Turning 21 is an exciting time. It's a milestone age that symbolises maturity and adulthood. When decorating a place for someone's 21st birthday party, keep in mind that this person is no longer a child. Streamers and funny hats should not make any appearances at a 21st birthday party, for this is the day that childhood is left behind and adulthood is celebrated with style and grace.
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Take a minimalist approach; don't make printouts or anything that will draw unnecessary attention to the birthday boy/girl. A 21st birthday party should actually feel less like a birthday party and more like a public event. The party should be a time to "hang out" with the other mature people in the guest's life. Instead of making the party a wild event in which to get drunk, create an atmosphere that encourages just the opposite. Use candles to light the space instead of black lights or disco balls, play classical or oldies music instead of hip hop or techno. Make it a night that encourages responsible behaviour and respect of adulthood (after all, if they want to get wasted they can go to a bar after the party).
Themes should be subtle at 21st birthday parties. Do not get paper plates and cups that have cartoon dinosaurs on them. If possible, use fine dishes and silverware. If you decide to place a theme into your decorations, don't think far beyond colour schemes. Black, white, silver and gold may be combined in any order to create a classy and sophisticated aesthetic. If you get balloons, make sure they're one of those four colours. Never decorate with the gaudy balloons that say "Happy 21st!" on them. Keep the themes subtle, and your guest of honour will feel very respected and mature.
Food and Drinks
If you get a cake, don't make it flowery or colourful, but get something with rich or dark chocolate. Remember that this is a party that celebrates maturity, not sugary sweets or two-liter bottles of soda. If you can afford it, provide champagne. Discourage drunkenness, but make alcohol available. Make sure minors aren't drinking, but let alcohol be another symbol of maturity. If they can enjoy some drinks without making a drunken mess, it is a sign that they are grown-ups. Avoid old staples like pizza and chips. Serve finger foods like cheese, bread and fruit. Use the food and drink as a primary decoration at the party, setting up tables where food and drink can be taken throughout the course of the party.
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