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 important occasion.
1. The best party consultant for this event is the guest of honor. Include the birthday boy or girl in all planning. Get their 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 really all about them.
2. Have the birthday party during the day. Some of the guest of honor’s older friends and relatives may not like driving in the dark. They may not want to eat after a certain time or stay up too late. Even if the celebrant is full of energy, his friends may not want to dance until dawn. If you schedule the party for the afternoon, everyone will be in tip-top shape.
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 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., they will automatically know if they should plan to bring pills, or they can wait until they get home to take their medication.
4. Find out if the birthday party venue is handicapped accessible. Some of the guest of honor’s older friends and relatives may have trouble getting around. Some may be confined to wheelchairs or require the aid of walkers. It will be easier for them, if you select a place that can meet their needs.
5. Create a tribute to the guest of honor with photos. Start by sending photo party invitations that include a baby photo and a current snapshot of the celebrant. Then, decorate the party venue with poster-size prints of the honoree at different stages of their life. Add grouped framed photos for centerpieces. End the day with photographic birthday favors as a keepsake to thank guests for sharing in this historic occasion.
6. Consider putting together a slideshow, PowerPoint presentation, or DVD of photos and videos as entertainment to display at the party. If you don’t know how to approach 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 images in chronological order will tell the moving story of the life of the guest of honor.
7. Encourage guests to share memories of the honoree. You can ask them to stand up at the party and talk about the celebrant. Or you can ask them to write down those thoughts, which you can then include in a memory book that he is creating. Or you could do both. A 90th birthday celebration is a great opportunity for all those people to let the guest of honor know how much he means to them.
8. Inspire memory. Music sparks deep memories, so play CDs of songs the guest of honor loved in his youth. Use decorations that display images and symbols from the past ninety years. Choose birthday party favors that include prices, events, and other tidbits from the year you were born. Create an atmosphere that encourages everyone to look back and spark conversations about the good old days.
9. Organize small surprises. While a full surprise party isn’t usually the best idea for a 90th birthday celebration, you can still add creative and unexpected touches. Try to track down an old friend, coworker, or neighbor that the celebrant hasn’t seen in a while and invite them to the event. Decorate everything from the cake to the centerpieces with items that reflect the guest of honor’s interests, hobbies or personality. Get everyone involved to buy the 90-year-old a gift they would never dream of buying on a fixed income.
A 90th birthday is an event that should be celebrated. It is the milestone of a long life filled with memories of friends and family. Give that special someone a party to remember. It will mean a lot to the guest of honor and will touch the hearts of all who share that day.