Whether you're at your place or you rent a room, add your own creative touches to make the night a shining success.
Bring back the styles and fashions of years gone by. Either ask the guests to dress in their favorite gear from the decade of the birthday-boy's birth or dress as they were at the age he is now. As a bonus gift, have each guest send you the name of their favorite song from the year he was born (or their favorite song when they were his age), download them all from iTunes and burn them to a CD to present as a special gift at the end of the evening.
Just for fun, buy a silly prize for the man of the evening to award to the person he thinks has the best costume. If you're his mom (and feeling extra ornery sentimental), you can even break out his baby album!
A cocktail party is an elegant and laid-back way to celebrate someone's big day without all the stress of a full-blown party. Cook or purchase appetizers and invest in a few quality bottles of wine. You could also serve a special cocktail (or three) as the drink of the evening and let guests BYOB on the rest.
No matter what type of cocktail party you want to have (casual or elegant, quiet or heart-thumping), you should also stick to these tips.
No matter what, don't forget that the reason you're all there is to celebrate someone's birthday. Even though this is a casual event, plan for a toast or two and set aside a table for gifts.
Create a big-spenders atmosphere with a few simple decorations and a few rented props. You'll just need a larger room and some of the following fun games and items.
Guests can even literally purchase more chips by putting money in a tip jar that will later go to your birthday girl or her charity of choice. If the party is for you, you can even ask guests to bring items for you to auction off on eBay to support your nonprofit of choice.
At the end of the night, you should have a prize for the guest who ends with the most chips (or the guest of honor). It can be something gambling-themed like a batch of lottery scratch-offs, a nice bottle of vino or having the entire charitable donation you've collected be made in their name.
Send out invitations asking each guest to bring a bottle of his or her fave new (or newly discovered) liquor and a mixer like soda, juice, tonic, etc. The night of your soiree, set up a bar with a host of tumblers, shot glasses, rocks glasses and other cocktail glassware (don't forget to have plenty of ice available!).
Allow each guest to take a turn behind the bar, explaining their new liquor and showing everyone how to make their signature drink. Give a prize, like a special bottle of wine, to the winner as chosen by the guest of honor. Then allow the winner to give the official birthday toast.
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