Arranging a Special Bash for Milestone Celebration

If you’re arranging a special bash for a loved one, here are a few helpful hints to keep in mind:

Plan well in advance. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a party store at the last minute, looking at black balloons, “over-the-hill” streamers and lame party favors, such as fake false teeth and Viagra pill bottles!

Cast a wide net for ideas. Brainstorm with others. Check the Internet ( has dozens of creative ideas) and books, such as Diane Warner’s Big Book of Parties (Career Press, 1999) and Patty Sachs’ Pick a Party (Meadowbrook Press, 1997).

Create a lasting remembrance. A memory book is a surefire winner. Invite your guests to send something that’ll fit on an 8.5-x-11-inch page, such as letters to or anecdotes about the guest of honor (GOH), memories of “first impressions” of the GOH, or photos. Give them a deadline for sending these in, so that you can arrange them in an archival scrapbook. Display the book at the party and include blank pages for last-minute additions.


Surprise Parties

If you’re holding a surprise celebration, emblazon the word “SURPRISE” on the invitations to ensure that no one spills the beans.

• Encourage carpooling and parking away from the party site, so the GOH won’t be tipped off by familiar vehicles.

• Have your guests arrive one hour before the GOH is expected, and videotape the preparty activities for the GOH to enjoy later.

• Have RSVPs sent to a friend, not to the GOH’s home.

• If the party is at the GOH’s home, line up someone to keep him busy on the big day and deliver him to the party.

• Consider a series of surprises. For example, you might make a date to take the GOH out to a restaurant. Pick her up as scheduled, but in a stretch limo filled with well-wishers. Then proceed to the restaurant, where still more guests are waiting!