Pro Tip – How To Host A Birthday Party

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Dubsdread Catering Event Specialist Peighton Ballant shares her pro tips for planning a memorable birthday party.

Birthday parties can be a blast the day of, however the planning that leads up to it may be a little stressful – but it does not have to be! Whether you are planning a celebration for an adult or child, you can easily make the occasion filled with family, friends, and fun. To help you feel better about the planning process, we are here to give you some pro tips to create a memorable event for all. 


First things first – who is hosting the party? Is it a child’s parent or parents? Family members? Or a group of friends? As busy as most people are today, it has become more common to share the responsibility of hosting between several people to help allay the amount of tasks each person needs to handle, as well as the cost, plus allowing for more people to participate in the celebration. It really comes down to whether you want to take on the task of planning a the whole event or sharing the planning with others.


Most birthday parties have a theme of some sort, if nothing else to make decorating just a little bit easier. Your theme can be as simple as the guest-of-honor’s favorite color; event location (Beach, Pool, Backyard BBQ); entertainment themes based on movies or TV shows (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Dr. Who); superheroes or characters (Princesses, X-Men, Paw Patrol); vacation locations (Paris, Jungle, Vegas); or even a decade or time (Roaring 20s, 50s Sock Hop; 80s Rave). Whatever it is, the theme will drive decisions for location, decorations, food, entertainment, games, and even party favors.

birthday party theme


Once you decide who will be hosting and planning, the next decision is where you want to have the party. Casual backyard BBQ, poolside party, or at a specific restaurant, clubhouse, or venue – you need to pick your location based on the style of event, the amount of help you will need, and the number of guests you think will attend. Location options may include the need for plenty of table space for both set-up and eating, number of bathrooms needed for guests, amount of cleaning before and after you are willing to take on, space for changing clothes if needed, kitchen space for food, and even photo options are just a few considerations that make for a better flow and outcome for you and your guests. Also, selecting your location early will help you narrow down your guest list and food options.


After you know your location, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how many guests it will accommodate. Once you have your number, it’s time to send out your invitations. Unfortunately, a new trend seems to be no response, or lack of RSVPing for events. Keep your guest count close to the actual number you can accommodate and include those you know will be coming but may not RSVP. Having an idea of how many guests will be in attendance will make the rest of the planning process a lot easier. Also be sure to include as much information on the invitation as possible including specific date, time, expected attire, and even theme of event, especially if costumes are required. Your guests will feel a lot more comfortable and be more excited about being invited when they know the details.

birthday party guests


Food is one of the most important aspects for any event. For a birthday party, you have the flexibility to structure your food service to your location, your theme, and your guests. It could be casual with plenty of light hors d’oeuvres throughout the event or it could be full sit-down or buffet meal at a specific time. Getting your guest counts as early as possible will make determining quantities for not only food, but for plates, napkins, cups, and more. Also, knowing how much you want to make yourself, how much you will want to order, or if you are going full service at a venue/restaurant will help you plan how much time you will need before, during, and after the event for prepping, cooking, picking up, and cleaning up. You don’t want to have to do some last-minute runs or food deliveries in the midst of your event. And then there is the cake! Birthday cake is ubiquitous but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it too! Whether it’s traditional cake and ice cream or a unique modern spin on your dessert, the presenting and the singing that come with it is the centerpiece of the party. This is the perfect opportunity for your theme to be in full view, as well as to have your camera ready for the best snaps! Again, guest count is important to size of the dessert, as well as the consideration for extra plates, napkins, silverware, and manpower to scoop that ice cream!

birthday cake and food


Games are a great way liven up any party, whether it be something as simple as a pinata, cornhole, or a drinking game for an adult birthday party. Games give you the opportunity to bring all of the guests together at least once during the event and they ensure everyone feels included.

A fun activity that revolves round whoever’s birthday it is to hold a trivia game about them. Choose an emcee to ask questions of the guests about the birthday honoree and whoever gets the most answers right – wins! Prizes don’t need to be expensive or big, they can be silly or fun twists on the theme. The number of questions could be based on the honoree’s age or on the theme itself. Either way, it gets more people involved in the event and makes for some fun conversation starters. 

party games kids
adult party games


Now that you have thrown an unforgettable birthday party and the event is coming to an end, be sure to thank your guests for attending with a little favor. If possible, select a favor that fits in with your theme. It doesn’t need to be too much it just needs to be thoughtful and something the guests can easily take with them on their way out – a koozie, an individually bagged sweet treat, sunglasses, etc. Just something that lets them know you are thinking of them and appreciate them coming.

Congrats! Now you can host an epic birthday party for your children, family, friends, or even yourself! As with any event or party, some people prefer casual and some more formal, it really comes down to where you want to have it, what type of party it will be, and how much time and money you want to spend. Some people love to cook and host at their home, some prefer to go to a venue that takes care of the service and food for them. No matter what you decide, when you host a birthday party, you should enjoy the celebration and fun of it! 

Interested in hosting a birthday party at one of our exclusive venues, Azalea Lodge at Mead Botanical Garden, The Highland Manor, or The Historic Ballroom at Dubsdread? Whether for 10 or 100, the Dubsdread Catering Team is ready to help you plan and execute the perfect event. 

Peighton Ballant is an Event Specialist with the Dubsdread Catering Team and is currently working on her Event Management degree at UCF. Peighton enjoys working with clients to discover what they are most interested in bringing to their special event, and how to make those ideas come to life. Contact her today at

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