How to throw the ultimate 40th birthday celebration

Life apparently begins at forty, so there’s no better reason for a celebration. We’ve put together some great tips and ideas to help you celebrate your 40th birthday in style. Your 40th birthday celebration doesn’t have to be an all-singing, all-dancing glamorous party with hundreds of guests, unless of course that is what you want. Read on for more ideas on how to mark this great occasion. Here, Dakota Murphey gives 5 simply brilliant 40th birthday celebration ideas.

  1. An intimate retreat for VIP guests only

Sometimes only a small gathering will do. If you’re not much of a party animal and don’t like the idea of organising a big event, an intimate retreat for a few special family members and friends is the perfect way for you to mark your coming of ‘middle’ age. From luxury spas to outdoorsy glamping, getting away from the daily grind with your besties is a great way to celebrate the big four-oh. Be sure to include drinking champagne in outdoor hot tubs and you really can’t go wrong.

  1. A bold and exotic Arabian nights themed party

Hiring a glitzy marquee to hold an exotic event is a fabulous idea. It’s an unusual and wow-factor party venue with a difference and will definitely make your 40th birthday celebration one everyone will remember. Many country hotels have beautiful grounds and will welcome the opportunity of filling their rooms with your guests for overnight stays. Or maybe your own garden is big enough to accommodate a fair-sized marquee? Wherever you decide to hold the event, a themed marquee brings something a little bit exotic and different to the table. It will transport you and your guests to a land far away.

  1. Holiday of a lifetime

If you are hell bent on proving that life really does begin at forty, why not plan the holiday of a lifetime? It could be you want to party like never before in Berlin, or you want to take a trip aboard the iconic Orient Express to Venice? Or perhaps a great adventure on safari is on your bucket list? Whatever your most burning holiday desires, hitting forty could be the calling card you’ve been waiting for.

  1. Feel the fear and do it anyway

There’s no better time to throw caution to the wind than when you hit a big birthday. Most people feel by the time they reach forty they’re no longer crippled with anxiety about what they don’t know, and they’ve given up worrying too much about what other people think. It may be you’ve reached the age when you think life is too short to hold back. If the thought of jumping out of a plane terrifies you, now could be the perfect time to conquer that fear. Why not book an experience day to conquer one of your fears and do something extraordinary?

  1. The mystery weekend away

If you are planning a surprise for a loved one or a friend’s 40th birthday, then a mystery weekend away is a great idea. Include as many family and friends in the secret getaway as you wish. Give your loved one sealed, numbered envelopes and tell him or her you’ll text when they can open each one. Start with train tickets and a note revealing where the mystery tour begins. If your trip involves air travel, arrange for a car to collect them from the station a few stops short of the airport, so it’s not immediately obvious. You want to keep them guessing. Flight tickets and passport can be in one of the envelopes. Definitely include VIP tickets to the airport lounge with a glass of champagne on arrival.

The whole experience needs to be fabulous for impact. Surprise them at the airport or get all the guests to the destination in advance. Whether you’re organising a golf weekend in Scotland, a European city break at a top hotel, or a few days chilling at a beachside villa in Ibiza, a mystery weekend away is a great way to show someone just how special they are. If someone has access to a private plane (info here on the cost of fractional jet ownership) you could have a really special weekend indeed!

Here are some smart tips to get the birthday plans started:

Plan in advance

Don’t leave big celebratory plans to the last minute. It will only end in disappointment when your brilliant ideas can’t be realised in a short time frame.

Plan appropriately

You don’t want to throw an extravagant and glitzy birthday party with hundreds of guests for someone who is much more at home in an intimate gathering. Stay true to the wishes of the most important person. If your guest of honour loves big events, you have the green light for a truly magnificent spectacle.

Decide on and book the venue

Decide where you want to hold the party. Whether you want a sophisticated summer garden party, a 3-day getaway at a luxury villa, or a grand evening bash at a beautiful historic venue, you’ll need to nail the venue booking before rolling out any other plans.

Don’t leave out any details

You’ll need to make decisions on a whole raft of details that will all add to the sense of occasion and make or break the celebrations. Decide if you want a theme, what decorations you’ll need, if you’ll be laying on food, entertainment (maybe stand up comedy in London?) music, activities, transport and don’t forget the all-important invitations. Make a list. Leave no stone unturned.


Follow these tips and your 40th birthday party will be the most stupendous birthday celebration ever!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *