Have you ever planned a surprise party for someone and it has ended in disaster? Or perhaps you would like to hold a surprise party but have no idea how to go about it? If this sounds familiar then you have come to the right place. With some guidance anyone can plan a surprise party that will be the talk of the town, and both you and the surprisee will be guaranteed to have a truly memorable experience.
Planning a surprise party is not for the faint hearted. It takes a lot of planning, organisation and know how. It is definitely not one of those parties that you throw together at the last minute and it WILL require your care and attention right up until the very last minute.
For some people, planning a surprise party is an incredibly fun affair, but for other’s it is their worst nightmare come true. The aim is for everyone to experience the fun and by following these 12 simple steps, it will be just that.
Don’t say a word!
For people that are good at keeping secrets, this part won’t be too difficult, but for those that find secrets hard to keep, this will be slightly challenging. At the end of the day, a surprise party is a surprise because it has been kept a secret… so a secret it MUST be!
The party details must not under any circumstances be mentioned to the surprisee. For this reason it is imperative that the party is not spoken about when the surprisee is anywhere near the vicinity of the conversation. This means that guests also have to keep quiet when the surprisee is around!! Make sure you explain this to your guests, because quite often people need to be told the obvious!
Choose the guests carefully:
Remember that this is a party for the surprisee and not for you. So think about who you are going to invite. Don’t invite just everyone that the surprisee knows; but instead invite those that you think the surprisee would want at their party if they were to organise it themselves. For instance, they may not want work colleagues present unless they are particularly close to them.
RSVP’s must be kept secret:
When setting up your RSVP, make sure that this is not to a joint phone or email account and make sure all RSVP’s are kept private rather than public in places like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Make sure you stipulate on the invite that it is a surprise party and it should be kept that way.
Make sure the suprisee has the day free and doesn’t organise their own plans:
It would be pretty devastating if you had organised a surprise party and the surprisee went off and organised their own event for the day. You don’t want the suprisee heading off to another party or going to work, so be sure that the day and time you have chosen will be convenient before you arrange it! When you are planning a surprise party it does need to be a surprise, but it does also need to occur!
Decide a party theme:
Choose a theme that will be appropriate for the surprisee. This maybe their favourite colour or centered around their hobby or interests. This party is for them and not you, so make it as exciting as possible for the surprisee rather than a theme that you would like to plan.
You want the party to be memorable to both guests and the surprisee, so make the party stand out and be original.
Find a suitable location for the surprise party:
The location can often be the trickiest detail to organise when planning a surprise party. If the surprisee lives with you, it can be difficult to hide decorations, invitations and especially the food. If this is going to place too much stress on you, consider holding the party at another venue, maybe a friend or family members home. If again this is not possible, the other option would be to hire a venue.
Organise a Chaperone:
Someone needs to be in charge of staying with the surprisee whilst all the party is being set up. You want to have someone close to the surprisee and it needs to be a natural occasion. For example if the chaperone asked the surprisee to the pub for a few hours (which is completely out of character) then the surprisee might start to suspect something is going on.
The chaperone needs to take the surprisee on a fun outing and most importantly keep them away from the party location for the entire time required. This may take some thinking on the chaperone’s feet if the surprisee wants to go home early! Likewise if the party is being held at a different location, the chaperone will need to think of a good story to get the surprisee to the specified location.
Another important point to note here is that the chaperone needs to take notice of time. It is their job to ensure that the surprisee arrives at the party ON TIME!
Undertake party decorations:
Consider the party theme you have chosen when organising your decorations. You want the decorations to be visible only on the inside of the venue because you don’t want the surprisee to rock up and find balloons tied to the letter box. Don’t give it away after all your hard work!
Ask some friends to come and help you out and have a plan of action before you get started. You will have a limited time frame, from the time of the surprisee leaving to returning, so you will need to act FAST. Having some extra pair of hands will make this job a whole lot easier. Only however have friends present that you know are willing to help you. If you have to twist their arm to be there, the chances are they do not really want to help out. With the limited amount of time you have, you don’t want people present that don’t really want to help!
Think about where people will park:
Another common mistake that people make when planning a surprise party is that the party is given away at the last minute. It would look a little bit suss if the surprisee returned home to find their street covered in cars… especially cars that they recognize!
Ask your guests to be considerate when the park and park away from the home. If the cars are out of sight, then there will be no reason for the surprisee to suspect anything out of the ordinary.
Fake a party:
It may be that your surprisee really wants to hold a party and the thoughts of letting the occasion go by without any acknowledgment may be quite upsetting for them. If this is the case, you may need to organise a ‘fake party’.
For a fake party, you would need to organise a date and let the surprisee know what is happening. If they are a ‘hands off’ type of person, this would work well because you can plan party details for the real party and essentially forget about the fake party! If however you have a ‘hands on’ type of surprisee who likes to get involved with the party planning, this will be a bit more tricky. If this is the case you may need to have their input into decorations and food, but try to keep this as minimal as possible, as you still want added surprises on the day of the party… not just a change of date!
Capture the surprise:
Make sure that either yourself or a designated other has a camera at the ready to capture the moment of the “surprise”. After all the hard work, you definitely want to make sure that this moment has been captured and it would be wonderful for the surprisee to also see the look on their face when they walk into the party.
Tips for the day of the surprise party:
If there are events that are always held by routine on the day of the party, make sure that these still occur so not to arouse any suspicion. This may be a child’s sports event or a weekly catch up with friends. Everything needs to remain as normal as possible!
Make sure you have a plan of action for the day so you are not running around stressed once the surprisee has gone off with the chaperone. If you have a running sheet of what you need to do, this will make your life a whole lot easier and you will have an enjoyable surprise party!
So there you have it. We have discussed 12 party checklist tips for planning a surprise party, that when put into action will ensure you have an enjoyable party planning experience.
Would you like to plan a surprise party without the stress?
Make the most of the free advice, tips, information and downloadable PDF checklist on Catherine Holt’s party website http://www.smartpartyplanning.com
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