Wouldn’t it be fun to plan a surprise birthday party for someone special? If you’re hesitant to plan one because it looks like a lot of work, don’t be. It’s just like planning for any other type of party, but with the added element of surprise. Yes, planning out the surprise part can be a bit tricky, but seeing the facial expression of your victim guest of honour, at the moment of revelation is well worth the effort.

Here are some tips to help you plan a surprise party:

Before The Party

  • Don’t make it seem like you’ve totally forgotten about the upcoming birthday. That could hurt the person’s feelings.
  • So as not to arouse suspicion, plan your surprise party around something that’s in the birthday boy or girl’s regular schedule for the week. If the birthday girl usually goes out with the gang after work on a Friday, plan for the party to be held at their favourite restaurant. Or you can plan a small “fake” party instead to throw off the birthday boy.
  • Your invitation should make it clear that the party is a big secret. Ask your guests not to blab about it. Be careful when talking about the surprise party in the company of other people.
  • Indicate the start time on your invitation and tell guests that this is the time that they should arrive.
  • Ask a friend who can keep a secret to be your main accomplice. If possible, this trusted friend should not be living in the same house as the guest of honour so it would be easier to keep track of RSVPs and store party supplies.
  • Be on guard to make sure that there’s nothing left lying around for the guest of honour to find out about the party.

Day of the Party

  • You and your accomplice should split the work, for example if you are in charge of the party guests, the accomplice can be in charge of the guest of honour.
  • The accomplice must ensure that the guest of honour shows up at the right place and time.
  • Let the guests know that they should arrive at least 30 minutes before the guest of honour is expected to arrive.
  • Ask guests to park around the block or ask permission from neighbours to use their driveway.
  • Make sure the party decorations can’t be seen from outside the venue.
  • For the big reveal, do a practice run with your guests. You don’t want someone shouting “surprise!” too soon.
  • Enjoy and have fun at the party. Make it a relaxed, laidback affair that the guest of honour will love.

Pulling off a surprise party takes some skill and luck, and maybe a few white lies. Careful planning and following these tips will eliminate, or at least minimise the chances of having the birthday surprise ruined.

(Image credit: Squirrelly Minds)