7 Ways to make a big birthday a big deal | Mike’s 70th Birthday Party | Chapel Hill, North Carolina

When Noy phoned me to inquire about photography for her father-in-law’s 70th birthday party, I was thrilled to hear the plans they were making.  Friends, family, and neighbors were invited, and they would be decorating the venue with photographs from all the ages and stages of Mike’s life.

Photographs that are printed and framed are often displayed with care for all to see and enjoy.

Most of all, this was going to be a surprise!  He had no idea they were planning all of this.

To hear her laughter and her excitement about the planning of this event at the other end of the telephone made me smile.  This was a gal who knew joy!

Events in Chapel Hill, NC should always be photographed.

So what were the family’s plans to make a big deal out of Mike’s big birthday?   Here are seven ways they made it fun and fabulous to celebrate 70 years of life.

Involve friends and family

They got everyone in on the secret, not to mention involved in the planning and prep!

All members of the family prepare for the fun of this event - a 70th birthday party!

People arrived early, got themselves settled, and started to mingle together before the guest of honor arrived.

Find the perfect venue for your peeps to enjoy themselves

They found the perfect venue in Linda’s Down Bar on Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill.

Linda's Down Bar is where the fun happens in Chapel Hill, NC.

This intimate spot allowed this group to have their party and this space all to themselves.  The staff brought food in and took care of all the set up and clean up while the organizers got to personalize the space with their own memories of Mike.

Downtown Chapel Hill, NC is host to Linda's Down Bar.

Yup, they even got to run a slideshow on the overhead tvs.

Spending time with the people we love is everything.Use your personal photographs to show a life well lived

Speaking of personalizing the space, Mike was everywhere.  Photographs decorated the bar, the tables, the seating, the walls!

When celebrating a 70th birthday, it's important to show all the years that we lived and led up to this moment. What will the photographs of your life show? Get a Big Head – literally!

This younger version of Mike was built into a Big Head, and I think this really took the party by storm!

Big heads bring a party to life. Who are you going to celebrate? Big heads bring a party to life!

Hire a professional dj to keep the party lively!

Why leave this to someone who ‘might’ make it happen?.  No party is complete without some good music and thank goodness All Around DJ from Raleigh took care of that because this family likes to dance and have fun together!  All Around DJ kept the music going, and these party guests were happy to dance, dance, dance all night long!

All Around DJ in Raleigh makes a party...a party!

Can we talk about photography?

Why pass your camera off to a friend to take some photos unless you are choosing to leave your personal and family memories to chance?  The events we celebrate today are our memories of tomorrow.  What we invest in says a lot about what we value.  May we always have the opportunity to print and frame the photographs that show us hugging it out with the people we love.

Three sisters celebrate at Linda's Down Bar in Chapel Hill, NC.

What artifacts of a life well-lived will you share with the generations who follow you?

After the party ended, the dj packed up, the food was cleared away, and the bar closed down. Everyone went home talking about what fun they had celebrating their friend, their neighbor, their grandad, their dad, their husband, Mike.

70 years young show a life well lived

Not wanting the fun to end, though, his wife (a FABULOUS Dutch women who is as passionate about her family as anyone I’ve ever met) asked for an album of images to remember the fun they had in celebrating her husband.

The framed photographs she ordered were used as gifts to share with friends and family as a way to thank them for coming and joining in the celebration.

This reminds me that we decorate our homes with the things we love, especially the people we love.

Framed photographs and photo albums allow us to share our memories with our family for generations to come.

Happy 70th birthday to Mike who is a grandad, dad, husband, friend, neighbor, family, and all-around fun guy who likes to laugh and joke, hug and kiss, and – most of all – celebrate a good and rich life.


Barbara Bell Photography is a portrait and event photographed based out of Chapel Hill, NC