An invitation for a 40th birthday party should be as one-of-a-kind as the person celebrating the birthday. Whether you take a serious approach or a humorous approach to wording the invitation, consider the guest of honor's personality as well as her outlook on turning 40. Someone who is not looking forward to moving out of her 30s might not be receptive to "over-the-hill" reference, old age jokes or repeated mention of the number 40. On the other hand, someone dealing well with the upcoming birthday might stand up to some good-natured humour at her expense.
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Begin the invitation with an announcement or heading that advises recipients who and what the party is for. Choose wording that reflects the invitation style. For instance, a formal invitation would require a formal heading such as "Brian Jones is turning 40." Use the guest of honor's first and last name and avoid using nicknames on a formal invitation. For a casual invitation, it is acceptable to use informal wording and catchphrases such as "Brian Jones is celebrating the big 4 - 0" or "Look who is over the hill... Brian Jones is!"
Use a poem, quote or a birthday verse in the body of the invitation. Some popular humorous quotes are "Jill isn't 40, She's 18 with 22 years experience" or "Forty isn't old, if you're a tree!" For a more serious reflection on the age of 40, consider something like "At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment" - Benjamin Franklin.
Incorporate one of these sayings, or create one of your own and use it as a lead-in for the party details. For instance:
Forty isn't old, if you're a tree!
Come help Jill celebrate the Big 4-0
on (date and time) at (party location)
Benjamin Franklin said: "At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment." Come help Jill Burns reminisce about the good old days as she begins this new chapter in her life. Please join us at (location name) on (date and time).
Look for something that has an association with the number 40, such as a movie, song or pop-culture reference. If the birthday person is a sports fan, you can use a player who wears the number 40. Use the 40 association and word the invitation around it. The approach can be funny, straightforward or nostalgic. For example, for a football fan, you could use a Gayle Sayers reference like this:
The number 40 was lucky for Gayle Sayers
and it's going to be a great number for Jim Stewart!
Help Jim kick-off his 40th birthday on (date and time)
at (party location).
Avoid the mention of gifts on the invitation as it is considered poor etiquette to do so. Rather than putting gift suggestions on the invitations, wait until invitees inquire about gift ideas. When specifically asked for gift ideas, it is OK to provide suggestions.
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