When it comes to throwing parties, no one throws a good party quite like a millennial. Many will want to create those visually-appealing moments that will go viral when they’re posted to social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. However, there are times when a low-key birthday party is welcomed. Regardless of the mood of the party, it’s still a birthday to celebrate. Consider these five essentials you’ll want to include when you’re planning your next event.


Even for the party that’s considered low-key, it’s fun to have a theme. Creating a theme is great for developing the foundational concept for the party. Whether your theme is based on a favorite television show, a favorite dessert or a favorite decade, choose a theme that will properly reflect and celebrate the guest of honor.

For a low-key birthday party you may want to select a theme that will allow guests the space and time to talk and mingle. A keg party is great, but doesn’t quite work within the realm of a relaxing, quiet party for adults to socialize at. The theme doesn’t need to be overt or extreme, just something small to guide you in your other party planning decisions. You may choose a wine and cheese theme, a watching party theme, or select a theme around the plant life in your home.


The decor for your low-key birthday party can be as minimal as you want, it just needs to be intentional. Even if the party will be at home with a small budget, you can still create a stunning look. Take a look at your home and the decor in it already to see what you have to work with. You may have pieces you love that you’ve never had a chance to use as focal points.

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If you have a few dollars to spend you can purchase a handful of bouquets of flowers and greenery at a local store, or find some wildflowers in your own yard that you can pick. Get a few simple vases from the corner store and create arrangements that are strategically placed around the house. You can also create a simple, thematic backdrop that people can take photos in front of. Depending on your theme the backdrop can be as colorful or downplayed as you want.

Food and Drinks

Honestly, if a party doesn’t have good food, it’s going to be tough to get through. As long as you have good food and good company, it’ll be a blast. Knowing this, create a delicious menu with your friends’ preferences and dietary restrictions in mind. You can opt to create large platters of finger foods like deviled eggs, chicken wings, and finely-chopped vegetables. Find a friend who knows how to cook or order a few platters from a local restaurant. If all else fails, everyone loves pizza.

To make it a true celebration, make sure you have an array of drinks. Include sparkling water and fresh juice for those who are watching their calories. Then, make sure the guest of honor gets to enjoy drinks from a vintage wine club. Champagne is always essential for birthday parties.


No birthday party is complete without cake. If you want something simple you can opt to make the cake yourself at home. However, if you want something more custom and specialized you may want to opt for a cake from a local bakery. You can choose cake decorations that fit your theme or that are specific to the birthday haver in your group.

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If you have your heart set on a particular flavor and design, you can do the cake yourself with some extra instruction. If your party is far enough out then you may have time to take a beginner’s cake decorating class to create a beautiful cake for your party.


Board games will always remain a big hit among millennials. You might enjoy classic games with your friends like Catchphrase or Taboo. However, you can also branch out by exploring indie games. A local game store will have a broad selection and recommendations to help you create a perfect party.

If games aren’t quite your thing, you might want to opt for a karaoke machine or craft area. Both of these are options that work well for extroverted and introverted friends, respectively. You can also have a movie playing in the background for when people want to take a break from chatting and socializing. So long as the movie area is separate from the space where people are chatting, you won’t run into any problems.

For a smaller gathering with your friends you might forgo the reservations for the hotel ballroom and a professional photographer to capture every moment. However, just because the party won’t be elaborate doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful and memorable. By including these essentials, you’ll get the vibe for the perfect low-key birthday party.