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How to pull off an unforgettable, stress-free 21st birthday party (and avoid any disasters)

November 13th, 2017

Find me someone on earth who isn’t excited about turning 21.

21 is one of life’s most significant milestones and it gives you a unique opportunity to get friends and family together under the one roof for a carefree celebration of the beginning of adulthood – things start to get a little bit more serious before the next big milestone birthday…

Better yet, you get the chance to farewell all the worst parts of being a kid (and laugh at a bunch of embarrassing awkward childhood photos).

Whether you’re throwing the party or you’re helping out with the prep for the big night – you’ll want to avoid drama or disaster at all costs. The 21st is a huge day meant to be filled with smiles, laughter and positive memories, not tears, anxiety and stress.

We’ve been around the block a few times on 21st shindigs, and we want to share some of our wisdom with you to make sure you can throw a bday bash to remember.

Here are four really simple tips for you to remember while you’re planning the big event.

21st party prep tip #1 – Save time, money and confusion by using social media invites (and set it to invite only!) 

Of course you’re going to invite grandma and grandpa to the party over the phone.

But for the rest of the under 60-year old party guests, take advantage of Facebook’s event feature and set up an online hub for the party so you can update and send new info for everyone to see in real time.

If you make changes to the event description, theme, time or date of your party, Facebook will notify your guests so they’re always in the loop.

Always remember to set your event to private or invite only, though; you don’t want any gatecrashers.

And most importantly, if it’s a surprise party you’re planning – hide all updates and comments to remain in the thread only, and remind everyone not to spoil the master plan!

21st party prep tip #2. Set your date super early

It’s never too early to set the date.

Party guests have a notoriously bad rep for responding late to RSVPs (especially when you set up an online event). Give your guests as much time as possible to organise their plans. Plenty of guests for 21st birthdays have casual work schedules, so with plenty of notice these friends can swap shifts or take leave to make sure they don’t miss the party.

It’s good to start planning around six to eight weeks ahead of time so you can send invites, let people prepare for a theme (if required), hire a photographer, finalise your RSVP’s and confirm numbers with the venue.

There’s nothing worse than having an unexpected influx of late additions to throw your caterer into a tailspin. You want to help your food and beverage providers prep well ahead of time.

21st tip #3. Pick a unique venue (and snag your preferred date ASAP) 

The location for your party is crucial, so do your research and check out a few places before making a final decision.


Make you’ve locked in a secure date with your preferred venue before you send the save-the-dates RSVPs.

You absolutely must avoid the embarrassingly administrative bungle of attempting to contact all of your guests just to reschedule according to your venue’s available dates.

Here are a few more things tips to help you keep the stress levels low in the lead up to the big night:

  • Lean towards a larger room size. Check out the layout of the venue and make sure your guest list can fit inside. Overcrowding can seriously kill the mood. Better to have more space – you’ll open things up for a more outrageous dance floor!
  • Make sure there’s ample parking. Consider whether your guests are local or if they’ll be driving or getting dropped off. Is there going to be enough parking around the venue for all your guests? Remember, a bunch of the partygoers will be carrying potentially large gifts – you don’t want to force them to trek too far from their parking spot.
  • Catering. Your guests will have a host of different allergies and dietary requirements, so it’s important to peruse the venue’s food and beverage package and make sure there’s something for everyone. If not, make sure you ask! Most venues and catering companies will be happy to help you with special requests at no extra cost.

21st tip #4. Work to a schedule, even if it’s a loose one

You don’t want too much chaos on the night (or day) of the event, so keep a loose schedule to reduce your stress levels and keep your party on track.

A useful 21st party run-sheet starts with the arrival of the guests followed by:

  • Mingling time
  • Dinner
  • Speeches and toasts
  • Cake
  • Presents
  • Dancefloor
  • Whatever the night has left in store!

Naturally, everybody likes their birthday party to unfold differently. The birthday boy or girl might want to open their presents first!

Still, having a loose plan for the big four – dinner, speeches, cake and presents – will ensure that your 21st party is a big success.

If you’re looking to host a 21st birthday party at a venue in Newcastle, contact the team at Hunter294 to help you manage a stress-free, unforgettable event. We have a variety of spaces available to suit any type or style of party you have in mind.

Image source: Pexels