The Ultimate Guide to Throwing a 40th Birthday Bash

It’s time to welcome in a brand, spanking new decade, the golden 4-0. Once you’ve got past your 16th, 18th, and 21st birthdays, you only reach those milestone years once a decade so you may as well bring it on in style. You’re older, wiser, can hold your punch better, probably have a circle of friends you’ve known for 10 years rather than 10 minutes, and know exactly what you want from a birthday celebration, but where to start? Right here…

1.     Crowded, intimate, casual or lavish?

The first thing you’ve got to lock down is the vibe of the party. Casual dinner and cocktails with just your nearest and dearest in a section or private dining room of a bar/restaurant? Hire out a whole venue and fill it to capacity with anyone and everyone who’s made an impression on you these past 40 years? Or somewhere in between? The type of event you want to host will determine everything else to come…

2.     We’ll start with how much cash you’re willing to splash…

Be realistic, will you be covering the entire budget, will your guests be paying their own way or are you going to meet them halfway? $500 - $800 should cover budgets on the lower end of the scale, but those who hire a function space exclusively, purchase a food and drinks package and go all out with the decor are looking more at $2000 - $3000.

3.     The sauce

No matter what your budget, you’re going to want to keep your guests suitably lubricated through the night, so you’re going to have to decide whether you’ll be reminding your guests to bring their purses for the cash bar, whether you’re going to have a bar tab and let them buy their own drinks once the tab’s run dry, or if you’re going to have a bottomless beverage package for a set amount of time. Just remember, the latter can hike the price up a fair amount however as you’ll need to pay a set price per person. Chat to your chosen venue to gauge what would be most suitable for your event.

4.     Line your stomach

You don’t want a 20 year throwback at your 40th birthday with any messy moments from over-intoxicated, and under-fed guests. Even if you’re not providing food yourself, it’s always helpful to choose a venue that provides small snacks in case your mates decide to down five chardonnays on an empty stomach. If providing food is within your budget however, you tend to be able to choose between a set menu, priced per person, or a canapé package. Canapé packages tend to be more suited to an informal cocktail party, rather than one where everyone is seated for a group meal. If you’re struggling with how many platters to pre-order, six canapés per person is generally considered “entry-level” and 8-12 equals a “meal”.

5.     Location, location, location

Now you’ve narrowed down the basics, it’s time to start looking for the perfect setting to host all the above. If you don’t already have the ideal space in mind, there are plenty of booking platforms online filled with venues for all sorts of events. Once you’ve narrowed it down to two or three, we recommend always booking a site inspection so you can see it with your own eyes, create a realistic mental image of how the night will pan out in your head, and ask the team any other specific questions you might have. Don’t forget to ask about all the extras such as parking, cakeage, music, decorations, AV, and how they organise payment for food and drinks.


Check out the, one of the CBD's leading function spaces, available to hire for corporate and social events. Contact them at for more information.

Kiran Bains