We all love throwing birthday parties for children. The planning is left in the hands of the older family members and all you have to do to make children happy is give them lots of presents and keep them entertained using games, toys and balloons.
Birthday party-planning for teenagers and adults, however, is a completely different scenario. The guest list, decorations, presents, even the menu can vary with age, personality and a long list of preferences.
So if you're thinking about throwing a party for your loved one on their special day, here are some tips to help you out.
Late teens: 16-18 year olds
If you're throwing a party for your child, get as much input from them as you can, unless they ask for your opinion. Most teenagers prefer to have a party with their friends, but simply eating out seems boring when it's possible to stay home and throw a really great party.
Most apartment complexes these days have rooftop party centres that provide an opportunity for creativity. Theme parties are a great idea, especially because people this age also love putting in the extra effort.
Ideas can range from a simple black and white dress theme to movie-based parties (e.g. Harry Potter, X-men, etc.) to pop-culture references (music stars, TV show characters or even Hindi movies) to era-based décor (60's, 80's, futuristic, prehistoric).
Many photos will certainly be snapped, so why not arrange a nice backdrop that can be used as a photo booth? A sound system for playing music can be set up, or maybe some friends can arrange a small concert. Karaoke, Charades and Pictionary are popular party games that are fun in large groups.
Still young: 25 year olds
People in their 20's have a varied collection of friends from school, extracurricular activities, coaching, university as well as work. Tread with caution when making a guest list, because the birthday boy/girl may be very picky on whom they want to invite depending on limited numbers and the ability of different groups of friends to get along.
They can either still want to party like a teenager and love a big bash, or they might prefer a more mature, simple gathering at home or a restaurant, so make sure you know your 25-year-old's type!
A projector showing old photos and videos can be great for laughs and reminiscing. A masquerade party could be fun. Some people this age may not throw parties simply because they know too many people and are juggling work and studies, so close friends and family can throw a small surprise party as well.
Half century: Happy 50th!
Now, this is a big one! If your parents or significant other is turning 50, then you definitely need to take charge and make this an unforgettable milestone. But firstly, make sure the 50-year-old doesn't mind -- some people can get really sensitive about their age as they get older, and may not like everyone knowing about it.
If you get the green light, however, then spare no expense! The key word is “elegant”. Bear in mind that this party will have older family members and friends, and maybe some work colleagues, so think twice before doing anything too over-the-top.
A musical programme with the birthday boy/girl's favourite songs is a great idea. Some people can be informed beforehand about preparing speeches with funny or touching stories that everyone would love hearing.
Older and wiser: 60+
Seniors often feel detached from the lives of their much busier, younger family members so a birthday party is a great way to have a nice family reunion to make them feel special.
These parties are usually better as a relaxed family gathering with good food and a nice, long adda over tea and sweets. Fresh flowers, a variety of sweets and pitha, some fairy lights or floating candles and lovely background music can help create a cosy atmosphere for the party.
Most elderly people prefer a smaller guest list, and may favour just a nice meal over the whole cake-balloons-candles arrangement. Get feedback from them on who they want to invite; it could be a relative or a friend who you hardly see but is very close to the person you're throwing the party for.
The key to hosting a successful party (unless it's a surprise) is to communicate with the birthday boy/girl and have a clear idea of what they would love. And if you do that, it will be a day they'll never forget and you'll be giving them the best present of all wonderful memories.
By Mehreen Aziz
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Location: Cooper's Bakery
147, VIP Old Airport Road
Special thanks to Simon Cooper, M Ahmed-Livon for allowing us to do the photoshoot.