50th Birthday

A 50th birthday is a milestone that most choose to celebrate with a large party for family and friends. For many, the party is a surprise planned by a spouse or friends, but some people do like to be involved in the planning process.

If the budget permits, renting a hall or a hotel ballroom is a popular venue option. For those trying to save some money, community centers and city-owned buildings also offer their locations for parties on weekends, but for a less expensive fee.

Music

Many people hire DJs or bands for music, but one way to save money in this area and be a bit more original is to create a playlist of the guest of honors favorite music from different decades of his or her life. This music can be downloaded from the Internet or copied onto a computer from a CD collection. Put the playlist on CDs or onto an iPod to hook up to the sound system at the party venue.

Food

Having a 50th birthday party catered with the honorees favorite type of food is the simplest way to provide food for a large group of people.

If the party budget doesnt allow for catering, stores like Costco sell large platters of food that are perfect for large parties.

Another option is to ask friends and family members to each make a dish they know the honoree likes. Assign certain people to bring appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, drinks and desserts. One person can be assigned to make the birthday cake, or you can order a cake through a bakery or grocery store.

Themes and Activities

“Over the hill” is a popular, if overdone, 50th birthday party theme, but one twist on this is to focus the partys theme on memories and life events of the honoree.

With the invitations, send out a questionnaire on the honorees best qualities, peoples favorite memories of the honoree, etc. Have guests return the questionnaire by mail or e-mail, and then pick the best answers to read at the party. Alternatively, people can write their answers on paper at the party itself and answers can be displayed on a table or wall.

Theme ideas can come from the honorees favorite activities or hobbies. If the honoree is a golfer, use his or her golf tees and golf balls to create centerpieces for the party tables. This will save money on decorations and also make the party festive and personalized.

Another idea is to throw a flashback 50th birthday party. Guests can come dressed as they would have dressed in high school, or at a 1950s prom or even as they would have dressed as elementary school children.

Photos from the decade chosen can be blown up and put on the walls, or put into frames to be used as centerpieces at each of the party tables.

Black and white balls are also great for 50th birthday parties. Guests must all wear black and white, and decorations and balloons also follow the color scheme. This will create an elegant and simple evening.