It’s the official gateway into adulthood – the 18th birthday. You’ve probably heard nightmare stories from parents who have organised 18th birthday parties at home with military-like precision required for police notifications, catering, worrying about gate-crashers not to mention the mess and stress that goes from having more-than-a-houseful of teenagers. With that in mind; there’s an easier way to approach an 18th birthday celebration – and that’s by holding it in a Brisbane venue geared to deliver 18th birthday parties in style.
We’re lucky in South East Queensland to have an array of great 18th birthday party venues in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast – so whether you are looking at celebrating with a high tea, share plates or a rocking band – you are in the right part of the world to do it.
We love the look of Battery Station in Fortitude Valley. The owners have a transformed a heritage-listed local service station into a gorgeous and unique space with large indoor and outdoor areas. There’s no cost to hire the venue; you just have to spend a minimum of $1,500 on food and beverage.
EAST, in the heart of Broadbeach, offers three floors of party options with a restaurant on level one and a choice of dance floors, luxury bars and lounges on the other floors. A great choice for the over-18’s-after-party is the rockstar treatment of a private booth for up to 20 guests. Booths are available from 10.30pm from a minimum of $440 and include complimentary club admission, table service and a bottle service selection.
One of the best beachfront venues at the Sunshine Coast is the Coolum Beach Surf Club. The private function room overlooking the beach is the perfect venue for an 18th birthday party, Sunshine Coast style.
There’s a myriad of restaurants, cafes, bars and dedicated function venues ready to welcome 18th birthday parties of all sizes. So what questions should you ask when searching for the perfect venue?
One of the tricky considerations of 18th birthday parties is the wide range of ages of the guests; from younger siblings to not-quite-18-year-old friends right through to grandparents and extended family. Generally, you’ll find that restaurants are the most relaxed about hosting under-age guests, especially if you are opting for a sit-down menu and full-table-service. Bars, clubs and other licensed venues are likely to take a more structured approach with wristbands for under-18s and a requirement that under-18s are supervised by a responsible adult. Many venues require a ratio of one responsible adult (25 years or older) per every three underage patrons and that when that adult leaves the party, so must the underage guests.
Whether you are choosing a sophisticated party in the Brisbane CBD or one of the trendy fringing suburbs like West End or Fortitude Valley or opting for something more relaxed with beach views the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast – make sure you choose your venue based on your style, budget and the number of guests. Many restaurants, bars and venues have private rooms for 18th birthday parties, which are great if you want to be in control of your own music and party theming. If you are planning on having your own DJ or band at your party, it’s a good idea to get the thumbs-up from the venue first and supply details of specific audio-visual, staging and lighting arrangements so this can all be considered in the room setup. Most Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane venues have semi-private areas that can be sectioned off from the general public and themed with simple decorations like balloons or table centerpieces. This is a great way for your 18th birthday party to soak up the atmosphere of the location but with a rock-star space just for your guests and usually a dedicated staff member to look after you.
You don’t want to blow your birthday budget, so consider some ways to get the most bang from your birthday buck, without skimping on any of the important things your guests will appreciate (like food and drinks!). Many venues offer catering packages that include a selection of menus (from finger-food to a buffet or sit-down meal) and drinks (usually house wine, beer and soft drinks) for a pre-determined time period. Expect food prices to start from around $15 per person for finger food. Drink packages can vary according to the beverage selection and generally offer continuous drink service for a few hours.
This is an important question for all hosts of 18th birthday parties! A cash bar is where guests buy their own drinks whereas an open bar is where the host has pre-paid a certain amount for drinks and guests can order whatever they want. A word of warning – it doesn’t take long for a room full of 18-year olds to guzzle a $1000 bar tab early in the night – so by the time Grandma and Aunty Eileen make it to the bar they might go thirsty.
Lock away the date as soon as you can and get the invitations out as early as possible. Keep a list of RSVPs so you know how many people to expect and can plan and budget accordingly. Some venues may ask for a copy of the invitation/RSVP list for security purposes.
On the topic of security – don’t be surprised if a venue adds an extra security officer into the cost of your party. It is not unusual at some party venues for 18th birthday parties to require one security officer for up to 50 guests and two security people for up to 100 guests.
When you are choosing your venue – narrow down your choices on functionbook™ according to your date, group size and type of party – but then make sure your venue ticks all of the important boxes for your guests such as close proximity to public transport, parking and easy access to the all-important-after-party.