This Is Your Life Party

Ideas for a This is Your Life milestone birthday party
A This is Your Life party can be a great retirement celebration idea or a fun theme for a milestone birthday to honor someone special. This theme is based on the old television show, “This Is Your Life”, that started airing in 1952 with host Ralph Edwards. On this program, a guest of honor was surprised by mystery guests sharing stories from their past. This can be an exciting theme for a surprise party, or can be adapted to make your event a special tribute to a guest of honor. Here are some ideas to get you started…

This Is Your Life Party Invitations

The first thing you should consider when throwing a This is Your Life party is whether it will be a surprise or not. If so, be sure to tell everyone on your invitations. (Click here for lots of ideas on hosting a successful surprise party.)

Since this celebration is all about your guest of honor, personalized invitations are a great way to go. Scan an old picture of your honoree (as a baby, a teenager, winning an award, or doing something they love) and put it on the front of your invitation. On the inside, write “Come Help Us Celebrate (your event– 50 great years, a remarkable career, etc.) at a This Is Your Life Party for _________!

Mask Invitations — Enlarge and print pictures of your guest of honor’s face from different stages of life (so that they are life-size). Glue them to cardboard and cut them out. Glue a large popsicle stick to the bottom of each to serve as a handle. Now you have personalized mask invitations! Write your party information on the back, and ask your guests to bring their masks to the event as a funny welcome for the guest of honor.

Another super idea is to ask everyone to include with their RSVP a special memory and picture of the guest of honor. Assemble these into a keepsake scrapbook. You can then display the scrapbook at your event so everyone can enjoy a collection of great stories!

You can always find lots of great online party invitations for a This is Your Life party, along with a free RSVP manager at Evite.

This Is Your Life Party Decorations

this is your life party memorabilia table

Set up your party as a tribute to your guest of honor by using photos, personalized party ware, and lots of memorabilia. Here’s how:

Assemble a memorabilia table displaying photos, trophies, and items that relate to your honoree’s interests

Use a large piece of butcher paper to create a personal timeline for your honoree. Write all the years from their birth to the present along the line and fill in world events, personal events, popular music and movies, discoveries, and photos for different years on the line. Encourage your guests to add their own ideas and remembrances.

Hang and display photos of your honoree at different ages

Set up a photo backdrop area for guests to get their picture taken with the honoree

Place disposable cameras around your party area for guests to take impromptu pictures of each other during the event

Play music that was popular during your guest of honor’s teen years has a huge variety of personalized birthday items in a range of different themes. You can pick the style you want and customize things to whatever year or accomplishment that you are celebrating. Here are a few options that we like:

Cheers to You Dessert Plates
Cheers to You Party Supplies
Vintage Dude Dinner Plates
Vintage Dude Party Supplies
Damask Personalized Dinner Plates
Damask Personalized Party Plates
Chevron Personalized Dessert Plates
Personalized Tableware


This Is Your Life Party Activities

Re-create the Classic TV Show — To model your party after the famous 1950s television show, you will need to set up a stage area with a special seat for your guest of honor and a large curtain to hide your mystery guests. Hide your guests behind the curtain, and, if possible, have a microphone or karaoke machine set up so that everyone can hear what they will say. Then, one at a time, ask them to relate a funny story or experience that they shared with your guest of honor and let your honoree guess who is behind the curtain! As an extra touch, you might chose to softly play music while each mystery guests speak to further enhance the mood. A guaranteed tear jerker!

Invite Party Guests to Share Their Memories — If you don’t want to make things quite as mysterious as the original TV show, another option is to have a time during the event when guests can share special memories or funny stories with the group. One way to do this is to pass a hat containing story starters and let each guest take it from there. Some ideas might include:

  • My favorite thing about _____ is…
  • My earliest memory of _____ is…
  • You can always count on _____ to …
  • One thing you might not know about _____ is…
  • A funny story about _____ is…


Prepare a video montage of photos and/or video clips of your party honoree and have it playing throughout your event — If you have guests who were unable to make it to the party, you might ask them to videotape themselves giving a greeting or sharing a story or remembrance about your guest of honor to play as a “virtual visit”.

Set out a Signature Picture Frame— A great keepsake for a “This is Your Life” Party is a photo frame that all the guests have written a special message on. You might put in a picture of the guest of honor during the event, and later replace it with a group shot from your celebration.

Prepare a Champagne Toast — At some time during your party, pass around glasses of champagne (or sparkling cider) and propose a toast to your guest of honor.

Play 20 Questions About Your Guest of Honor — Before the celebration, think of 20 questions about you party honoree. Then at the party, pass out pencils and paper to everyone and see who can answer the most questions correctly. Make some easy and some more difficult. For example, “Where was _____ born?” “What would _____ most like to do if given a surprise free day?” “How many siblings does _____ have?” “What is _____’s all-time favorite movie?” Award a small prize to the person who guesses the most answers correctly. You’ll be surprised at the answers that come up, and you might learn a lot about the guest of honor!

This Is Your Life Party Food and Drink Ideas

The best menu choices for a This Is Your Life Party are your guest of honor’s favorite foods. Finger foods are also a good choice for a celebration because they allow your guests to mingle while grabbing a bite here and there. You might also consider:

A Photo Collage Cake — Most bakeries and supermarkets now offer a great decorating option using photographs that are copied right onto the icing of your cake. This can be a lot of fun and make a very special and personal finishing touch to your event.

Champagne or Other Sparkling Beverage — This is great for a toast to your honoree.

A This is Your Life Party Theme can be the perfect option for honoring someone special. Hope you found some helpful ideas on this page. Have fun!

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