The 40th birthday gal with her husband and guests dressed in 1920s attire for her Great Gatsby themed surprise party.

Great Gatsby-Themed Birthday Party

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Three years in the making, Michael created a spectacular Great Gatsby-themed party with friends and family to surprise his wife Rachael for her 40th birthday.

A Grand Entrance

The birthday event captured the extravagance described in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby, published in 1925.

A limousine arrival of the birthday celebrant (blindfolded) with assorted family members dropped them off at the door of Stonebrook Manor in style.

Guests dressed in 1920s attire for a Great Gatsby party arrive via a limousine.

Family members were ushered quickly into the ballroom while stepdaughter Emily escorted Rachael up the stairs to the grand balcony.

Stonebrook Manor made this grand entrance easy as they provide a separate door with a set of stairs that exits out onto a balcony over the guests. The DJ further illuminated the banister, stairs, and balcony with a spotlight for an added effect.

The guest of honor has her blindfold removed at her 40th birthday party.

Michael unbound his wife’s blindfold and everyone applauded at the surprised guest of honor. Rachael knew obviously that something was in the works but had no idea of the specifics.

A woman waves from the balcony at her surprise 40th birthday party as her husband and teenage stepdaughter look on.

Michael offered words of welcome to the crowd, explained that The Great Gatsby offered hope, and spoke a few words about the birthday honoree.

The trio then descended the stairs and joined the crowd. After several embraces and hugs, the party had begun!


No Gatsby-themed party would be complete without all attendees fully embracing 1920s-period attire. Several guests wore outfits put together from thrift or vintage shops to create their own looks. Others took advantage of online ordering with vintage-inspired ensembles. To complete everyone’s outfits, the host offered accessories, like headpieces, on a table outside the ballroom.


For entertainment, a wide variety of fun games, music, and treats filled the evening. These included a collection of casino gaming tables, a fully stocked bar, a photo booth with an Art Deco background, music with a lighting system, and a DJ at the helm.

Guests at a surprise 40th birthday party enjoy playing blackjack for prizes.

Everyone enjoyed a dinner buffet, and to cap off the evening, assorted birthday cakes decked in beads, pearls, feathers, and other period-appropriate bling.

Four art-deco decorated cakes on a table with faux diamonds feature candy beads, feathers, and fondant in gold and black.

For every kid at heart, an entire table of sparkling sweet treats beckoned with empty golden candy boxes. These were filled by guests to their heart’s content and sealed with a variety of monogrammed stickers with Rachael’s initials to take to their table or home for later consumption.

Plentiful amounts of clear glass candy jars in gold and black on a table ready for guests at a 40th birthday Great-Gatsby themed surprise party.

Dance Performance

Several guests perform a dance routine they discovered on the internet that involve posing on and lifting chairs among the spotlights on the floor.

The highlight of the evening was a group dance performed by Rachael’s friends to the song Creep. The ensemble used chairs and did an amazing job balancing and using these props for effect. At the end of the song, everyone departed and carried off their chairs, leaving just a single hat on the floor.

About the Book

The Great Gatsby is the third novel by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1925. Set in Jazz Age New York, it tells the tragic story of Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, and his pursuit of Daisy Buchanan, a wealthy young woman whom he loved in his youth. Gatsby’s extravagant lifestyle and dazzling parties described in the book are simply an attempt to impress Daisy. The story reflects on the power of transforming dreams of wealth and love into reality and contemplates the demise or transcendence of the American dream.

Sneak Peek Gallery

Vendors Making the Event

Details count at an event like this and these vendors made it happen.

Gatsby-Related Details

This post is not sponsored, but you will find affiliate links in the Gatsby-Related Details box below. The price you pay as a consumer does not change, but I may make a small commission based on your purchase.

Did you read the book? What did you wear? When friends and family found out about my covering this event, I received a lot of questions.

I did re-read The Great Gatsby classic focusing on the culture and themes of the book in preparation for the event.

Given that Gatsby threw dazzling parties, I also knew that I wanted to fit in with my attire. I found a great 1920s-inspired dress and a pair of T-strap shoes on Amazon.

My main attire was one of three Flapper Dresses – Roaring 20s that I ordered. The one I kept gave a little extra stretch through the midsection. It also offered a touch longer length and therefore more skirt coverage when I needed to crouch down or bend over to pick up something.

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