loved in his or her youth. Use decorations that showcase pictures and symbols from the past ninety years. Choose birthday party favors that include prices, events and other trivia from the year he or she was born. Create an atmosphere that will encourage everyone to look back to the past and spark conversations about the good old days.
9. Arrange for little surprises. While an entire surprise party is usually not the best idea for a 90th birthday celebration, you can still add creative, unexpected touches. Try to track down an old friend, co-worker or neighbor that the celebrant hasn’t seen in ages and invite them to the event. Decorate everything from the cake to the centerpieces with elements that reflect the guest of honor’s interests, hobbies or personality. Have everyone chip in to buy the 90 year old a gift they would never dream of purchasing on a fixed income.
A 90th birthday is a event that should be celebrated. It is milestone of a long life filled with memories of friends and family. Give that special person a party to remember. It will mean so much to the guest of honor and touch the hearts of all who share that day.