Rich's Surprise 30th Birthday: A Dirty 30 Roast

Thank God it's finally over. I'll never plan another surprise party again. I feel like everyone who ever plans one says this when it's over. I'm not good at secrets especially from Rich and I had to keep this one in for about two months.

If you're new click here to read more on my party planning obsession.

Rich is turning 30 so I had to do something big. I got the idea to do a 'Dirty 30 Roast'  I emailed our close friends and family telling them to gather the 'dirt' and on Rich and we were going to roast him. Much like what you see on Comedy Central when they roast a celebrity. Since Rich is never one to leave you with a boring story I knew our friends would have a lot of dirt on him.

I rented a party room at a local bar & restaurant that overlooked the whole bar, it was a great view so decorations could be semi-minimal. I didn't want just a plain room with tables and chairs.

Like Macaroni Grill we put paper on all the tables with crayons and let guests color the tables for a cheap additional decoration to the room. Of course after a few drinks they got creative and inappropriate with their drawings making it fun to walk around the tables and see everyone's "art" Giant paper rolls found at Michaels. "I'm Happy Every Hour" coasters at Marshalls.

Banner made at Walgreens

 I bought a bunch of balloons and Rich's mom and I had embarrassing photos of Rich blown up to 8x10 size and framed them around the room; you know, the ones that typically aren't "framers". 

We had a private cash bar (private to help with the flow of time and cash because my friends like to drink) and a pasta buffet with a side of Rich's favorite wings from the restaurant.

No party would be complete without cake and for a big 30th blowout, a plain old sheet cake just wouldn't do. I worked with the gal who did our wedding cake to design this:

Which is perfect because he loves dirty martinis. Not only did it look cute, it tasted phenomenal! Buttercream in Saint Paul makes the best cakes I've ever had. They don't use lard or artificial ingredients.

I had our friend Dan call Rich around 4 or 5 and ask him if he wanted to go to happy hour. The two of them left with Dan knowing not to bring him to the bar we rented and to just stay around town. At 6 the guests showed up mingling and drinking waiting for Rich and Dan to arrive at 7.

Dan coaxed Rich into going to the venue and SURPRISE!! Our whole group was overlooking the front door on the balcony yelling SURPRISE! scaring the other guests. You could see the confusion on his face. He honestly had no clue what was going on until halfway up the stairs.

At this point Rich thinks it's just a regular ol' surprise party but no no no, I don't do small.

We all sat down and started eating. At this time a slideshow played with photos of Rich growing up. Aww how cute, he thinks it's just something sweet….

At the end of the video it said:

But wait… there's more…. 

Rich turned to me with a "what" face. At this point our emcee, Jason, stood up and told him:  


The stories shared were embarrassing, hilarious, and sweet. Sharing memories with friends and family that you'd rather forget and add cake to the mix: sign me up any day.

Centerpieces were Vikings buckets filled with Bud Light 

Emcee Jason

 My fear was that the roasters wouldn't be harsh, the jokes would be too tame creating only a couple chuckles, that they would be too nice. 

Oh my God was I wrong……. 

They seriously killed it last night. My face hurt from laughing so hard, Rich laughed tears and nobody was safe. The roasters made fun of all of us! At the end of the roast our friend made a slideshow of embarrassing photos of everyone growing up and in our early twenties. The thing about our group of friends is that many of us have been friends since 5th grade, middle school or high school. That's a lot of material to work with!

Happy Birthday Rich, I love you so much and I promise I'll never plan something like this again. (Cause it's too much work.) 


  1. This looked awsome!!! I love reading your blog. I usually take a few minutes at work to read your blog.

    1. Aw shucks thank you! Glad you enjoy.

  2. I tried to throw this idea out for my husband's 30th in October...He was like no way. Ha! Should have just surprised him! ��

    1. Just do it! I'm sure if I would've asked Rich if he wanted this he would've said no. He had a total blast though and said it was by far his favorite birthday making the blow of turning 30 a little easier.


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