Ssssh! Tips on throwing a successful surprise party

Throwing a surprise party is an amazing way to show someone how much they really are loved and thought of. But it’s an extremely daunting event that requires a lot of planning, secrets and sleepless nights! There’s so much to think about, from the venue, to the food, the surprise itself and the guest list – but before you get hung up on the decorations and how many hog roast machines you might need, consider planning the surprise first!

We’ve held a number of surprise parties over the years. So, here you’ll find a few extra hints and tips of how you can pull off your surprise party without a hitch!

Related Post: Party Planning 101 – Four Simple Tips To Keep Party Costs Down

Pick the best venue

At home: Having your venue at home comes with both advantages and disadvantages. The positives being that you know what you have available, how much room you have, it’s completely free and you should have no problem getting the guest of honour there without too much trouble. The disadvantages? Well, you’ve got to be extra sneaky in order to pull it off. Especially when it comes to things like food and decorations. You may only have a small window of opportunity to get everything sorted before the birthday boy/girl comes home.

An outdoor venue: An outdoor venue is perfect for large gatherings, and it’s great for things such as BBQ’s, picnics and games like frisbee, football, or rounders! The downside is that you can’t guarantee the weather or the availability of the space you need. It also doesn’t have the same shock factor that opening a door to a dark room has!

A restaurant: Does the guest of honour have a favourite place to go eat? If that restaurant/bar/café has a function room then it could be the perfect solution. You could drag the boy/girl off to dinner then whisk them into the function room for their surprise. On the positive side, you probably would get a hand with the catering and the decorating, the downsides are that it’ll probably be expensive.

The surprise

Does the guest of honour actually like surprises? If the person you have in mind prefers to know what’s going on then maybe you should rethink your approach! We thought about throwing one for my mum but she was adamant she didn’t want a surprise and I don’t blame her. In the end we went for the surprise of making it bigger than she expected instead! 

You’ll need to pick a party date that’s around 2 weeks before the big day. Any sooner and your guest may get suspicious if talks of birthday treats and presents suddenly dies down, leave it until after their birthday and they may feel hurt that everyone has forgotten.

Rope in some of their friends and get them to talk about planning a birthday lunch or outing on the day of the party well before the surprise party date – planning this decoy activity is so they won’t think anything is afoot!

Make sure that your RSVP’s are sent to a private email or by text. Whichever method of communication is most easily concealed. Having a chat group called “Surprise party” is likely to get spotted! Make sure your invitations have all the correct instructions; like when to arrive at the location and what to wear.

Good luck!

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I'm Hayley and this is us; working parents to three tiny wild ones. Whether it's travel, food, lifestyle or just a healthy dose of parenting reality, there's something for everyone here. So sit back, get comfy and start scrolling!

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