An Insider’s Guide to Throwing the Greatest 30th Birthday Party

 In Events

Imagine: you’re 29. You’re not living up to your full potential. You’re never going to be able to buy a house. You’re sick of the cracks about your generation and avocado-fetishism. You’re about to turn 30 and a whole lot of things are outside of your control but gosh darn it you’re going to party anyway. You want to get a bunch of mates together to throw a bitchin’ 30th bash but don’t know where to start (for me, party-planning usually begins with reminiscing about the Streets Vienettas of my youth).

We’re here for ya, my friend. Kick back and let us throw a few helpful pointers your way. Whether dirty or flirty, welcome to thirty.


Who to invite? Keep in mind that you’re almost thirty, so you’ve got the added advantage of being free from the strange social constraints that plague the young kids these days – you don’t have to worry about inviting everyone from your class so that nobody gets offended and spreads nasty rumours about you, you don’t have to invite people to try and get them to like you, and you bloody well don’t have to invite people because your Mum tells you to.

Knock up a list of your friends who party the hardest, and you’ve already done the toughest part of planning your event.

When you’ve got a rough idea of how many people you want coming along, reach out to old mate Google and find a venue that sounds legit. They’ll help you figure out whether your group would benefit from exclusive use of a fabulous venue, or whether you should just book an area but keep the doors open. Knowing how many guests are coming also helps set the feel of your party – are you having a cocktail-and-canapé function, or would you like a giant table, so everyone can order a la carte? Either way, find a venue that can cater for you and make sure you have a great time!

Room for activities:

Think of creative ways to personalise your event! Thirty is a big deal (you’ve outlasted Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, among others ?), so let’s do it justice.

Find a space that’s perfect for you. You’re going to want a sound equipment your DJ mate can spin on, as well as something to display stuff on to create a vibe like home movies or photos you’d like to have on display. If you’re the competitive sort, some kind of game like darts or a table tennis set up and ready to go, that can be moved at a moments’ notice when things get kicked up a notch and we need to whip the space into a dance floor (usually by about the third espresso martini).

Did you know you can create your very own personalised Snapchat filter, just for your event? It’s a handy tip that can add a bit of fun to your party and ensure that everyone takes heaps of photos!

Concrete Boots, Richmond

The magic words:

Yep, I said ‘espresso martini’. Speaking of which, how about a cocktail-on-arrival for your guests? This is such a simple thing to organise but really adds a nice touch for your guests, and has the added bonus of allowing you, the fabulous focus of the event, to greet your guests and keep mingling, without the first part of the event being punctuated by visits to the bar (let’s face it, grabbing a drink is the first priority at a birthday party and anyone who tries to tell us otherwise is lying). Check out the venue’s offerings beforehand and make sure they’ve got a selection of bevvies suited to your taste, or the capacity to provide specialised drinks on request. A lot of venues will even create a cocktail dedicated to your theme!

As far as other drinks go, if you want to put some money over the bar, a really popular option is to start a tab, pick a selection of your favourites that you’d like to have available (the more the better!), and create your very own menu specific to your event. You and your friends are always more than welcome to order outside of this, of course – but keeping a ‘cash bar’ for special orders is a good way of making sure you get the most out of your tab. If you’d like some help putting together your drinks list, just ask the staff – chances are, they love talking about booze!


You’re going to love this: when it comes to food, you can leave this to someone else as well! Have a squiz at our function pack for inspiration if you like. Clue your function-help

er in to what you need and have them put together a list of treats they think you and your guests will love. Of course, if this isn’t your first rodeo (you’re almost thirty, after all) and you’d rather just make the selection yourself, that’s fine too. Most good menus will have all of the information you need on it for you to make an informed choice – but questions still pop up occasionally, and that’s what hospo legends are here for. Just shoot your venue an email (here’s ours) if there’s anything you need help visualising for your event.


I mentioned your DJ mate before – we’ve all got one – and if they want to do you a solid and provide some bangers, let ’em! Set them up in your party house’s DJ booth in your preferred time-slot. If your musical mates want the night off, let us know. We can put you in touch with some awesome DJs if you like, or else you can let The Internet do the work for us and just keep your favourite Spotify playlist cranking all night.


There’s a fair chance you’re either about to go through, or are already in the middle of, Thirty Season. You may find yourself being invited to an inordinate number of thirtieths now that you’re approaching that milestone yourself, and I’ve no doubt that your calendar is filling up (let’s not forget all of those 29ths and 31sts that you’re squeezing in, too). How, then, do we make sure we get the absolute maximum attendance from your super-busy friends?

Don’t stress; we can help ya. The key here is to think outside the box. Chances are, your Saturday nights are filling up like crazy, and so are your friends’. Keep your options open when it comes to timing your event. Often Friday nights are less busy, and Thursdays, well, even more so! Personally, we’re huge fans of a Sunday Session, so much so that venues will often offer heaps of cool drink specials on a Sunday, because bartenders en masse just love that Sunday arvo relaxed vibe.

The Most Important Thing:

The absolute most important thing to remember is that it is YOUR birthday. Make sure you’ve got a wish-list ready to go, and by crikey if we can make your dream event happen, we will. Don’t be afraid to ask for your favourite beer, food, band or cocktail to help make your event The One To Remember. Throw should’ve, could’ve and would’ve out the door, and let’s show all of those 21-year-olds how it’s done.

TC. for C.B.

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