Successfully planning and executing a surprise party requires an ability to keep secrets and handle many moving parts. If you have the first part down, we can help you with surprise party advice that such a grand event requires.
First, decide on the date for the event. If it is an anniversary or birthday, the usual reasons, it might be a good idea to plan the event for two to three weeks before. Although the actual date is off, the timing could help to throw off someone who might otherwise suspect a surprise is coming. You may also need to plan something on the actual date so it doesn’t arouse suspicion, or hurt feelings, as to why this is different from any other year.
Next, pick the location. If it is not somewhere they normally go to, have a cover reason why you are going there. If it’s at a hotel or event center, like The Franciscan, make sure there is signage for your fake event. For example, I escorted my parents to a “chocolate tasting” at an event center. They love chocolate and it made sense for the event to be held there. Or you can pick a place they regularly go so as to not arouse suspicion.
Third, invite your guests and make sure they do not to post about anything related to that day on social media. For instance, imagine that you have out of town guests and they check in on Facebook at the in town location! If the person to be surprised sees this post, their gears will be turning and the party ruined just because so and so couldn’t resist pushing a button.
Remind guests to park where they can’t be easily seen. Many a surprise party has been ruined by a guest who couldn’t bother to walk a few more steps. One way to keep things very quiet is to personally call all guests to invite them. Mailed invitations are the next best way to let invitees know. If you decide to create a Facebook event or Evite, make sure that it’s designated as private. Using a Facebook group is a great way to answer guest questions without having to deal with emails and phone calls.
Fourth, get a friend to help you pull it off. This is especially important if you live with the person who is to be surprised. The friend can take calls or emails, or manage the Facebook group, in case the person to be surprised starts snooping, or you accidentally leave your email accessible. Also, you’ll need this person at the place where the surprise is taking place so you can text or call them to say you’ll be arriving soon with the guest of honor.
Finally, make sure your guests are quiet right before the honored party walks in. All that hard work can be ruined by one bad apple who can’t keep quiet. You, or the friend who is helping, will need to be willing to play bad cop to make sure the entrance goes smoothly.
Go forth and plan that surprise party! Chances are the party of honor will love it. That brings us to what should have been our first tip. If you’ve ever heard them say, “I hate surprises,” don’t throw the part. Take them out to dinner or have it delivered (by us of course!)