The Big Five-Oh. It’s a landmark birthday. Fiftieth birthday celebrations come in many forms. But, they all start with an free party invitation. Do not underestimate the power of the free invitation! They are the first step toward setting the tone of a party. Before reading even the first word, guests have an idea what kind of gala they are being invited to based on the colors, pictures and style of the invitation.
For those hosting a fiftieth birthday event in the near future, it is important to decide what type of event it will be. Think about the birthday guy/gal. At what sort of event will they feel the most comfortable? Be sure to consider budget. Creating a birthday invitation should be fun and basically free. What sort of event will be fun AND affordable to host? Make lists. Bookmark web sites. Ask friends and family about successful (and not so successful) parties they have attended. Learn from others’ triumphs and flops.
Below are five scenarios and invitation ideas to help get things started.
Idea Number 1 – A close family member is turning 50
Host a casual family picnic or dinner. Make it a pot luck event with everyone bringing a favorite food of the guest of honor. To set the tone, use a baby or early childhood photo of the birthday guest on a postcard type of invitation. Scan the photo and work on the computer or have the work done by any big local chain store such as Fedex or Kinkos.
Odds are the photo will be black and white. Why not let that set the tone for the party? Use black and white decorations with fun bursts of color. Add small colorful stickers or confetti to the printed invitations.
Idea Number 2 – Husband is turning 50
As a rule, men do not like being fussed over for birthdays. Fortunately, the mid-60’s offers a lot of themes that make decorating easy. Meet at home, a sports pub or a local park. Themes to consider: G.I. Joe, The Space Race, Mustangs/classic cars, The Beatles, or a favorite era television show (Gilligan’s Island?).
Thanks to the internet, pictures and clip art are easily available. Keep it simple. Make invitations on 8 1/2“ x 11“ card stock right on the computer! Create the invites as if they were a poster or an advertisement from the mid-1960‘s with party details at the bottom. Embellish with themed confetti, glitter or randomly-set pictures.
Idea Number 3 – Best friend is turning 50
If the budget allows, invite a large crowd to a Mad-Men themed party in a rented space. Encourage people to dress the part. Cocktails and lots of finger foods will serve well. Hire a DJ or put someone competent in charge of music.
A fun invitation for this type of party would be a square piece of card stock, printed in a sans-serif font. Fold around a clever cocktail napkin in 1960‘s colors or art. Jazz up the actual invitation by carefully piercing one corner and sliding a tiny cocktail umbrella through the holes.
Idea Number 4 – Single mom turning 50
Celebrate the fact that birthday girl is younger than Barbie! Host a girls-only slumber party (with the Brady Bunch running continuously on Netflix in the background) and enjoy reliving fifth grade.
Go pink on the invitation. Use images of Barbie, or better yet, the birthday girl’s head photo-shopped onto Barbie’s body. Work with an 8 1/2“ x 11“ piece of card stock and glue the image (printed on plain printer paper) to the card stock. When the glue is dry, cut Barbie out and mail invitations on a paper doll!
Idea Number 5 – A dinner party for the reluctant birthday guy/gal
Some people are not thrilled about turning 50. Host a sit down dinner, complete with 1960‘s menu (or at the very least some kind of jello mold). Have guests bring old pictures or write down early memories on index cards and display them on a bulletin board or piece of foam board where everyone can browse.
Pick up a small pack of scrapbook paper in a fun print or color. Print the body of the invitation on white card stock in a size slightly smaller than the squares of scrapbook paper. Glue them together. Be sure to include requests for memories and/or pictures on the invitation. On a coordinating color card stock, print out small copies of the menu. (This will also help guests who want to bring wine.) Focus on the menu and friendship more than the birthday.
A Fun Party Invitation is a Great Party Invitation
Every celebration is unique. With some forethought and planning, a fiftieth birthday party can become one of someone’s most cherished memories. It all starts with the invitation!