Happy weekend everyone!
Summer is my favourite season and my favourite time of the year. Not only is the weather great but there is also a lot of events happening, including BIRTHDAYS! Anyone who knows me, knows I love planning parties… SURPRISE!
This year, I decided to plan a surprise birthday party for my mother for her 50th and it was amazing! She had no idea at all, it was a huge success! A few weeks later, my mother got me back with my own surprise birthday party (good job, Mom!) – like mother, like daughter, right?
There isn’t anything quite as stressful, or totally fun, as throwing a surprise party! The adrenaline kicks in and you are on a total high from the excitement and anticipation… but you’re also having regularly scheduled panic attacks to make sure that the surprise remains under wraps. Planning a surprise party can be filled with many highs and lows!
With all that being said, I thought I’d share with you some tips on how to throw a surprise birthday party:
Send sneaky invites
For most of the surprise parties I’ve planned, I’ve used Facebook. It is super easy to create an event/group which can be secret (so the guest of honor doesn’t see it) to invite friends. Remember to specify that this is a SURPRISE party so no one mentions it to the guest of honor – I usually add the word “SURPRISE” to the event/group title to help remind everyone.
If you or the guests you want to invite do not have Facebook, I would recommend telling them individually and face-to-face, if possible. It’s all about secrecy! Keeping communications isolated and separate will help you to be clear and precise with each guest. Do not send any written invites unless you are 100% sure the guest of honor will not see it.
Plan the venue
Pick a venue that your guest of honor wouldn’t get suspicious about. Make sure you have a proper venue size depending on how many people will be attending. Don’t forget to make reservations to secure your spot and make sure you let the venue know that it is a SURPRISE for the guest of honor.
Plan the food and the cake
A party means you need food and nobody wants to run out of food at a party! Depending on what time of day the party is held, you may be serving brunch, lunch, dinner or late night appetizers and finger foods. Try planning a menu you can make ahead of time to reduce preparation on the day of the party. You could also order food and the cake so all you need to do is pick it up! Don’t be afraid to ask help from your guests, I am sure they would love to help out!
Plan the distractions
This is probably the most complicated part of planning a surprise party. Finding clever and creative ways to get the guest of honour out of the way on the day of the party is crucial. I recommend having someone who can act as your decoy, someone who will be with the guest of honour and who can let you know where they are and when they will be coming back. This will give you time to prepare and get everything ready before they come back for the big surprise!
Plan the parking
Make sure you indicate to your guests where they can park their cars so that it doesn’t tip off the guest of honor. For my mom’s surprise party, I had people park at a school nearby or on other streets around my neighbourhood.
Beware of the decorations
Make sure you keep party decorations out of sight until the surprise! Pay close attention to decorations near doors and windows that might be seen from outside.
Have guests arrive early
To be safe, have everyone arrive early for the party. I usually ask guests to arrive 30 minutes to an hour earlier to ensure the stragglers will still more than likely arrive before the guest of honor. Nothing is worse than having your guest of honor arrive with other guests they know at the same time!
Capture the moment
This is something I always make sure I do. Have a camera ready to capture the moment when the guest of honor walks in. If you don’t have a camera or don’t have time to set this up, designate a couple of the guests to take pictures/videos! I also like setting up an area with balloons or hanging pictures to act as a backdrop for picture-taking. Don’t forget to take pictures!
Throwing a surprise party can be really fun if you have everything planned out and have everything ready to go! Remember, you don’t have to do this alone – round up those helpers and make sure everyone knows their role and what their doing! GOOD LUCK!
Have you planned any surprise parties? What helped you pull them off successfully?
Leave your thoughts and comments down below, I would LOVE to hear from you!
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