27 Stylish and Sophisticated Birthday Party Ideas for Adults

As we get older, it seems that each birthday is that much less exciting than it was when you were a kid. Instead of a fun-filled party that you look forward to all year, birthdays as an adult usually turn into just another day. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way! No matter how old you’re turning, there’s something special about dedicating one day a year to celebrating with friends, food and—of course—a few cocktails.

Since decorating for a birthday party past the age of ten can be difficult—the last thing you want is for guests to think you’re still a pink princess-obsessed kid—we’ve gathered some of our favorite ideas from Pinterest that’ll help you with every aspect of your bash from decor to food to drinks. All chic, all very grown-up.

Photo: A Blissful Nest

1. Encourage your party guests to have a good time with a witty, festive sign.

2. Instead of letting balloons hang, stick them to the wall sans ribbon. Make them look extra cool by blowing them up to different sizes.

Photo: She Wears Many Hats 

3. Trust us, you’re never too old for colored popcorn. The above version uses only three ingredients: Popcorn, vanilla candy, sprinkles.

4. If you aren’t the cooking type, no worries. Have a food truck cater your party!

Photo: Alexa and Alexa

5. Decorate your own balloons with gold foil and confetti! Here’s how.

6. Instead of setting out flowers in a vase, why not put them in old booze bottles? So cool!

Photo: Catherine Ray

7. If you have a summer birthday, why not throw a traditional New England clambake complete with newspaper tablecloths, corn, and plenty of cold beer.

8. Not crazy about telling your entire party your age? Use an adorable “Lost Count” cake topper!

Photo: Colin Cowie Weddings

9. Instead of putting out ho-hum cheese and crackers, opt for mini tacos and tequila.

10. Let’s be honest—no party is complete without a tassel banner.

Photo: A Joyful Riot

11. Instead of boring candles in your birthday cake, use mini number or letter balloons on sticks.

12. Did someone say Jell-o shots? And not just any Jell-o shots, but strawberry margarita Jell-o shots. With real strawberries.

Photo: Cin Cin Vintage

13. Order customized napkins—such a fun way to give a party a personal touch.

14. If you’re more of a simple, modern gal, stick with a bold and modern party theme.

Photo: Hostess With the Mostess

15. Guest books are boring. Let your guests go crazy and decorate a wall-sized piece of paper.

16. Mudslide cupcakes are the perfect way to entertain your guests with chocolate and booze.

Photo: Oh Happy Day

17. Make your own custom backdrop for photos!

18. Get modern and crafty with this Gold Brushed Balloons tutorial.

Photo: A Spicy Perspective 

19. Standard party candy gets a little more grown-up with these vodka and gummy bear ice pops.

20. Not sure how to design your birthday invites? Etsy has some of the best options out there.

Photo: Studio DIY

21. You’ll totally need these Emoji balloons in your life.

22. Don’t be ashamed to send your invites through the web. We love this iPhone party invite.

Photo: Smarty Had a Party

23. Set up a DIY mimosa bar, complete with cut-up fruit and a variety of juice.

24. Be proud of your age with candles that spell it out.

Chloe Moore Photography Blog

25. If you can’t rent an actual photo booth, set up a “photo booth” area with special background, and ask people to take turns manning it.

26. Learn to make Champagne Jell-O squares with pop rocks—so chic!

27. Instead of real dessert, set up a candy buffet. That’s what we all really want, anyway, right?


7 Pro Tips for Throwing an Amazing Cold-Weather Wedding

Photo: India Earl Photography Blog

Spring, fall, and summer weddings are popular for their blooming flowers, balmy temperatures, and falling leaves, but winter tends to be the ugly stepchild of seasonal weddings. If you’re like me, Seasonal Affective Disorder takes its toll sometime in December, and all I associate winter with is bare trees, frozen tundra temps, lumpy sweaters, and cabin fever. But! There are upsides to tying the knot during the cold season.

Other than the potential to save major cash since venues and caterers are less in-demand, getting married during winter has plenty of unique charms: It’s cozy to gather with friends and family when it’s cold out; it’s romantic, unique, and memorable; snow can be beautiful (until it turns to dirty slush, that is); and you can get away with gorgeous touches like holiday-inspired décor or faux fur wraps. Below, experts weigh in on how to make the most of a cold-weather wedding.

MORE: Proof You Need to Have Engagement Photos Taken in the Fall

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Mon Cheri Bridals

Offer a Seasonal Cocktail.

Drinking something that feels wintry will get everyone in the mood. “If you want to do a signature cocktail that taps into the spirit of the season, try a blood orange and St. Germaine champagne cocktail,” says New York City-based wedding and event planner Andrea Freeman. “You can even set up a cocktail station with glassware and a dispenser. If you really want to take things to the next level you can hire a cocktail service. I also think nothing quite says winter season like champagne—offer mini bottles with personalized notes as guest favors. For a more fall-themed wedding, hot spiced cider served as guests arrive is a perfect beverage on a chilly autumn day.”

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Katie Osgood Blog

Make the Décor Festive.

“Whether you elevate black and white with a metallic twist, go with winter whites, or select seasonal reds and greens, you’ll want to select a cold season color palette,” says Freeman. “For a fall wedding, burnt orange, cabernet, and cream with lush greens works perfectly. Use those colors for your invites and décor elements to create a cohesive feeling from start to finish. As with any great design, layering keeps things interesting. Fresh flowers add an elegant touch when paired with candles of varying heights.  To add texture, try using a faux fur throw draped over a bench and top that with a tray filled with ornaments. Interesting vignettes like this highlight your attention to detail!”

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Hawthorne and Main

Pick a Wintry Dessert.

Take the traditional parts of a wedding and put a wintry, customized spin on them, suggests Freeman. “Surprise guests with something fun, like a hot chocolate station with dessert. Personalize it, present it with a twist, and get creative. This is what makes your event memorable, customized, and will make your guests feel loved.” Anthony Luscia, Special Projects Editor and Men’s Fashion Editor for Martha Stewart Weddings, suggests trying something different than the typical tiered wedding cake. “Have a warm, molten cake instead—hype up that it’s going to be cold and adapt your menu to that,” he says.

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Brian Dorsey Studios

Consider Ice Sculptures.

You might think the last thing you’d want when it’s already cold outside is more ice, but it can actually play up the season in a pretty, glamorous way. “Ice is a great way to amplify a winter wedding celebration,” says Freeman. “If you’re offering a bar during cocktail hour, sculpting individual serving dishes out of blocks of ice will not keep the seafood and cocktails chilled, but will also provide visual appeal. For a true wow factor, carve the entire station out of ice and turn it into a display. For a more modest but equally luxurious touch, carving drink trays out of ice and passing shots around the dance floor keeps the party going!”

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Rahel Menig Photography Blog

Give Out Cozy Party Favors.

What’s a better gift to guests or people in the bridal party than a cozy throw they might even want to use that evening. “Start the experience the moment guests arrive,” says Luscia. “If it’s going to be cold, rain or snow, give them a gift bag so they can weather the conditions in a fun and festive way, with hand warmers, hot cocoa mix, matching ponchos, or wraps and blankets that are on palette. They can cozy up together, which is an easy and affordable way to address the weather in a positive way—and the pictures will be so cute!”

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Colette Kulig Photography Blog

Have the Staff Get Into It.

Don’t just give your guests weather-appropriate accessories—give them to caterers and other staffers who are helping to create the event. “Have the waitstaff play up the weather,” says Luscia. “Give them cute umbrellas to hold, fun hats to keep them warm, rain boots, or ponchos, which are functional but also fashionable and make everything look cohesive.”

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Bridal Musings

Keep Smiling.

Luscia insists that a wedding in the rain, snow, or cold can be much more memorable and unique than a sunny celebration on the beach—as long as you see things positively. “In the end, the most important thing is attitude,” he says. “It’s all about how people react to the weather that makes or breaks the day. This starts with setting the right expectations, from the beginning when you see the forecast and realize that you cannot control if it rains, snows, or sleets, but you can control how you react to it—make a plan that makes you excited regardless of weather conditions.”