Surprise! Surprise birthday parties are fun and exciting, and they’re definitely a treat for the guest of honor. However, surprise parties require a different planning strategy than other birthday celebrations. Not only do you have to organize the event itself, but you have to keep it a secret – that’s the whole point, after all! Here are some tips to guide you through the planning process:
Who are you throwing the surprise party for?
You need to consider whether your potential guest of honor is up for the job of being surprised – seriously. Some people just don’t like surprises. The purpose of throwing the party is to celebrate someone’s birthday, but what’s the point if they don’t enjoy it?
Additionally, Dallas event planner Steve Kemble advises against throwing a surprise party for anyone who gets extremely excited about milestones and birthdays. Keeping it a secret from them will not only be difficult for the party planner, but these types of guests of honor may get more disappointed than your average birthday boys or girls when they think you’ve forgotten about their special day.
What venue will you choose?
Virtually any venue will work for a birthday celebration. You can choose the birthday boy or girl’s favorite restaurant, set up the bash in your own backyard or throw it at someone’s house. It’s not so much the location’s function that matters. The key element to choosing the perfect venue is considering how well you can work it into the guest of honor’s schedule. A restaurant may be a great option for someone who would think nothing peculiar about going out for his or her birthday dinner. However, if you can get the guest of honor out of his or her house long enough, that’s an even better choice because you have more freedom with preparing for the celebration.
How will you invite people?
Party invitations are more meaningful than a social media post, but they are especially crucial for surprise parties because they help the planner maintain the element of surprise. Emails and online event plans can easily be sent to the wrong person, including the guest of honor. Plus, by sending invites through snail mail, you have more control over who attends. There’s nothing worse than planning a party for 20 people and having 50 attend.
On the party invitations, be sure to specify what time guests should arrive. You may have to clearly outline this with directions such as “The birthday boy will arrive at 3:00 pm, so please be at the party by 2:00 pm.” Otherwise, some attendees may show up right as the guest of honor is arriving, which could spoil the surprise. Finally, remind guests that it’s a surprise party and to not reveal any information to the birthday boy or girl!
Keep it a secret
While this is an obvious element of the surprise, you may leak the secret without knowing it. Make sure you don’t leave out extra party invitations on the kitchen table, for example. Also, have guests RSVP to your personal phone to avoid having the guest of honor overhearing your plans for his or her birthday celebration.
By keeping these planning tips for a surprise party in mind, you can make sure it’s a great experience for you, the attendees and the guest of honor.