Party Decorations for those special birthdays



So you've got the date in the diary for your loved one's party and now it's time to put some detail to it.   Party decorations can add lots of fun to the day and give the event its own mark.  The question is, where do you start? 

Types of party decorations

Well, there's balloons, bunting banners, swirling decorations you hang from the ceiling, confetti you sprinkle around the table, paper lanterns, tablecloths, candles, paper napkins, birthday cake candles and cake decorations, paper plates, foil centrepieces, large tissue pompoms, Happy Birthday banners you string across a wall or above a doorway, even cupcake toppers.  These can come in different colours, in one colour, with varying themes, with the number of birthday's the person has had - so lots of choice.

Tips to think about when planning party decorations:

What sort of area are you decorating?
Is it just one room where the party is to be?  The hallway leading into it, the front door?  

What is your budget?
It's easy to blow a lot of money on party decorations and you need to stop and think about what you need and where to stop.  Some people don't like a lot of decorations - think about the birthday person and what they would want.   But work out a budget beforehand and stick to it. 

Do you want to buy the party decorations or make them yourself, or do a combination?  
One thing you could do is to put photos of your loved one around the room.   You could do this from their baby photos right up to the present day.  For one thing it is a great way to get people who don't know each other to meet up - they have an immediate subject of conversation, asking how they know the birthday girl or guy, and commenting on the photos.   You can either use old photos from photo albums or download them and get them printed.  Some people put photos up on one board, whilst others dot them around the place.

What colour scheme does the room have?
Try to check the colours of the room where the party is held - you don't want your party decorations to clash with the colours there.

Is there a party theme?
Many party decorations can come along a theme - for instance, you can get party invitations for pony loving youngsters.   Is there a particular interest your loved one has which you could centre decorations on?  If they were sea lovers, you might pick up decorations with a nautical theme, or the colour blue.


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Check the policy for party decorations!
If you're having the party at a restaurant, pub, cafe or hotel, check to see if they have a policy about decorations before you go putting things up and about.  You may be restricted to the room the party is in;  you may or may not be allowed birthday confetti;  you may or may not be able to stick things on the wall, and if you can, you may find you can only use e.g. blue tack.  So check beforehand.  

Be prepared for putting your party decorations up
Make sure you have plenty of things you'll need in a bag - scissors, matches to light the candles on the cake, if you're having one, sellotape, blue tack for starters - so that you have what you need to hand.  It wastes a lot of time having to run out to buy these odd things on the day and makes life stressful. Think through your decorations and work out what you'll need to put them up or out.

Visit the venue
Try to see the venue beforehand so that you can plan in advance the sort of party decorations you need.  This will probably be easier at to do at home - you can plan while the birthday person is out of the house! 

Planning a surprise party at home?
If you're planning a surprise party, you will need a reason to get them out of the way beforehand, so you can decorate while they are out.  

Think ahead
Allow more time than you'll need to set up.  And remember the most important thing is that everyone has a good time.  If there are some errors, don't let them spoil the day for the birthday person or anyone's enjoyment.  

How do the decorations work with the rest of the party?
Tell the others planning the party what you're doing so all the arrangements fit.

Health and safety
Think about the ages of people coming and whether they have any pets. Lillies are poisonous to cats, so if you are thinking of floral decorations and there are cats about, please avoid these.  If there are small children and pets to be present, you'll want to make sure party decorations are both kid and animal proof! 

**Please don't release balloons or Chinese/sky lanterns**
Their impact on wildlife, livestock and pets can be devastating, as animals don't know what they are;  when balloons or lanterns fall to earth, they may eat balloons or lanterns, or bits of them; and of course they can't digest them so they die a horrible death.  Lanterns could start fires.  Equally, many animals can get strangled by string, or caught up in it.  


So please find another way to celebrate.  You could have a tree or bush planting ceremony, with your guests gathered around and the birthday person having the digging the first hole, with all the guests having a little dig thereafter so everyone has their share of planting.  Trees and bushes will last far longer than a balloon or sky/Chinese lantern release or fireworks, and the birthday person will always have a momento of their party!  


These are just a few tips to think about when planning your party and choosing party decorations - it's not an inclusive one, but hopefully it will help :-)   Have a good time!