Elegance, indulgence and simplicity – these are the words we’d use to describe our perfect 50th birthday party.
As celebrations and parties are at the heart of what we do, we decided it was time we put together a little useful advice for those of you planning a big event - and we all know that 50 is the best age, so you need an unforgettable party to mark this milestone.
We’ve collected together a few of our favourite 50th birthday celebration ideas, such as thoughts on a theme, the décor and the party games, to provide you with some 50th birthday party inspiration. At the end of this post, you can find a few of our top party venues around Europe as well.
The seasoned traveller will already know where they wish to be for their birthday, but if you need a little inspiration, our collection of large luxury escapes and venues throughout Europe provide you with inexhaustible choice.
When you begin planning, use the steps below to ensure cover all the essentials for a truly magnificent 50th birthday party.
STEP 1: PLAN A PARTY THEME
Perhaps your party theme is simply ‘luxury holiday’ with the emphasis on sunnies, sarongs and sun tans, or maybe you’re making the most of this opportunity to dress to impress with fabulous party outfits in the style of heroes and villains or your favourite celebs. Either way, it’s a great way to tie a party together.
A few of our favourite 50th birthday party theme ideas:
IDEAS FOR WOMEN:
ELEGANT IN GOLD
This significant milestone is traditionally celebrated with the wealthiest colour theme of them all: gold. Pick this long-time classic to build your theme around and attend the party dressed head-to-toe in shimmering gold. It’s also a colour associated with the wealth and glamour of the roaring 20s so pin the party theme down with a Gatsby-style soiree.
BY THE BEACH
White sand, mojitos and days spent lounging by the pool: either plan a holiday paradise party, or head to the shores of Greece or southern France for a true getaway in the sunshine for you and your guests. Lie on the beach during the heat of the day and party down by the shore during those Mediterranean nights.
IDEAS FOR MEN:
A twist on the golden 50s theme, go silver instead with shining décor, outfits and cake. Silver is always in style and offers complete flexibility to include whatever cuisine, games and extras you like - provided you can give a nod to the silver theme. Silver Fox Gin anyone? You could even combine gold and silver for the ultimate 50th birthday party for a man.
ROCK IN THE EIGHTIES
Hire a Def Leppard cover band, kit out the venue in décor from the decade and get the wigs out for that gravity-defying 80s hair for a true throwback party. If the 80s aren’t for you then head back in time to the punk of the 70s, the swinging 60s or the fabulous 50s – it may be the perfect choice for this half-century birthday.
IDEAS FOR EVERYONE:
Man or woman, you’re a true legend in your family’s eyes. If you are party planning for the special guest of honour, then what better theme to run with than a pure celebration of the birthday boy or girl? Celebrate the person by creating a theme centred around them, their likes and dislikes, and their milestones, from getting married to having their first child to that unexpected move to France. Add an extra element of fun by getting everyone to dress up as the guest of honour: high praise indeed!
A SPANISH PARTY THEME
Or French. Or Grecian. Indeed, whichever European country you decide to whisk your party guests away to, take inspiration from the local culture and let it influence every aspect of your party planning, from the décor to the cuisine (fine wines and tapas are both a must). You could even stay in a British country castle, hire a butler and enjoy fine dining out on the grounds.
Bring out the childish side in all your guests with a few throwback ideas – after all you are only as old as you feel! Fun party games like pinata and pin the tail on the donkey offer a fun twist; you could even add bowls of tasty jelly sweets. If the teenage years theme appeals to you then hire a DJ for a relaxed night of drinking and dancing.
ALL ABOUT FAMILY
An excellent way to celebrate not only the guest of honour, but everyone else who’s been there every step of the way, be it friends, relatives or those wonderful extended family members. If it’s your birthday and you are in charge of planning, then this is a lovely way to surprise and show appreciation to your guests.
YOUR OWN FAVOURITE THINGS
There’s no limit to what makes a good party theme and the best way to ensure the guest of honour has a wonderful time is to pick up on their hobby. You could design a casino, gardening, golf or racing themed event – let them inspire you!
Other ideas that took our fancy: Cheers To 50 Years, Keep Calm I’m Turning 50, 50s Decade Party, Nothing to Wine About, Around the World, Vintage Party, Dinner Party, Birthday Gala.
STEP 2: CHOOSE THE VENUE DECORATION
Flowers and fairy lights are still top when it comes to simple and chic party decorations but there are plenty of ways to create an exciting party atmosphere for your event. Trips away are a great way to begin planning party decorations as you can take inspiration from your venue or the surrounding location and run with a theme to match.
FABULOUS PARTY FOOD
Make your table the main feature so that when people step into the room their eyes are drawn to a sumptuous array of candles, foliage and beautifully presented treats. Add glitter to the table and even stand sculptures or signage among the food that could draw on your party theme. Candy floss machines and drinks stands make attractive foodie additions to a party.
LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING
It truly is. Whether for the photography or while dining, it can create or ruin a party mood. During the day, ensure you have large windows that will flood the venue with natural light and at night, use subtle lighting to add a tranquil ambience, making the scene especially beautiful when the stars are out.
PICK AN ELEGANT VENUE
No matter what you do to decorate a venue, the atmosphere of the place will always shine through, so ensure you pick out a property to match your own personal style – whether it’s country chic, city glamour or coastal elegance. Let the intricate architecture, sleek and stylish furnishings or rustic vibe of your chosen party house influence the style and feel of your party.
STEP 3: PICK A PARTY GAME FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Some believe it’s the vibe while others think it’s the decoration that draws a party together, but we reckon it’s the party games! If it’s after dinner and the party is beginning to quieten down, a party game livens everyone up. It’s a chance to laugh, shout and let that competitive streak out; people won’t be able to help themselves and will soon get drawn into enjoying a group party game.
HOLIDAY STICKER STALKER
Ready to spread a little paranoia in the group? Provide every guest with a sheet of stickers – they must then sneakily stick them to other partygoers without them noticing. The first to empty their sheet wins and the one with the most stickers on them loses and receives a forfeit. Discover the full instructions and more great games ideas on this post.
A long-time classic and great game in which the host need not lift a finger. Hire a private events team to come in and create a fun, themed party for you and your party-goers. Let them handle the plot and enjoy getting involved in this great party activity. It’s a brilliant excuse to get everyone dressed up and you could even run with it and make Agatha Christie or vintage 1930s the party theme of your event.
A PARTY PANEL SHOW
Get everyone to download one of the many great games apps before they arrive and you can get everyone involved in a family Q&A like Family Feud, where players answer questions on anything and everything. Split into teams to compete and see who can answer the most questions. Apps are great if you’re travelling as it means zero packing, but if you’d rather stick to board games then Trivial Pursuit always goes down well. Why not try one of the special editions like Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit or the Trivial Pursuit Party Edition?
If you’re still stuck for ideas of how to entertain the party group, choose a holiday cottage that already comes complete with a games room. You could spend fun evenings cheering on friends at the table football, competing on the big screen Nintendo Wii or gathering around a board game.
STEP 4: DON'T FORGET THE PARTY HOUSE
A luxurious venue should be your priority when 50th birthday party planning, and we have a whole host of perfect party houses to suit. Be sure to pick an entertainment venue that suits you to ensure an amazing 50th birthday party, whether you’d prefer a beachside get-together beneath the hot Grecian sunshine, a stylish soiree on the banks of a Suffolk river, or a party in an elegant French castle.
Sleeps 12 guests across 7 bedrooms
Escape to this serene waterside retreat for a relaxed get-together with your closest friends and family. Contrasting the luxury of an private characterful retreat with the splendour of a large property, this holiday home for 12 allows for intimate family gatherings or friend reunions in the peaceful Suffolk countryside. With a sunken private hot tub, shared swimming pool and tennis courts, the facilities on hand provide plenty of entertainment and allow for families or adult groups to separate during the day and get together for big group meals on the patio or stylish kitchen/dining area.
Sleeps 20 guests across 10 bedrooms
Host a party in a castle to really spoil yourself. This luxurious retreat in France creates an unrivalled atmosphere of indulgence and your guests will be incredibly impressed with this decadent choice. Escape to the serene French landscape and sit on the lawn beside the river, which winds past this incredible property during the daylight hours. Then by night, head to the games room for fun evenings or party out on the lawn.
Sleeps 28 guests across 10 bedrooms
This Grecian villa is a stunning place for any party and allows you to see in your 50th birthday in luxury. With views from the infinity pool of the Libyan Sea and plenty of patio and lounging space, we’ve no doubt the guests will be quick to gather around the pool. Dusk is the ideal time for an evening meal as you can watch the sky transform from day to night whilst gathered around the stylish dining table that’s set behind the pool and takes in that same spectacular view of the ocean.
Continue seeking out beautiful 50th birthday party venues by perusing our collection of party houses.
We are proud of our wonderful variety of properties and have curated a post showcasing a few of our favourite super stylish party houses.
It’s time to begin your 50th birthday party planning! What ideas have you got so far and which of those on our list inspired you?
If your family has several birthdays coming up, take a look at our ultimate guide to milestone birthdays.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, have an amazing 50th birthday party!
Happy birthday from the team at Big Domain!