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75th Birthday Entrance Decorations

By an Award-Winning Professional Party Planner

Why your party needs entrance decorations and a welcome area

About This Site

Welcome!
Watch video or read summary below
Matt James video title


  • Hi, I'm Matt James, a professional event planner with 25 years experience
  • I've produced events for A-list celebrities, including:

    Elton John,
    Sarah Jessica Parker,
    Stella McCartney,
    Kevin Spacey...and more!
  • I've won 30 industry awards for my events
  • And I'm the author of Become an Event Planner: Secrets for Getting Hired by Employers, Recruiters, and Event Professionals


    On this site, I'll share...

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Contents

01

Entrance Decorations

Identify the party location, direct guests to the entrance, and create a warm welcome

02

Welcome Area Décor

Greet guests with signage, décor, arrival drinks, activities, photo ops, and party favors

75th BIRTHDAY ENTRANCE DECORATIONS

75th birthday entrance decorations


SUMMARY

  • Entrance decorations need to be welcoming and functional
  • Use to identify the location of the party, direct guests to the entrance, create a warm welcome, and put guests at ease
  • The initial moments of a party set the tone and reassure guests, so first impressions matter
  • You can't always greet every guest personally, so automate the arrivals process
  • Create a welcome area to:
  • greet guests; with signage, décor, and self-service drinks,
  • entertain; with activities, photo ops, and party favors, and
  • manage flow; with directional signage for cloakrooms, bathrooms, table plans, and a gift/card table
  • This ensures guests feel acknowledged upon arrival and know what to do and where to go
  • People like to be gently guided and given instructions upon arrival—especially if the venue or crowd are unfamiliar to them
+ Read More + Close


01

Entrance Decorations

Matt's Tip Watch video or read summary below
Matt James video title


Why You Need Entrance Decorations

We’ve all turned up to a party where it’s just a cold front door awaiting you...

You can’t hear any music or see any people inside, so you immediately feel a sense of dread…

It doesn’t sound much like a party, what if there’s hardly anyone there?

Will I be stuck making awkward small talk with people I don’t know?

Am I going to be itching to leave in five minutes?

Hell, am I even in the right place?

Grrr....I knew I should’ve stayed on the sofa!

Entrance decorations need to be welcoming and functional

They should identify the location of the party, direct guests to the entrance, create a warm welcome, and put guests at ease.

Think about any professional event you've ever been to. There's always something there to highlight the entrance; be it banners, a carpet runner, flower arrangements, or flaming torches.

Entrance decorations not only serve a functional purpose in identifying the location of the event, which can be helpful if guests are unfamiliar with the venue, but they also send reassuring signals that 'yes, you're in the right place and the party is underway.'

The first few minutes of a party set the tone and tell your guests it’s going to be fun event, so first impressions matter.

Through The Years Lawn Signs

Through The Years photo lawn signs each sign showing birthday boy at a different age leading up to house
  • THE IDEA
  • Set the tone early by lining the entrance with cute, funny, and embarrassing old photos of the birthday boy/girl to entertain guests as they arrive

  • THE HOW
  • Collect up old photos of the birthday boy/girl from different stages of their life
  • Upload one image per sign
  • Customize text and change background color if required
  • On receipt, stake each lawn sign into the grass leading up to the party entrance
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Tap images to enlarge

Through The Years photo lawn signs each sign showing birthday boy at a different age leading up to house
Through The Years photo lawn signs each sign showing birthday boy at a different age
Through The Years photo lawn signs each sign showing graduate at a different ages leading up to house
Through The Years photo lawn signs each sign showing birthday boy at a different age leading up to house


  • WHERE TO BUY

  • Update 2022: The seller of this item has temporarily ceased trading. I do not know when or if they will return. Where possible, I have linked below to similar products instead. Unfortunately, some products were unique to the original seller so there is not always a comparable alternative at this time. If you discover one, please share with me.



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Custom Half Body Cutouts

Half body cut outs of friends and family of the birthday boy arranged as lawn signs leading up to house
  • THE IDEA
  • Create a big first impression by greeting guests with custom half body or group cutouts of the birthday boy/girl at different stages of their life

  • THE HOW
  • Can be made from a digital photo or scan of a print
  • Sizes range from 1ft to 8ft tall
  • Available in cardboard or more durable foam core
  • Comes with easel so it can stand on it's own
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge

man standing next to half body cut outs of himself at different ages in front yard to celebrate a milestone birthday
girl standing next to half body cut outs of herself at different ages in front yard for Sweet 16 party
Half body cut outs of the birthday boy and friends and family arranged as lawn signs leading up to house
Half body cut outs of the birthday boy at different ages set up at a garden party
matt james, professional event planner
matt's tip by matt james, professional event planner

MATT'S TIP

"As these large-size cut outs will be printed from a small photo, the image needs to be high-resolution to avoid it appearing blurry.

If you're using an old printed photo, it will probably need to be scanned at 600dpi so it's probably best to take it to a local printer (not an office supply shop) who will have a flat bed scanner specifically for photos.

I'd recommend chatting to the seller first to check their photo requirements."



  • WHERE TO BUY

  • Update 2022: The seller of this item has temporarily ceased trading. I do not know when or if they will return. Where possible, I have linked below to similar products instead. Unfortunately, some products were unique to the original seller so there is not always a comparable alternative at this time. If you discover one, please share with me.



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Custom Yard Heads

Happy Birthday photo heads of the birthday boy used as lawn signs outside a house
  • THE IDEA
  • Bring a smile to guests' faces as they arrive with custom yard heads showing the birthday boy/girl at different stages of their life

  • THE HOW
  • Choose photos of the birthday boy/girl
  • Yard heads available as single or multiple images
  • Choose from 18" or 24" size
  • Option for heads only or heads plus sign
  • Comes with yard stake
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge

matt james, professional event planner
matt's tip by matt james, professional event planner

MATT'S TIP

"These look best if you use a minimum of three different photos of the birthday boy/girl, perhaps as a baby, teenager, and adult.

Alternatively, if you only have access to photos of them as an adult, still try to use three different photos. It just makes them more interesting to look at and less like you've just photocopied the same thing multiple times."



  • WHERE TO BUY

OR PRESS ANY IMAGE      



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Custom Yard Cards

Happy 75th Birthday Courtney yard card on front lawn of house
  • THE IDEA
  • Create a warm welcome for guests and ensure your party venue stands out and is easy to find with a custom yard card

  • THE HOW
  • Choose preferred design and color
  • Customize with names and/or age
  • Some sellers provide stakes included, others charge extra so check
  • Add-on images available to reflect interests (sports, cheer, food & drink etc).
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge

Happy 75th Birthday Mike yard card on front lawn of house
Thai is 40 #OldMan yard card on front lawn of house
Happy 75th Birthday Bambi yard card on front lawn of house
Happy Birthday Audrey yard card on front lawn of house


  • WHERE TO BUY

  • Update 2022: The seller of this item has temporarily ceased trading. I do not know when or if they will return. Where possible, I have linked below to similar products instead. Unfortunately, some products were unique to the original seller so there is not always a comparable alternative at this time. If you discover one, please share with me.



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Through the Years Banners

Look Who's Forty custom photo vertical banners hung either side of house front door
  • THE IDEA
  • Ensure the entrance to your party stands out while making guests smile with vertical banners showing photos of the birthday boy/girl 'Through The Years'

  • THE HOW
  • Upload three different photos of the birthday boy/girl per banner
  • Choose size from 2ft to 12ft tall
  • Customize text and/or background color if required
  • Indoor or outdoor options available
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge

Look Who's Forty custom photo vertical banners hung either side of house front door
Look Who's Forty custom photo vertical banner hung on house front door
Look Who's Forty custom photo vertical banner showing birthday boy at 3 different stages of his life
Look Who's Forty custom photo vertical banner showing birthday boy at 3 different stages of his life
matt james, professional event planner
matt's tip by matt james, professional event planner

MATT'S TIP

"Note that the banners in the mock-up images above are for illustrative purposes only and are not shown to scale.

The banners are available in a range of sizes so consider where you want to hang them and choose the appropriate size accordingly.

If budget permits, two different banners flanking the party entrance looks best, however one will work fine too. You can always balance the other side with a tall bunch of balloons."



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Big Head Cut Outs

Giant big head cut outs of the birthday boy at different stages of their life hanging either side of front door of house
  • THE IDEA
  • Turn heads by decorating the entrance to your party with custom head cutouts of the birthday boy/girl at different stages of their life

  • THE HOW
  • Choose size from 2ft to 6ft. The larger the better works best.
  • Email photo(s) of the birthday boy/girl to the seller
  • On receipt, hang or fix to the wall at the entrance to your party
  • Guests will definitely spot where the party's at!
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge

man holding 6ft big head cut out of his own head
woman holding 5ft big head cut out of her own head
woman holding 3ft big head cut out of her own head
man holding 2ft big head cut out of his own head


Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Entrance Runners

woman standing on blue monogrammed petal entrance runner leading to house surrounded by balloon garland
  • THE IDEA
  • Give guests the red carpet treatment with a personalized or decorative walkway runner to highlight the entrance to your event

  • THE HOW
  • Options include rose petal, monogrammed, sequin, printed fabric, or personalized printed fabric
  • Can be personalized with initials, ages, names, and dates
  • Non-slip materials
  • Available in any length
  • Can be re-used for future birthdays and events if personalization limited to names or initials
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge



  • WHERE TO BUY

OR PRESS ANY IMAGE      



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Balloon Walkway

pink helium balloon lined walkway through a park
  • THE IDEA
  • For a simple yet eye-catching decorative feature, line the route to your entrance with helium-filled balloons

  • THE HOW
  • Tie freshly-filled helium balloons to ribbon or balloon poles
  • Anchor with balloon weights or lanterns
  • Arrange along the path or walkway to the entrance of your party
  • For longer paths, stagger the balloons as you alternate each side. For short paths, it looks best if you mirror the balloons opposite each other on both sides to create a tunnel effect
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge

white helium balloon lined walkway leading up to entrance of house
orange helium balloon lined carpet walkway leading up to party entrance
red helium balloon lined walkway through a park
white helium balloon lined path up to front door of house
matt james, professional event planner
matt's tip by matt james, professional event planner

MATT'S TIP

"If you plan to use these outside using just ribbon or string, be aware that any wind will cause them to bend, sway, or bob around, so it will be harder to achieve the upright look.

Professionals, such as Balloons by Tommy (Chicago & LA) typically tie them to balloon column poles, as shown in the main photo above. You can pick these up for around $6 each, see button below.

If using ribbon or string, you can reduce the amount of movement by shortening the length, as shown in the photo of orange balloons above, but they will still bend if there's more than a gentle breeze. You can also compensate for the reduced length by anchoring them to taller lanterns to add extra height.

I would also recommend not inflating the balloons any earlier than the day of the event, so they have the maximum float potential."



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Paper Luminaries

paper luminaries lining the walkway for guests arriving at a house party
  • THE IDEA
  • For evening events, give guests a warm and inviting welcome by lining the route to your entrance with glowing paper luminaries

  • THE HOW
  • Choose from plain, patterned, personalized, or photo luminaries
  • Use with battery operated LED lights, not candles, for safety and to prevent wind extinguishing flame
  • Add sand or stones to each bag to prevent them blowing over
  • Turn on lights just before the event starts to maximize battery length and brightness
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge



  • WHERE TO BUY

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Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Balloon Garland

Purple and red balloon garland surrounding the entrance to a house
  • THE IDEA
  • Make a dramatic first impression and wow your guests by decorating the entrance to your party with a striking balloon garland

  • THE HOW
  • Inflate all the different size balloons that come in the kit
  • Insert each balloon into a hole on the balloon strip to form a chain
  • Fix the balloon hook above the doorway, hang a piece of ribbon from the hook, and tie to the end of the balloon garland. Drape and arrange in your desired shape.
  • Use glue dots to attach additional balloons to any areas that need to be filled in
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge

Purple, blue and pink balloon garland surrounding the entrance to a house
Gray, yellow and peach balloon garland draped around outside seating area of a house
Pale blue and green balloon garland surrounding the entrance to a house
Pink and white balloon garland surrounding the entrance to a house
matt james, professional event planner
matt's tip by matt james, professional event planner

MATT'S TIP

"Keep in mind, balloon garlands are a fair bit of work. There's a lot of balloons to inflate, then you have to tie each one to the strip, so allow plenty of time and rope in some helpers.

I'd also strongly advise investing in an electric balloon pump (under $20 see button below) as a hand pump involves a lot of energy!"

As you'll be using outdoors and there might be wind, I'd recommend securing the balloon garland to the surroundings (i.e. gutters, drainpipes, light fixtures etc) at multiple points by looping string around the balloon strip and weighing down the end that meets the ground."



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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02

Welcome Area

Matt's Tip Watch video or read summary below
Matt James video title


Why You Need To Create a Welcome Area

When the party starts, in an ideal world, you'd be answering the door, greeting guests, taking coats, offering drinks, and introducing people to one another.

Which is fine for the first few people who arrive

But before long, people will start arriving in quick succession.

So, just as you're taking someone's coat, the doorbell will ring again and you'll have to abandon those people before you get time to offer them a drink.

Then, before you've even had time to take coats from the next guests, the doorbell will ring again, interrupting that welcome.

Then, as you try to greet the next group, someone will ask you...

...where the bathroom is,

...or where they should put their coat,

...or they'll hand you a gift to open,

...and before you know it, you're being torn in all different directions.

Not only does this make for a stressful start to the party for you, but it also means none of your guests get a proper reception.

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Instead of being thanked for coming, offered a drink, and made to feel welcome, they’re abandoned as soon as the doorbell rings again and handed off—potentially to a room full of people they might not know very well, which can leave them feeling a little deflated, or worse, snubbed.

Remember, they’ve come to see you; to celebrate your milestone birthday—probably bearing gifts—so the least you can do is make sure they get a warm welcome.


What Makes a Great Reception Area

In reality, it’s just not realistic to try to greet every guest personally the moment they arrive; unless you plan to hang around the entrance all night.

Which is why it pays to automate the arrivals processes as much as possible by creating a welcome area to:

  • greet guests; with signage, décor, and self-service drinks,
  • entertain; with activities, photo ops, and party favors, and
  • manage flow; with directional signage for cloakrooms, bathrooms, table plans, and a gift/card table.

This way, guests feel acknowledged upon arrival and it’s clear what they should do and where they should go; without you having to act as a receptionist.


Ensure Your Guests Feel Comfortable

We’ve all experienced turning up to a party and there’s no-one there to greet you. The door swings open and you’re faced with a room full of people—maybe no-one you know—already chatting in groups, some of whom turn to stare at you.

It’s always a bit awkward and you feel like you have to wade into the crowd and seek out the host before you can truly settle in.

This can easily be avoided by just providing a few simple signs and ‘ice-breaker’ activities that will free you up to actually enjoy the party as it happens.

The truth is, people are put at ease when they’re gently guided and given instructions upon arrival—especially if the venue or crowd are unfamiliar to them.

That’s why professional events always have hosts whose sole job it is to welcome people, tell them where things are, and where to go.

Check out some of my ideas below to help you automate this process.

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Life-Size Talking Cutout

African american man standing next to a life size cutout of himself
  • THE IDEA
  • Have the birthday boy/girl greet guests at the entrance with a life-size custom cutout and optional motion-activated voice recorder

  • THE HOW
  • Decide whether to use a present day or retro photo of the birthday boy/girl
  • Can be made from a digital photo or scan of a print
  • Sizes range from 1ft to 6ft tall
  • Available in cardboard or more durable foam core
  • Comes with easel so it can stand on it's own
  • Option to add a voice recorder to greet guests as they approach
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge

woman standing next to a life size cutout of herself
man standing next to a life size cutout of himself
man standing next to a life size cutout of himself at a 75th birthday party
woman standing next to a life size cutout of herself at an 80s theme party

You can really bring the cutout to life by pairing it with a motion-activated voice recorder (approx $25, see button below) to have the birthday boy/girl personally welcome guests as they arrive.

Alternatively, you can have the life-size cutout created as a caricature or with a themed / fantasy body.




Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Welcome Signs

Welcome to Beth's 75th Birthday sign on an easel
  • THE IDEA
  • Help guests find the entrance, reassure them they're at the right place, and invite them in without having to man the door

  • THE HOW
  • Choose from acrylic, poster paper, foam board, or an editable template to print yourself
  • Customize text and colors
  • Display on an easel at the entrance
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge

Welcome to Madison's Sweet Sixteen custom welcome sign on an easel surrounded by balloons
Black and gold sequin 75th Birthday custom name welcome sign on an easel
Forty & Fabulous 75th Birthday custom name welcome sign with floral design on an easel
Custom photo 75th Birthday welcome sign on an easel
matt james, professional event planner
matt's tip by matt james, professional event planner

MATT'S TIP

"These look best if you add a little dressing to the easel, such as a balloon garland, flowers, or foliage.

Not only does it add a more decorative look, but it makes for a larger display that will stand out more."



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Photo Collage Sign

Celebrating 75 years photo collage sign displayed on easel on bar top
  • THE IDEA
  • Entertain guests by placing a photo collage showing the birthday boy/girl at different stages of their life at the entrance or on bars / dessert / buffet tables

  • THE HOW
  • Ask friends and family to contribute old photos of the birthday boy/girl to create a photo collage sign celebrating the birthday boy/girl's life (so far)
  • Choose from printable or print and ship templates and add custom text
  • Use to decorate the entrance, welcome area, bar tops, dessert / buffet, or occasional tables
  • You can also frame it so it doubles as a gift / keepsake
  • Alternatively, use the large 3 panel option pictured below as a dessert / buffet table backdrop
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Tap images to enlarge

matt james, professional event planner
matt's tip by matt james, professional event planner

MATT'S TIP

"Rather than only draw upon your own collection, considering asking friends and family members to lend you some of their photos of the birthday boy/girl from significant periods of their life.

That way you might discover some less familiar photos—perhaps even some the birthday boy/girl might have forgotten or never even seen before.

Old printed photos can be transferred to a digital format very inexpensively nowadays ($20-$30 for 100 photos, link below) so it's a great opportunity to preserve them for years to come.

Similarly, old photos that are fading, discolored, or damaged can often be restored at the same time (see link below)."



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Shoot It, Share It Signs

Oh Snap! Share the Love hashtag sign
  • THE IDEA
  • Asks guests to capture memories by snapping, sharing, and tagging photos on social media using a custom hashtag

  • THE HOW
  • Choose from acrylic, printed, or printable designs
  • Customize the text and add your event hashtag
  • Display in a prominent position at the entrance so guests are made aware of the hashtag right from the beginning
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge



  • WHERE TO BUY

OR PRESS ANY IMAGE      



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Custom Hashtag Sign

'Your Hashtag Here' freestanding tabletop custom hashtag sign
  • THE IDEA
  • Remind guests to tag their photos on social media by placing a custom hashtag sign at the entrance

  • THE HOW
  • Choose from wood or acrylic
  • Choose color
  • Customize text
  • On receipt, clip hashtag sign into the base to assemble
  • Display in a prominent position at the entrance so guests are made aware of the hashtag right from the beginning
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge

Perfectly Petersen freestanding tabletop custom hashtag sign on a wedding bar top
Have You Met the Dardons freestanding tabletop custom hashtag sign
tabletop custom hashtag sign lying on table next to party favors
NFL Ready freestanding tabletop custom hashtag sign


Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Custom Card Box

75th birthday card box printed with old photos of the birthday boy
  • THE IDEA
  • Provide a box at the entrance for guests to leave cards so neither they or the birthday boy/girl has to carry them during the event

  • THE HOW
  • Upload photos of the birthday boy/girl at different stages of their life to print on each side
  • Customize the text and change colors
  • Alternatively, customize the text of a decal to apply to an acrylic box
  • Display alongside a printable 'Cards & Gifts' sign on a table at the entrance
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge



  • WHERE TO BUY

  • Update 2022: The seller of this item has temporarily ceased trading. I do not know when or if they will return. Where possible, I have linked below to similar products instead. Unfortunately, some products were unique to the original seller so there is not always a comparable alternative at this time. If you discover one, please share with me.

OR PRESS ANY IMAGE      



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Hello My Name Is Stickers

man wearing 'Hello My Name Is...' sticker on shirt breast
  • THE IDEA
  • Facilitate introductions and conversation starters with humorous name tags that reveal guests' 'Special Talent', 'Superhero Name & Power', or 'Favorite Sitcom Character'

  • THE HOW
  • Choose design (Talent, Superpower, etc) and color
  • Choose from printed stickers or digital download
  • Give out to guests as they arrive
  • Alternatively, leave on a table in the welcome area with pens and display a printable 'Please Take One' sign (see button below)
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Fan Faces

Group of friends holding up fan faces of the birthday boy's face
  • THE IDEA
  • Surprise the guest of honor as they arrive by providing party guests with fan faces of the birthday boy/girl

  • THE HOW
  • Decide whether to use same image on all fan faces or split the total number of fans over several photos showing the birthday boy/girl at different stages of their life
  • Hand out to guests on arrival
  • Alternatively, leave on a table in the welcome area and display a printable 'Please Take One' sign (see button below)
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge

Group of people at a party holding up fan faces of the birthday boy's face
Group of people at a party holding up fan faces of the birthday girl's face
woman holding up a fan face of her own face
two men sitting together with one holding up a fan face of the other man's face
matt james, professional event planner
matt's tip by matt james, professional event planner

MATT'S TIP

"Choose a forward facing, well-lit, head only, high resolution (300dpi) photo.

If you want to use old printed photos, have these scanned at a local printer using a flat bed scanner (not a document scanner used at office supply stores).

Alternatively, if you want to transfer more old prints to digital format this can be done very inexpensively nowadays ($20-$30 for 100 photos, link below) and it's a great opportunity to preserve them for years to come.

Just double check that the service-provider offers high-resolution scans. Most do as standard.

Similarly, old photos that are fading, discolored, or damaged can often be restored at the same time (see link below)."



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Photo Party Hats

two photo party hats, one showing the birthday boy now and one as a baby
  • THE IDEA
  • Create custom party hats printed with old photos of the birthday boy/girl from different stages of their life

  • THE HOW
  • Choose single photo or collage style design
  • Upload photos of the birthday boy/girl at different stages of their life to print on the hat
  • Add text or patterns if required
  • Hand out to guests on arrival
  • Alternatively, leave on a table in the welcome area and display a printable 'Please Take One' sign (see button below)
+ Read More

Tap images to enlarge

matt james, professional event planner
matt's tip by matt james, professional event planner

MATT'S TIP

"To ensure the best placement of the image once the hat is folded into a cone shape, use a landscape ratio photo that has some background / space either side and above the birthday boy/girl's face.

To upload and layout your image click the 'Where to Buy' button below then follow these steps:

Click 'Personalize' > 'Edit Using Design Tool' > Click 'Layers' tab on far left

Click 'Background: Images & Text' drop down > Place cursor on photo and delete

Click 'My Files' table on left > 'Upload Image' > Stretch corners to fit

If you want to lay text over the image (optional), click 'Layers' > Front: Images & Text > 'Text' tab on left

The important thing to remember is to add the main image in the 'Background' layer so it fills the entire cone shape."



Personally, I prefer the single-image style photo hats (above) because I think one larger photo looks more stylish and is easier to see. However, you can also get busier collage-style photo hats or more fancy felt ones, as shown below (click to shop).


Tap images to enlarge

matt james, professional event planner
matt's tip by matt james, professional event planner

MATT'S TIP

"Lots of sellers offer these photo hats, but they're often shown with present-day photos of the birthday boy/girl.

These are so much more fun if you use a mix of old photos showing them at different stages of their life.

If you need to convert old printed photos to digital format, check out the links above.

These hats look great in black and white or color and I like to embellish them with a little sticky gift bow; silver if B&W or gold if color."



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Guest book Alternative: Signing Poster

custom 75th birthday signing poster guestbook alternative with photos of birthday boy as adult and child surrounded by handwritten messages
  • THE IDEA
  • Invite guests to write messages for the birthday boy/girl on a signing poster to be framed as a touching keepsake of their milestone birthday

  • THE HOW
  • Choose single, double, or no photo options
  • Choose framed and shipped or instant download printable
  • Customize the text and choose colors
  • Display with a printable 'Please Sign' sign on a table at the entrance as a guest book alternative
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You don't have to use a traditional photo for the guest book alternative. There are also options with digital watercolor portraits, caricatures, or 'The Simpsons' style cartoon caricatures, such as the ones shown below (click to shop).


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Polaroid Guest Book

Polaroid guest book on table next to a Polaroid camera and a sign asking guests to Snap It, Shake It, Stick It, Sign It
  • THE IDEA
  • Snap it, shake it, stick it, sign it! Invite guests to illustrate their guest book entry using an instant camera

  • THE HOW
  • Pick up an inexpensive Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 instant camera and some spare film (see below)
  • Choose a customizable birthday guest book (see below)
  • Display both—with pens—alongside a printable 'Snap it, Shake it, Stick it, Sign it!' sign on a table at the entrance
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matt james, professional event planner
matt's tip by matt james, professional event planner

MATT'S TIP

"This is such a popular idea for weddings and birthdays that are now lots of different printable signs available to help automate the entire experience.

In addition to the traditional 'Snap It, Shake It, Stick It, Sign It' instructional sign, you can also display illustrated signs showing guests how to use the camera, take the best shot, and load new film when it runs out. So you won't need to worry about supervising or missing out on photos because the film ran out."



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Video Guest book

man and woman raising their glasses to toast while recording a video message on a tablet on a tripod
  • THE IDEA
  • Capture the love by setting up a tablet on a tripod for guests to record video messages for the birthday boy/girl

  • THE HOW
  • Pick up an inexpensive tablet tripod (approx $20, see link below)
  • Buy a 128GB or 256GB micro SD memory card to insert into the tablet to ensure you have sufficient capacity to store all the video messages (see link below)
  • Set up in quiet space off your welcome area with a printable 'Video Booth Instructions' sign
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matt james, professional event planner
matt's tip by matt james, professional event planner

MATT'S TIP

"Remember to set up in an area that's quiet and won't create congestion, such as curtaining off an area or re-purposing a nearby cloakroom or closet.

Be sure to leave the tablet plugged in and charging while in use to prevent it running out of juice halfway through the party.

Alternatively, rope in a teenage family member to invite guests to contribute as they arrive and supervise the recordings."



Disclaimer: Product links are provided for your convenience only and do not consitute an endorsement of the seller, their reliability, or the quality of their products. This post may contain affiliate links.
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Self-Service Drinks Station

  • THE IDEA
  • Set up a self-service bar at the entrance with pre-mixed or ready to pour drinks that guests can help themselves to on arrival

  • THE HOW
  • Batch-make cocktails and serve in large drinks dispensers or carafes for guests to pour themselves
  • Alternatively, pre-portion 'grab-and-go' cocktails into milk bottles or mason jars and display in ice buckets
  • For traditional drinks, such as wine, beer, and Champagne, leave these chilling in ice buckets / on tables alongside glasses for guests to pour themselves
  • Add some wow-factor with a freestanding Champagne wall or tabletop stand
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To browse the full range of inexpensive drinks dispensers, milk bottles, mason jars, and ice buckets click the button below. Alternatively, for a specific item tap/hover on any image above and select 'Shop Now'.

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For inexpensive carafes and jars, freestanding Champagne walls, or a more budget-friendly tabletop Champagne stand, click on the relevant button below.

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wine bottles in ice filled coolers
wine bottles and glasses on a self-service event bar
beer bottles chilling in an ice bucket
champagne bottles chilling in an ice bucket on an event bar

For traditional drinks, such as wine, beer, and Champagne, leave these chilling in ice buckets / on tables alongside glasses for guests to pour themselves. Check out the link below for inexpensive metal buckets to chill bottles.

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