Surprise parties are the best. Well, all parties have the potential to be the best. But surprise parties have the element of um, surprise so it’s like another level of excitement. Really, they can be easy to pull off too. In this case we are specifically referring to a birthday party, but the principles for all surprise parties remain the same. First you set the stage, or time and place, with an invitation to the guest of honor; at a restaurant or friend’s house, etc. so the one-to-be-surprised actually plans on being at the event. (*Because that person showing up is essential.) But be careful, you don’t want them to get suspicious.
Picking the venue can take some thought, it’s got to accommodate the amount of people coming. And you have to take into consideration a plan to hide cars if you’re having it at someone’s house or even a restaurant. In this case, we (aka my sister and brother-in-law) booked a presidential suite at a hotel. Let me tell you why I love this idea, because you can set up ahead of time without being suspect. It’s yours for the evening. And I always love when you don’t have to stress about keeping the house clean. Then friends, family members and loved ones are waiting with ease! (As long as everyone can stick to the schedule and you do not have stragglers. Which reminds me, here’s a tip: If you’re to-be-surprised-one thinks dinner is at 7 pm, make sure all guests have arrived by 6:30 pm. If guests cannot accommodate that time (which is often understandable with work schedules and such) give them a second time option. The invitation might ask that the guests are there by 6:30 pm or after 8:00 pm (in case you are running late). You get the gist, do not sacrifice the surprise. The guest of honor has to be none-the-wiser.
Ok, this is my favorite part, and is only available if time permits. Plan part of the day. If you know your to-be-surprised-one is going to have a fabulous shindig later in the day get them ready to be fabulous; that way they are comfortable at their own party!
Now, this might not always work, which is understandable. So, it might just mean letting guest of honor believe they are going to a nice dinner, so they can dress appropriately. Whatever the occasion think ahead. If your surprise includes jet skis, make sure to pack their swimsuit, and so on.
Next of course, food and drinks… think it through. In this scenario our important guests were mostly under the age of ten, hamburgers, french fries, cheese and crackers, mac n’ cheese bites and chicken fingers worked nicely. If you’re doing the cooking, you’re a champ. Just remember this; catering can be an affordable option- especially with a large crowd.
We love kid parties. The kids really give us so much joy… so when they’re happy- we are, like, beaming. Mostly the idea is to wow your guest of honor, right? If you are going through the fuss of the surprise, make it count! Surround them with the ones they love, and the ones that love them!
So more ideas:
- Photo Ops (I <3 photo ops!!!)
- Nail the surprise! Hide, hush, and “Happy Birthday!”
- Wardrobe change (totally optional, but a lot of fun 😉 )
- Just have fun! But not too much fun…