Is a special loved one preparing to celebrate their 90th birthday? Well that’s a great reason to throw 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 in all planning. Get their thoughts on the location, menu (including dietary restrictions), guests, decorations, gifts, and music. Listen to your preferences and develop the day around your 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 driving 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 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 pm to 4 pm, they will automatically know if they should plan to bring pills, or they can wait until they get home to take their meds.
4. Find out if the birthday party venue is handicap accessible. Some of the guest of honor’s older friends and relatives may have trouble getting around. Some may be confined to wheelchairs or need the help of walkers. It will be easier for them if you select a location that suits your needs.
5. Create a tribute to the guest of honor with photos. Start by sending out photo party invitations that include a photo of the baby and a current snapshot of the celebrant. Then decorate your party venue with poster-sized enlargements of the honoree at different stages of his life. Add grouped framed photos for centerpieces. End the day with souvenir photo birthday gifts to thank the guests for sharing this important occasion.
6. Consider putting together a slide show, PowerPoint presentation, or photo and video DVD 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 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 get 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 scrapbook you’re creating. Or you can do both. A 90th anniversary celebration is a great opportunity for all of these people to let the guest of honor know how much you mean to them.
8. Inspire to remember. Music stirs deep memories, so play CDs featuring 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 start conversations about the good times.
9. Organize little surprises. While a complete surprise party isn’t usually the best idea for a 90th birthday celebration, you can still add creative and unexpected touches. Try to locate an old friend, co-worker or neighbor that the celebrant has not seen in years and invite them to the event. Decorate everything from cake to centerpieces with items that reflect the guest of honor’s interests, hobbies, or personality. Get everyone to contribute to buy a gift at age 90 that they would never dream of buying on a fixed income.
A 90th birthday is an event that must be celebrated. It is a milestone in a long life full of memories from 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.