A 70th birthday is one of those milestones that family and friends really want to celebrate.  However, the birthday person may not actually want to celebrate as much as everyone else!   Keep that in mind as you plan this wonderful celebration.

You will want to keep this in the “family gathering” category of parties.  If the honoree wants to keep things on the small side, a brunch, afternoon tea, or small dinner party may be more to their liking.   Keep things casual, and focus on the guest of honor’s “favorite things.”  Flower arrangements should be kept simple and monochromatic – use all roses, all tulips, or all hydrangeas to make a beautiful setting but nothing overpowering.   And even though you’re not going overboard, you can still bring out the china – just mix it with more casual linens and colorful glassware.

We recently celebrated a family member’s 70th birthday.  He did not want anything “fancy,” so it was shrimp cocktail, dungeness crab sandwiches, potato chips, and red velvet cupcakes for lunch – all of his favorite things.  The table was set with festive colors, and the tulips added the note that this was a special occasion, “simple” or not.

No need to have “You’re 70!” signs all over the room – just keep things focused on the special interests and life of the guest of honor.    One of my favorite things to have at a party is a theme-designed calendar.  In this case, prepare a wall calendar where every month features a photo – the birthday person in their youth, and in their prime, with friends, with family, involved in their life’s interests – and then ask guests to find their birthday, and write a message to the honoree.  It’s a wonderful gift and memory of the day. 

If the honored birthday person loves a party, then by all means, include the friends and family for this party.  If you want to pull out the stops, and it’s okay with the honoree, here are a few ideas:

Gatsby Themed Cocktail Party – Elegant floral arrangements; lots of candles; a bar with mixed drinks, champagne and wine; passed hors d’oeuvres and dessert bar, with a birthday cake as the centerpiece.  A jazz trio would be the icing on the cake.

Indian Food Truck/Mexican Food Truck/BBQ – The birthday person’s favorite kind of food would dictate the choice of food truck and the decor.  This makes for a very casual setting and is ideal for the summer and fall.  Have tables and chairs set up inside and out for a free flow feel.   Make sure the music is light and festive.

My Favorite Things – The honoree’s favorite food, flower, color, place, and music.  Create a night of favorites.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Birthday!