The best part about surprise parties are that they work for just about anybody and any occasion – kids, adults, new parents, seniors, birthdays, weddings, graduation, baby showers, promotions, house warming’s’… literally, anybody and any occasion!
They may not be easy to plan and execute, but surprise parties can be worth the effort when you look at the expression on your guest of honor’s face! All you need is a little planning, some nifty tricks and a few white lies.
Tip # 1
Loose lips sink ships, they say. Most surprise parties tend to get ruined because somebody could not contain their excitement. Keep your communications with the guests limited – just the required details so that they know where and when to turn up and there’s no clash of plans. Invites can be given over the phone, email, in person, or through Facebook secret event invites. Clarify RSVP rules so that the surprisee doesn’t stumble upon any information.
Tip # 2
Have an accomplice. Someone who’ll decorate the house while you’re bringing the guest of honor there. A trusted family member or friend who can entertain guests while they wait for you to arrive, who passes the confetti around, who’ll bring by the cake.
Tip # 3
Let there be more to what meets the eye. Decorations are lovely, but keep them inside. If you’re throwing the party at home, make sure your guests don’t park near the house. Too many movies have given the quiet room/dark house surprise away. Try and keep it as normal as possible – have friends drop in at separate timings for one big continuous surprise!
Tip # 4
Have a designated photographer to capture the joy, surprise, glee and love. Make sure you have photographic memories of these incredible moments.
Now that you’re done planning, here are some tricks to executing a fantastic surprise:
The Fake Surprise: Got a too-smart-to-surprise loved one? Fake a surprise! First give them a small, ‘fake’ surprise, maybe a lunch with some friends or a shopping trip, and then, when their guards are lowered, unleash the real deal!
Predictable is Unpredictable: One of the easiest ways to give away a good surprise is a disrupted routine. If you’re doing something out of the ordinary, they will expect something out of the ordinary. Follow routines – if you go to a bar regularly, make sure your guests gather there. If your kid has a dance recital, let the guests troop into the home while she’s away.
Be considerate: You’ve spent so much time and effort planning the surprise, ideally they should just whoop and shout and hug with you joy, right? Not if the surprisee has walked in with a stained tee-shirt or greasy hair. This is their big day, and more often than not, one of the biggest reasons why surprises flop is because the person hates the way they look while the guests are dressed in their finest. Make sure your loved one gets a chance to wear something they know they’re confident in. If that seems difficult to achieve, make sure the rest of the guests are dressed the same way the guest of honor will be attired.
Have you ever planned or been given a surprise party? Did you love it? Did you hate it? Tell us!