40th birthday parties have come a long was from the old “over the hill” connotation. In fact, people would argue that forty just might be the new thirty. Forty year olds are as fabulous and as fit as ever! So why not celebrate this milestone with an exciting and memorable birthday bash? We’ve gathered some of the best ideas for celebrating this bittersweet rite of passage!

Celebrate the Night in White

A very simple, yet elegant, idea for a 40th birthday is to have a white-themed party. White symbolizes new beginnings, which is a much better view of turning forty than a mourning of lost youth. The guests can all wear white outfits and the birthday boy or girl can flaunt a bright colored outfit to truly stand out on their special day. Decorate the event venue in clean, white decorations such as white lights, white flowers, white candlesyou get the picture. A dessert table can also be set up with all different kinds of decadent white chocolate for the guests to enjoy. To end the night in a truly unique and special way, consider setting off sky lanterns. Each couple gets a lantern, makes a wish for the person of honor, and lets it go into the night sky. Perhaps the sky lanterns might even end up over the hill as well?

Back-In-Time 40th Birthday Themes

A popular 40th birthday party theme that’s always sure to be a big hit is decades. It’s best to choose the decade when the person of honor was a teenager so that they can relive the glory days for one more night. For most of us, that means that we’ll end up partying in the 80s again. You’ll have to break out the leg warmers, shoulder pads, neon colors, big makeup and big hair. Of course the perfect party playlist won’t be complete without some Madonna and Duran Duran!

40th Birthday Party Roast

If the guest of honor has a big sense of humor and some thick skin to match, than a roast would make for a great way to celebrate the big 4-0. Send out invitations that ask guests to come up with funny stories or jokes about the birthday person. Set chairs around him or her and take turns sharing stories and laughing at the past. A nice touch is to decorate the venue with humorous pictures of the guest of honor from “back in the day”. Forty years old means there will be forty years worth of ammunition for laughing until your stomach hurts!

Good Fortune 40th Birthday Party

Design the entire 40th birthday party around good fortune! Have magic 8-balls for party favors, a fortunetelling booth complete with a crystal ball, and plenty of fortune cookies. You can even personalize the messages inside the cookies and surprise everybody! Use red decorations and Chinese characters for an extra touch of good fortune. Consider bringing in professional Tarot card readers, psychics and other mystics to add flair to the event.

Bar Crawl

A great idea for a man’s 40th birthday party is to plan a bar crawl. He and his friends can map out all of their favorite bars in the area and plan a route for the special night. This typically consists of five or six bars total. Rent a party bus and have it take everybody from one bar to the next over the course of the evening (driving obviously won’t be an option). It’s a fun way to bond with some good friends over some great drinks.

“40 and Fabulous” Cocktail Party

Sometimes the best birthday parties are the simplest ones. Simply planning a cocktail party at the person of honor’s favorite local venue can oftentimes yield the most success. With a cocktail party, guests can dress as fancy or as casual as they’d like and don’t have to exert much effort or money to prepare for the event. The guest of honor can pick a signature cocktail to be served and delicious hors d’oeuvres can be served throughout the night. If you feel like stepping it up a notch, consider hiring a tribute band to play some of the birthday person’s favorite songs from the past.

Planning a big 40th birthday party is far from easy. Consider utilizing Snappening to help you with the process by browsing through our convenient list of event planners and event venues! If you have any exciting 40th birthday party stories or ideas post them on Facebook orTwitter! For more party ideas and inspiration check out our pinboards on Pinterest!