Memorable 30th Birthday Party Ideas and Themes

Last Updated: Dec 28, 2017

Your 30th birthday party isn’t the end of your 20s but instead the beginning of a brand new chapter! Celebrate this milestone with a fun party that represents your continued journey into adulthood and the start of a new decade in your life. Your party for the big 3-0 should be creative and exciting, filled with friends and family. When it comes to organizing the big day, all of your 30th birthday party ideas should follow one stylish theme that can be incorporated throughout all of your décor, eats, and 30th birthday party invitations. Whether you’re planning an intimate dinner with close friends or throwing a 30th backyard bash, everything should be all about you.

30th birthday party celebration in backyard

30th Birthday Party Themes

Before you dive into party planning, choose a 30th birthday party theme to set your festivities in motion. Turning 30 is considered your biggest birthday since you turned 21, so the party planning can feel a bit overwhelming. However, you’ve come a long way since 21st birthday plans and you can easily tackle your 30th by choosing a birthday party theme that speaks to you. Find 30th birthday party themes and ideas below that make for an unforgettable celebration.

80s or 90s Flashback Party

Go back in time and give your party a theme from a different decade. You can go all out for this theme and encourage guests to wear 80s or 90s outfits to make this party successful. In addition to themed attire, flashback parties are all about the music. You should focus on creating an environment that reflects your favorite moments from the select decade, which includes creating a stellar playlist full of memorable songs affiliated with that decade. Give this theme a try at your own home or consider renting out a space at a club or lounge.

Casino Party

Recreate Las Vegas on your own terms with a casino birthday party. This is an entertaining theme, characterized by cocktails, casino games, and a casino-inspired color palette. You can apply a red, black, and white color palette to your party by serving treats such as decorative spade or heart cookies and casino chip cookies. Perfect your DIY skills with garlands made of playing cards and dice centerpieces. Alternatively, you can change your color palette to gold and opt for a more glamorous casino party!

Black and White Affair

Host an elegant black and white affair for your 30th birthday party. This is a sophisticated theme that calls for a black and white dress code. Set the mood for guests by sending black and white party invitations. When it comes to party planning, remember that this will likely be an evening party; therefore, place your focus on creative lighting methods, tablescapes, stylish seating, and black and white desserts. You can also set up a photo booth to capture black and white photos that will make for a cherished photo book down the road.

Couture Birthday Party

Have you ever wanted to dress up runway-style but the perfect opportunity never presented itself? If so, this is your chance. Pull out all of the stops for your 30th birthday bash and throw an unforgettable couture birthday party. This theme is characterized by a fun dress code that challenges guests to push their style limits. You can combine this theme with a black and white affair, along with ordering a picture-worthy cake that replicates a shoe, dress, or handbag.

Pretty in Pink Birthday Party

Celebrate your 30th birthday party with a Pretty in Pink theme, characterized by plenty of pink décor and sweets. This is a precious and charming theme that provides ample opportunity for you to incorporate pink in your birthday cake, decorations, and birthday invitations. Popular ‘Pretty in Pink’ ideas include pink lemonade, a pink candy bar, pink cocktails, and gold accents. Add a salon element to your 30th birthday party by hiring a manicurist to set up a booth for pink manicures.

Wine Birthday Party

Wine only gets better with time and so do you! Treat yourself and guests to a lovely wine party, characterized by wine-tasting and creative hors d’oeuvres. You can channel a day in Napa by decorating your party area with vines and setting up tables for certain types of wine. Try incorporating custom wine glasses throughout your party to add a sentimental touch.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Party

Baby blue is your best friend when it comes to a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” birthday party theme. This sophisticated theme is perfect for throwing a lovely brunch for your birthday. Avoid the dinner party planning and serve easy breakfast foods, pastries, and tea. You can encourage guests to dress like Audrey Hepburn and welcome them into a room decked out with pearls, silver and blue décor, and white flowers.

Great Gatsby Themed Birthday Party

If you have a deep love for the 1920s, host a Great Gatsby themed birthday party to celebrate the big 3-0. Encourage guests to wear their best pearls, flapper dresses, and top hats for an unforgettable 1920s inspired soiree. You can set up a fun photo booth full of 1920s inspired props to document this fun costume party.

Paris Themed Birthday Party

The Eiffel tower is only a step away if you choose to throw a Paris-themed birthday party. This theme consists of Eiffel tower graphics incorporated throughout your décor, an Eiffel tower birthday cake, and traditional French foods. You can prepare signage and menus that use French sayings such as “Bon appétit” or “Mangez bien” (eat well!) to make your guests feel like they’re in a quaint Paris café. Alternatively, you can throw a travel themed party and include Paris as one of your favorite stops along the way.

Pajama Party

Keep things cozy with a fun pajama party for adults. If you’re not into hosting a formal cocktail party this time around, you can give your 30th birthday party a twist by having guests dress down and wear their favorite pajamas. You can set up a quirky snack bar, provide custom drink-ware, and screen classic movies using a projector. You can also make things interesting by giving a prize to the guest with the best pajamas.

Moroccan Themed Birthday Party

Get creative with a colorful and fun Moroccan themed birthday party for you and your friends. This is a unique theme that allows you to mix and match beautiful patterns, Moroccan inspired decor, and more. Serve traditional Moroccan food and hire a belly dancer to teach your guests some new moves.

30th birthday party tablescape ideas

30th Birthday Party Decoration Ideas

After you’ve chosen a theme, you can hone in on decorations. 30th birthday parties should include plenty of signage with the number 30, along with cute birthday sayings. Try designing personalized canvas prints that match your party’s color palette and placing them near your bar set-up or gift table. You can also customize decorative throw pillows with your initials or the number “30” to create the perfect lounge area for guests. 30th birthday parties are notoriously fun and your décor should be spirited and custom to your personality.

When it comes to traditional birthday decorations, spare yourself the carload of balloons and opt for a large “30” gold balloon set instead! These balloons appear fancy but are quite inexpensive and perfect for serving as a backdrop. You can set up a photobooth with the balloons and a table of props in order to encourage guests to document their good time. Trade in your banners for chic garlands to add some fun to your walls and tablescapes as well. You can also set up a “wish wall” where guests can offer advice about entering your 30s and leave delightful birthday messages. Lastly, take advantage of your champagne glasses and decorate them with glitter, initials, and the number “30” for a memorable birthday toast.

Surprise 30th Birthday Party Ideas

gold surprise birthday party invitation

If you’re hosting a 30th birthday party for a friend, keep any of the above birthday party themes a secret and throw a surprise birthday party! As friends get older, they may not favor planning their own party. You can take control and celebrate this milestone by planning and organizing a party that the birthday boy or girl won’t forget. The most important step to throwing a surprise birthday party is making sure you send surprise birthday party invitations. Although private invites over social media are easy, you should do your best to avoid sending information about the party online or putting the surprise at risk. You want the star of the show to be genuinely surprised when they walk through the door.

Here are a few tips on how to surprise your friend or loved one:

  • Choose an accomplice or co-conspirator to make sure the birthday boy or girl is not at the surprise party location day-of.
  • Choose a birthday party invitation that is concise and clearly states that the birthday party is a surprise.
  • Clearly state on the surprise party invitation what time guests need to arrive by in order for the surprise to be successful.
  • Complete your birthday party set-up at least two hours in advance of the designated surprise time.
  • Plan out the “big reveal”. Ensure guests are hiding in the appropriate place and avoid having guests park their cars in front of your home.

Although giving a gift is not required if you’re the organizer of a surprise party, you can give the recipient a custom birthday card. Explore a variety of birthday card messages for the honoree that will blow them away and reiterate the effort behind your party planning. 30th birthday parties symbolize the oncoming of a new period. Whether you’re throwing a party for yourself or planning a surprise party for a friend, you can never go wrong with honoring how far you or the honoree has come and where life is headed.