Events experts on birthday trends- birthday decoration ideas – Good Housekeeping

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Industry experts predict the best birthday decoration ideas, themes and styles we’ll see this year.
With parties back on the agenda after 18 months at home, you may be looking to plan something a little more special for your next birthday.
Whether you have a small celebration in mind or want to push the boat out, a great way to add sparkle to any birthday is through the decorations you choose. Be it statement balloons or adopting a theme across all your decor, finding the right birthday decoration ideas and inspiration can feel like a task at times.
To keep your celebrations as fun as possible, while ensuring any party you throw looks fantastic, we spoke to events experts to do the hard work for you. Here, they reveal their birthday trend predictions for 2021, including everything from birthday decoration ideas to flowers and invitations…

Élise Hanna is Director at The Little Events Company, an events business based in North-East England with an emphasis on styling special occasions. Élise predicts that outdoor events are here to stay with additions like luxury tents and boho vibes dominating the way we style birthday parties…
“Whether it’s a small get together or a larger than life party, people are going bigger and better than ever when it comes to celebrating their birthdays and special occasions – especially after missing out on so much during lockdown.
“Post-COVID, finding new ways for people to enjoy those special moments is such an exciting aspect of our job. For us, this year it’s all about boho vibes, neutral colours and pampas displays. Even though we’re allowed back indoors, outdoor events have really taken off. Luxe picnics and Raj tents are something worth keeping an eye out for as well as igloo domes, which are growing in popularity with our clientele, and are only getting bigger and better.”

Kate Healy is Founder of Virtually Together, a company that specialises in inclusive and virtual events. Founded in the first lockdown during 2020, Kate predicts that the future of birthday parties will see a hybrid mixture of virtual and real-life celebrations…
“One thing that lockdown has taught us, is that when we socialise virtually, we can include our loved ones from across the road and even across the globe! For birthday parties, we no longer need to be in the same place to have an amazing time together and that goes for celebrating all special occasions.
“We are seeing groups of all ages enjoy online experiences like cocktail masterclasses, murder mystery parties and escape room games with half of the group dialling in from one location, and the rest from their homes. It’s all about inclusivity. Cost-wise, it’s also a lot cheaper for the host; you can cut down the price per head of a party if half the group is virtually present.
“The future of birthday parties truly will see a mixture of virtual and in real life celebrations – whereby groups are enjoying entertainment hosted virtually (linked up to the TV for example) from the comfort of their homes/gardens. It removes the commiseration of not being able to attend a loved one’s event.”

Emma Murray-Jones runs her own events business, planning weddings and events of all sizes. She predicts that smaller gatherings will remain the norm for a while longer, but with bigger focus on decor, themes and adding a ‘wow’ factor…
“I predict we will see people keeping their gatherings small, but having multiple celebrations with different groups of family and friends. With COVID still being very much part of our daily lives, personal preferences will very much dictate who feels comfortable celebrating at home. To look at this trend further, I think, as a generalisation, we will see those aged mid-thirties and under celebrating outside of the home, with those in their forties and older still preferring to celebrate at home.

“With celebrations still remaining intimate, hosts will be looking for ways to personalise each celebration and add that extra special touch where possible. This may include picking a theme, selecting personalised party favours for friends or even going all out and hiring waiting staff or makeup artists for celebrations.
“I do feel that we will continue to see a trend of celebrating at home, especially when celebrating with family (who could possibly be vulnerable), but with special touches, such as catered food and decorations. With regards to decorations, the ever-popular trend of balloon decorations will continue, especially as depending on what you arrange, these decorations can be left for your multiple celebrations – or even longer – allowing you to continue to enjoy and remember the moment. Colour-wise, pastel colours will still remain a very strong trend, but as the year progresses, and we move out of the summer months, I think we will see a strong return to vibrant and metallic colours – to bring warmth to every celebration as winter draws nearer.”
Party Pieces
Ginger Ray

Michal Kowalski is Master Florist at Blooming Haus. Events organisers and florists alike predict in unison that flowers will remain a hugely important decor element when it comes to birthday parties. Michal predicts that floral centrepieces will be popular post-pandemic, as people have a renewed appreciation for nature…
“Given that a lot more people spent time in their gardens over the last year and came to appreciate the great outdoors, we have seen this reflected in people’s moods. More people are in tune with nature, paying more attention to the environment, and as a consequence we are being asked to create bouquets and arrangements with a more natural feel.
“If you are having a birthday party or dinner, we are expecting people to take a nature-inspired approach by looking for foliage in their gardens, hedgerows, and local parks to add to their decor. We are also predicting that people will spruce up shop-bought flowers by supplementing them with items like wild cow parsley and any other foliage. You can expect to see some real natural show-stoppers on tables this party season.
“People will also be increasingly thinking about their carbon footprint and buying more locally-sourced flowers. With a bit of effort you can find local organic growers, which aren’t too expensive, that produce beautiful seasonal flowers.”
Vaishali Shah is Special Events Stationery Designer at Ananya Cards, a stationery company that specialises in cultural stationery for memorable events including save the dates, invitations, place cards, and table plans. Vaishali predicts that birthday invitations will continue to be made both virtually and digitally, but sustainability will be higher on the agenda than ever before…
“As a stationery designer, we are seeing a rise in live-streamed events and parties at an all-time high, due to COVID. As a result, we are noticing that people are asking for animated invitations, birthday websites and bespoke apps to be created for the birthday celebration.
“When it comes to creating stationery for birthday parties, we have been increasingly asked to design invitations using recycled paper and handmade paper. Being eco-conscious and responsible is becoming more important. We are also seeing a trend for sustainable paper flowers for place settings, décor and party gifts – a perfect keepsake.
“Both digital and printed invitations are popular. Printed invitations are becoming more elaborate, a play on all five senses including texture, scent and audio, as they form a key part of an experiential and immersive experience. Instructions are often included on how to assemble the invitations, together with personal messages to maximise the experience.
“There will also be an increased demand for themed parties – always popular for milestone birthday celebrations, which will be reflected in the stationery, décor and food. As we have missed travelling, themes may include ‘Fly Away With Me’, ‘Arabian Nights’ or ‘Mexican Fiesta’. Injecting your personality and any cultural elements (favourite pattern/scent/colours/food) that are meaningful to you will also be popular.”

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