Celebrating someone’s birthday shows them that you think about them and value them. Birthdays are special. We celebrate birthdays to acknowledge, appreciate, and remember the life of people we love. Adding a little surprise to it makes birthdays even more exciting and memorable.
Planning a surprise birthday and wondering what to implement to make it a success? Here are three ways to plan a surprise party for anyone and on any occasion.
We understand that bringing together people while keeping the guest of honor in the dark can be daunting, so keep reading to discover various surprise party types plus a step-by-step guide to make it a true success.
Stage the Site
Throwing a surprise party can seem simple. However, a great surprise party needs a little planning. Where you choose to host a surprise party matters a lot—it determines who gets to attend the party and whether the guest of honor will enjoy it. If you choose an undesirable site, you also limit the number of people who will show up.
An identifiable venue can bring legitimacy to an event, so go for it. When setting your site, go for simplicity. Think of your favorite dinner or drink spot or someone’s home. The element of surprise will ensure you have a memorable time, even if it’ll happen in a familiar setting.
Lockdown the Attendee List
Accountability is an essential aspect of a successful surprise party. There is nothing as hard as having just a handful of people yelling ‘surprise’ while the rest look like they never saw it coming.
Ensure that you connect with your guest, have the correct headcount, and make sure everyone conceptualizes what you wish to achieve. If you plan to go the Facebook way, make sure you cross-check your privacy settings to keep the guest of honor in the ‘dark.’ Make a reservation for the guest of honor; you don’t have to reveal why.
The guest list will also determine whether you’ll have a successful surprise party or not. Groups of 25 people or less are quicker to plan than groups of over 100 guests. Organize for your guests to arrive 20-30 minutes before the guest of honor. This ensures that everyone is at the right spot when you shout ‘surprise.’
Proceed With Caution
Your good intentions to surprise a loved one could leave them too stressed to enjoy the experience, so proceed with caution. If the type A friend you plan to surprise lacks the surprise party gene, make sure you prepare them partially. Your guest of honor will want to feel great when they walk in, so take them out to pamper them and ensure they are well dressed and ready for the surprise.
Touch base with the guests a day before the party. Emphasize why they need to arrive at the venue ahead of time and ahead of the guest of honor. People walking in with the guest of honor can ruin the surprise. If the party is at home, make sure no one parks nearby and have a no-gift policy to avoid awkward shuffles. Assure the guests that their presence is enough. Any gift exchange can happen at a separate time.
Rig the Entry
Surprise is the most exciting and thrilling moment for the guest of honor. Is your friend the type who’’ needs someone to hold their hand when the room explodes? Or will they be ok by themselves? Do what you can to make it comfortable for them and have a designated photographer on standby.
Keep it simple and work with a minimal decorating budget. If you are planning a surprise birthday, work with minimal invitations to make it easy to control the crowd and achieve the goal. You can have a designated photographer on standby or get your hands on an old-fashioned Polaroid camera and rally the guests to capture other random sweet moments.
Instead of a cake, go for mess-free cupcakes with a peanut-buttery surprise. Settle on an outfit that will reflect the day. Include such details in the birthday invitations.
What if They Hate Surprises?
It’s normal for some not to be fond of surprises. However, this doesn’t mean you still can’t pull a good one on them. Plan a semi-surprise by telling them there will be a party, but don’t share the details.
This way, they will be prepared, and it assures you that they are not double-booked. Make sure nothing can tip off the guest of honor at the last minute. No guest should park on the street or near the venue. This will ensure that your guest of honor does not become suspicious on arrival.