It was my dad’s milestone 60th birthday last month and he celebrated in style, starting with holidaying in the magical Dubai. So my mum, my sisters and I decided to throw him a surprise birthday party, inviting all of his close friends and family. We wanted to throw him a party; firstly for turning 60 which is a pretty big deal and secondly, just because everyone loves a good party right?!


As I feel milestone birthdays are quite a reflective time, I wanted the party decor to reflect this (no pun intended). I love all things arts and crafts and I was keen on the idea of having ‘timeline bunting’ hanging around the room as decorative pieces. So I literally trailed through sixty years worth of pictorial memories and picked the best photos which had made the cut. The party venue held up to 120 guests. It was made up of a rather large bar (yippee), a DJ/dance floor, buffet area and seating/table areas. A pretty standard setup. As the room lacked colour, I thought it would be fun to incorporate some subtle colour into the timeline bunting - because surely everyone loves a bit of colour. I bought some miniature pegs from eBay and used them to attach the photographs to the blue ribbon.

Next up, we thought a big balloon focal point would desperately brighten the room up. A big silver foil ‘6 0’ was a great start, surrounded by lots and lots of balloons and gold ribbon. We decided upon the colour theme of blue, silver and gold - which is my dad down to a tee. Blue reflects the corporate business world, gold because he’s fabulous at 60 and silver… well it was a good colour which nicely matched (if I'm being honest).


The cake is a massive deal at any birthday gathering, let alone a milestone birthday party! We wanted the cake to reflect Dad - being a wow factor, sweet and luxurious! My dad’s an avid golfer and I’m conscious I didn't want a ‘typical golf’ decorative green cake with a miniature golfer plonked on the top, accompanied with ‘Happy 60th Birthday’ in thick icing. So we opted for a large luxury single tier chocolate gateau, with chocolate and gold speckled ribbon detailing. To say the cake went down a treat would be a bit of an understatement. After the cutting of the cake, Prosecco toasts and lengthy speeches - the cake was pretty much gone!


Music and a good DJ is 100% a must at any big party. Our family and friends all love a good knees up and we're all guilty of throwing some serious shapes on the dance floor, including twisting those light bulbs and patting that dog, which are both very typical of Bhangra dance moves. If you're really having trouble mastering them iconic dance moves, then I would simply advice to just clap along to the music (it never fails!). As well as Bhangra, a good mix of 80's soul and Motown kept everyone happy. Think Michael Jackson, George Benson, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie plus more. All this, along with an Indian Dhol drummer made for a pretty epic 60th birthday party with everyone on the dance floor all night long (excuse the Lionel pun - I couldn't resist). DJ and entertainment were provided by Evallance.


Now, I’m not one to blow my own trumpet, but us Indian folk are known for our outstanding hospitality. Now this was no exception at the party. We were thinking a sophisticated mixed Indian/English buffet consisting of the usual - samosas, bhajis, chicken tikka, sandwiches, quiches etc - you get the picture.

A concoction of alcoholic beverages, outstanding food, luxurious birthday cake and fantastic music entertainment - what more could our guests possibly want?! Well, the main star of the show of course, our Dad! We truly wanted the party to be a celebration of my dad’s 60 years, creating more fantastic, fun-filled memories and giggles - and I think that was exactly what was achieved!

Happy 60th Birthday, Dad. 

Photography provided by Neil Sturgeon.