Throwing a Party with +50 Guests

I was terrible about snapping pictures at Kyle’s 30th birthday party, but if you followed along on Snapchat you may have seen a few quick moments from the event. A few weeks ago I threw K a party and invited over 75 people. Roughly 50 to 60 showed up.

Only after I counted all the “yes” RSVPs did I realize that this party was going to be the size of a small wedding reception. (Whoops. ) I’m no stranger to throwing large parties, but it’s still a pretty daunting task. Just in case you were wondering, here’s how I did it and here’s how it went!

I made a Facebook event about 4-5 weeks in advance. While I love paper invites and prefer them 100xs over any kind of e-vite, FB was the way to cut costs and get the word out quickly.

We had the party in the company warehouse. Thank God for K’s employees Jake, Jordan, and K’s dad Jeff*. Together the five of us cleaned, rearranged, and set up the open space on Friday before the party. (It’s our slow-ish season so we were able to take a day and deep clean/set up.)

(* We only hire people with J names obviously, lol.)

This is how the warehouse typically looks. We cleaned and put everything in its place.

I sure wish I had an “after” photo. *facepalm* Anyway, we converted two of the workbenches into a salsa and taco bar and then set up another mobile workbench with the cakes (one decorated vanilla on vanilla and one yellow with chocolate frosting) and drinks (margaritas, beer, water).

We trailer-ed in three picnic tables and two long folding tables from my parents house for dining. We borrowed two sets of cornhole boards from my aunt and uncle, we borrowed a large backyard Jenga set from friends, and we set out Blockus, Twister, and domino men for the kids to play with. (Turns out the 2 to 4 year olds loved the domino men, I ended up playing Blockus at 12:45am, and no one touched Twister.)

We have a 20′ x 20′ tile carpet area that we use in the booth at trade shows so we broke it out for a seating area complete with couches, chairs, a TV and Wii system, and the little kids area. My brother-in-law also brought his Nintendo Switch for the teens/adults to use. And we definitely did.

I’m getting a little bit better about asking for help/delegating. My mother-in-law brought the margaritas and some queso dip. (Thank you!) My grandma and my mom made some cookies. (Thank you!) And K’s aunt, dad, and mom were on call when I needed anything. (Thank you!) The party would not have gone so smoothly without them.

I made a “baby chalkboard” for Kyle, I bought “3-0” balloons, and I hung a happy birthday banner for the event. Other than some table cloths and fabric to cover the warehouse mess, there wasn’t much decorating.

I made 20lbs. of beef, chopped 14 onions & 15 tomatoes, and bought 180 tacos (100 soft, 80 hard), four large bags of cheese, and 10 small bags of shredded lettuce. Also, I got 3 large jars of salsa, some store-bought guac, and 6 bags of tortilla chips. To be honest, we had WAY too much onion and tomato, but I only had 1/4 of the beef left over which impressed me. I could’ve cut the cheese and lettuce inventory in half, but who knew. I provided taco lunches for the warehouse guys in the days following the party.

All that remained of the party on Monday…

Our party started at 4pm and we had a steady flow of people all night. Some even left (and dropped off a kid or spouse) and came back. We invited family and friends and friends of the family, ha. Overall, we had a fantastic time šŸ™‚ Our last guests left around 1:30am. I was so exhausted.

Seeing all our friends and family was fun, although I think I will request a vacation for my 30th birthday šŸ˜‰ What are some fun things you’ve done for “monumental” birthdays?

38 thoughts on “Throwing a Party with +50 Guests

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:09 am

      His birthday got me thinking about my someday-30th. I just want some travel and a spa day šŸ˜‰ Ha!

      Like

  1. Elyse March 30, 2017 / 8:20 am

    That looked like an awesome 30th celebration for Kyle! You definitely rocked it. I definitely didn’t do quite as much planning for my husbands 30th surprise party. Mostly just made sure people would be available(his birthday is Jan.1) and made a reservation months in advance thanks to the weird day of New Years Eve. Oh and of course I made sure to have as many Batman balloons as they would allow in the restaurant…

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:10 am

      I love the Batman balloons touch! And how difficult to work around the New Year! I bet that was a crazy way to ring in the year for his parents all those years ago!! Ha!

      Like

  2. Nadine March 30, 2017 / 9:22 am

    The party turned out awesome!!! Smart doing tacos and stuff. Who doesn’t like that plus it is easier to handle for larger crowds! Love the baby board and that cake is hilarious.

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:11 am

      Thank you!
      I was SO nervous to make that much taco meat, but it was ridiculously easy. I’d cook up two or three pounds and then pour it in the warmed roaster. Then start another batch. Simple!

      Like

  3. Alexandra Consolver March 30, 2017 / 10:13 am

    Oh my gosh this sounds so fun! I think planning a large party can be tough! I always end up with too much food… sigh. heheh It seems like you totally spoiled him, which was probably deserved..right?! šŸ™‚ I love the cake that cracks me up! Happy bday again to K! šŸ™‚ XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:12 am

      We had WAY too much food. Thankfully all the guys that work for K are garbage disposals and they ate the leftovers all week! Ha! (They were invited to the party, too, so they got it fresh that first day. Lol)
      Thank you!

      Like

  4. Rebecca Jo March 30, 2017 / 11:48 am

    I so loved the “baby board” so much – so funny!!!!
    Yep – e-vites get the job done & the cost of postage anymore – ugh.
    How sweet are you pulling this off.
    I dont think I’ve ever had a birthday party in my life (besides when I was like 1 or 2)… that’s depressing.

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:14 am

      The baby board was so simple to do but everyone loved it! I definitely recommend it for adult parties šŸ˜‰
      GIRL!! You need a birthday party! With your JOY group and your MSM girls and all your family- you could TOTALLY have a huge party!

      Like

  5. Stephanie March 30, 2017 / 11:49 am

    OMG the baby chalkboard, too funny!! The cake is awesome too. John’s 30th is in July, this gives me lots of ideas!

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:15 am

      Ha, I’m glad! I’ve been thinking about making that cake for months now. I’m so glad it turned out close to how it was in my head šŸ˜€

      Like

  6. lexandneek March 30, 2017 / 12:44 pm

    Great idea for a birthday party! Loved the cakes.

    Like

  7. Kelly @ Noodle to the Rescue March 30, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    Wow, I am so impressed that you know 50-75 people let alone that you threw a party for that many! (We only had 25 people at our wedding!) I love the cake – I got my husband a similar card when he turned 30 – and the baby milestones chalkboard is hilarious! J and I did a weekend trip to Denver last summer for my 35th and we are planning a trip to Europe next summer for his 40th! (We are SO OLD!) Apparently we do travel for milestone bdays.

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:23 am

      I love the idea for traveling for milestone birthdays šŸ™‚ We tend to travel for our anniversary.
      I’d say 50% of our guests were family. We live in the same town as most of our family members so it’s not hard for the number to climb. (We invited over 300 people to our wedding… 236 came. OOF! Lol. I swear we really don’t have that many friends!)

      Like

  8. SMD @ Life According to Steph March 30, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    You did an awesome job putting this together! Simple but really fun and stuff that people love – tacos, drinks, cake, games, relaxed fun.

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:24 am

      Thanks! I was so grateful to the guys for helping me. It turned out better than I expected- it was so relaxed and fun. I was also a little glad when it was all over… haha! šŸ˜‰

      Like

  9. Jana @ Jana Says March 30, 2017 / 2:09 pm

    The taco bar was a brilliant idea! We had a scaled down one for my daughter’s 10th birthday party and I can’t imagine ever doing different food. There’s something for everyone, it’s cheap enough and easy enough to make, and super simple to clean up.

    The chalkboard was great, too. I’m thinking about doing it for my husband’s 40th this fall.

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:26 am

      Tacos or pizza- I honestly can’t understand why anyone would serve anything else. Hahaha. SO EASY!

      People loved the board! And it was honestly an afterthought! Definitely do it if you get 5 minutes to draft one up- it was a hit!

      Like

  10. chelsea @ the new wifestyle March 30, 2017 / 3:18 pm

    um. i am SO impressssssed!!!! that’s so many people! i have no idea how to cook for that many people at all. 20lbs of beef?! i get stressed over 1lb. hah love the chalkboard idea! glad it was such a fun time (and yay you for delegating out tasks better!)

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:28 am

      I was nervous to cook the meat. I waited until Sat. morning to do it. (Verses making it and refrigerating it.) It was SO easy, though! I cooked two pounds or so and then poured it into the warmed roaster, then repeated. The roaster kept it warm all afternoon. I took me an hour and a half to do 20 lbs. but it was easy-peasy!
      (Thank you!)

      Like

  11. StephTheBookworm March 30, 2017 / 3:43 pm

    Oh my gosh, AMAZING! You did a wonderful job and that’s a LOT of taco stuff! I am so not a party planner… for Caleb’s birthday this year, I just made a cake and some snacks, and voila. I don’t even put up party decorations. I am so impressed!

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:29 am

      I love party planning šŸ™‚ I had a wedding planning business for a while. (My BFF/partner had two kids so we retired the business- but we really enjoyed ourselves!) I do a Halloween party and so many b-day parties and sometimes Christmas parties… lol. I swear I’m always planning something. Ha.

      Like

  12. Jae March 30, 2017 / 6:19 pm

    OMG THAT CAKE IS EPIC. Hahaha!

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:30 am

      Hahahaha- thank you! I was SO nervous when I made it. I’m glad it turned out!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Julie Hood March 31, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    THAT RIP CAKE MADE ME LAUGH ALOUD. Also I have a J-name so may I please be hired and help throw creative taco parties. Thnx

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:31 am

      Hahaha- yeah, girl! You can weld part time and help me plan parties part time. Hahahaha!

      Like

  14. Laura March 31, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    The baby chalkboard is a brilliant idea. This sounds like so much fun!

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:32 am

      People loved it! I’m so glad I thought to do it/Pinterest inspired me to do it šŸ˜‰

      Like

  15. kristen March 31, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    this is awesome! how cool you could have it in the warehouse. love all the J names too haha. I know a family who are like the Kardashians, all J names. KC and I joke that we should name our kids with K names but our last name doesn’t start with a K.. ANYWAY. love the cake! I kind of organised KC’s 30th and it was so stressful and it was less than 50 people I think. Never want to do it again. I love planning but when I have to rely on other people – like location or wanting them to RSVP, it gives me so much anxiety.

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:36 am

      I was nervous leaning on other people- I oversaw/did all the cleaning and setting up and arranging in the warehouse for the party. (The guys were SO helpful, but I was directing the entire time. Ha.) K’s mom contributed, too, and I made myself just chill and let her handle the things she signed up for. Ha. Fortunately she’s got her sh!t together and she showed up Saturday with everything done!
      It always made my OCD mind crazy to see families with most of the members having a certain letter name except one. Like, the mom and all the kids having R names but the dad’s name is Frank. Then we started brainstorming names for the future and we actually love two names that have the same initial as one of us. So we’ll possibly be *that* family someday. Ha.

      Like

  16. Carolann April 1, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    This looks amazing! I’m turning 30 in a month so I love that RIP cake. Amazing idea. I love parties but I love vacations more so I totally get you on that one, although it’s so awesome to have everyone come together to celebrate something big.

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:38 am

      I think the best part was we saw friends that we haven’t seen in months. That was so nice. And it’s fun to get our brothers together, haha. They’re like 15 years apart in age but they’re both so much fun. Playing the wii and the Nintendo Switch with them was a blast šŸ™‚

      Like

  17. chelseajacobs April 3, 2017 / 11:46 am

    So much fun! That cake is the best.

    Like

    • Louise April 6, 2017 / 9:38 am

      Thank you! Rarely does something turn out like I envisioned in my head, but thankfully this did! Ha!

      Like

  18. Cat (@oddlylovely) April 6, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    Wow, you are SUCH a good wifey! I love my BF a lot, but throwing a party for 50 people sounds like my worst nightmare, haha. Also, are we not friends on Snapchat?! What’s your username?

    Like

    • Louise April 7, 2017 / 11:42 am

      Hahahaha- sometimes I think I throw parties because I like to more than the party-receiver actually wants one. If that made any sense. Hahaha!
      My snap name is audie_lou (sometimes I’m really active and sometimes I’m not, lol)

      Like

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