My 40th Birthday Party
Monday was my 40th birthday and on Saturday night, I had a big party to celebrate. I had it at my favorite hotel in Charleston (The Dewberry). We did a cocktail hour and then seated dinner, and then afterwards went dancing at The Commodore (the BEST for live music and dancing). It was one of the best nights of my life.
I realize it may seem strange to some to go all out for a birthday party for YOURSELF.
It was incredibly awkward when the venue asked me, “who’s the party for,” and I was like, “it’s for ME!”, but here’s the thing. At 30 I couldn’t have afforded to do this, at 50 I probably won’t want to (maybe I will but I would imagine my 50th birthday probably being fun and extra but a smaller group). You only turn 40 once, and after the past 18, 20 months, it just felt right.
But also: we spend so much time celebrating marriages and babies (which is the best and I have loved celebrating my friends’ milestones over the years) but I also think that there are other wonderful things to celebrate. I think it felt less strange to me as I had a good precedent: I have had to of my close friends turn forty over the past few years. They both threw epic parties for themselves and I remember thinking, “yup I’m absolutely going to do that!!!!!” I think in a way, seeing my friends do that for themselves gave me permission? So just a little moment of seriousness: not that anyone needs me to give them permission but if you are reading this and you are single and/or without kids, I hope you realize that you are worthy of being celebrated, even if it feels weird throwing the party yourself.
The best part of having a big birthday party is being able to bring all of your favorite people together in one room.
In terms of close friends I have probably five smaller individual friend groups, plus my family. It was really fun having everyone mix and mingle. That was the best part of the night for me although I will tell you: leading up to the party, that was the part I was most nervous about… just wanting to make sure everyone got along and had a fun night!
The Roaring Twenties theme was a play on what I hope will happen when the pandemic is fully behind us… after lockdown and sweatpant life I think we all are excited about drinking champagne and wearing glittery things and getting dressed up again. I’ll also mention that my friend group loves a theme. I didn’t want to pressure anyone (my sister hates theme parties, I love them) but I was so happy everyone got dolled up. It was so much fun seeing what everyone wore! I personally ended up getting my whole outfit from Etsy. This dress, this headband, and this ostrich feather shawl.
I also wanted to shout out the amazing small businesses that helped bring this to life!
- The Drifter – Courtney is amazing. I am obsessed with everything she did. And I am going to work with her any time I ever throw a party again. She was responsible for this gorgeous tabletop and bringing it all to life.
- Anna Duncan Photography
- Bullfish Cookie Company – My friend Molly had these made with Tyrion!
photography by Anna Duncan.