Surprise parties are a fun way to celebrate a birthday. But they can be stressful for the planner, because it’s so easy to spoil the surprise. Here are some tips to help ensure that your surprise party goes off without a hitch.
Tell your guest of honor about plans you’ve made – Acting like you’re ignoring someone’s birthday is a sure way to make them wonder if you’re having a surprise party for them. Instead, tell them that you have made dinner reservations or some other plans. In fact, if you’re holding your party at a restaurant, tell the guest of honor exactly where you’re going for dinner. Then when you get there, you simply walk to the private party room in the back where all their friends are waiting. Or, plan the party to start later in the evening. Take the birthday guy or gal out to dinner and have guests waiting when you arrive home.
Make sure everyone arrives early – Guests should arrive well before the guest of honor and should park where their vehicles will not be noticed. If you have chronically late friends, tell them to arrive even earlier than you really need them to be there.
Watch the blabbermouths – If your guest of honor has a close friend that he or she talks to regularly who simply can’t keep a secret, wait as long as you can to let him/her know about the party. Perhaps slip the invitation to the blabbermouth’s spouse and ask the spouse to hold the date but keep the event a secret until the last minute.
Watch what you tell the kids – I’ll give you some personal experience. My husband gave me a surprise party when I turned 40. He had it well planned. I thought we were meeting a girlfriend and her husband for drinks at a local bar called “Tony’s” before my husband and I headed out for a private birthday dinner. In reality, all of my friends were waiting in the party room at Tony’s. The babysitter had even brought my kids in the back door, so they were waiting with the other guests. Here’s how I knew something was up. My middle child was four at the time. For about three days before the party he regularly referred to the fact that we were “having cake at Shoney’s on Friday” – then he would look really guilty. Now, no offense to Shoney’s intended, but I hate that place – so I knew we were not going to Shoney’s for my birthday – but it did clue me in that something was going on. So, tell the kiddies little or nothing about your party, because they’re quick to spoil the surprise.
Downplay the whole affair – Suggest to your guest of honor that we “just keep your birthday low key this year”. Once it’s agreed, he/she is pretty unlikely to suspect a big affair.
A surprise birthday party is a wonderful way to make someone feel special on their important day. With a little careful planning you can keep the surprise right up until the big day. Check out MyExpression.com for a great variety of birthday invitations – some are even specially designed for surprise parties.