By: Desi Dimitrova
Do you remember that time when your friends put together a surprise party for you, and you had no idea that they were planning anything? Wasn’t that amazing? Do you want to return the favor?
Throwing surprise parties, for whatever reason, makes you feel pretty darn awesome. For one thing, you feel good because you’ve made someone else feel special. You also show how much you care, even if it doesn’t come off perfectly because people will appreciate the time and energy you’ve put into it. It’s a win-win!
So, are you ready to throw the surprise party of the century? Here are 8 easy steps that will help you on your way to glory!
Step 1: Set the Date
This is probably one of the most important things to consider: when is your friend available? When are the guests available? Because if it’s just you and your friend at that party, it won’t be as spectacular, right? So, think of everyone before you make any commitments. You can call up some of the people to see if they’re free on a specific date that you think might work.
PRO Tip: Make a common chat with all the people you want to invite and send them a Doodle. Give them a deadline and when it’s up, simply pick the date that most people have chosen and let everyone know.
After you’ve set the date, call up your friend and make sure that you “book” him/her for that particular evening.
Step 2: Find Someone to Help You
Who will help you with logistics? Organizing a massive party is not an easy task. Which is why you’ll need a partner in crime.
Ask one or more of your friends to be co-hosts of the evening. Make sure that at least one of you has a car. There will be a lot of materials, decorations, food and drinks to carry around, so it’s best to be prepared.
Step 3: Find a Venue
Where will the party be at? Make sure you pick a convenient location. If you’re throwing a surprise party for your roommate, maybe your place is not the best for the occasion. You won’t be able to decorate in advance and there’s a chance your friend might pick up on what’s going on, if he/she sees party decoration, lying around.
So, ask some of your friends, if they can host the party. That way you’ll be able to store all of the decorations safely, and you’ll be able to put them up beforehand, so you don’t do everything at the last moment.
PRO Tip: If your budget allows it, hire an external venue. You can decorate ahead of time, and your friend will never suspect a thing!
Step 4: Pick A Theme
Of course, that’s optional. But it’s always a good idea to have a theme. Even if it’s just related to specific colors. For example, you can pick out your friend’s favorite hues and ask all the guests to be dressed accordingly. The decoration can match as well.
If you’re having a hard time thinking of themes — there are thousands of ideas on the internet. You just need to do a little research and match what you find with what your friend likes. It can be something as simple as a Pajama Party or a little more complicated, like a Murder Mystery Party (if your friend likes mysteries, he/she will love such a theme!).
Step 5: Create a Guest List
Ah, yes! The guests! They’re a very crucial part of the party. Discuss potential guest lists with your core team of friends. Make sure that you invite people who are indeed pleasant to your friend, because you don’t want any awkward moments throughout the night, right?
So, write down a list, invite them individually, and ask them to come at least 30 min prior to the set hour when the party should begin. They can help out with last minute preparations, and even if someone is late, they won’t come after you and your friend.
Step 6: Decorations
Now that you have the core team, the venue, the theme of the party and the guests, you need to physically buy the decorations.
Think of the theme and make a list of all the pieces you’ll need in order create a memorable atmosphere. Ask your friends for advice and find some inspiration online. Then go out to a big store and buy everything that’s on your list. Try not to go off it too much, in order to stick to your budget.
Step 7: Food & Drinks
What are your friends and guests going to eat and drink?
The best thing you can do is to make a list of everything you think people would enjoy to eat and drink. You can also ask around for people’s preferences. It’s always a good idea to have a vegan option. Don’t forget that you’ll need plates and glasses for everyone.
PRO Tip: Hire a caterer. Even if the party is just for 20-30 people, they offer various services and you might find just what you’re looking for. In some cases, it would even cost you less money than to buy and prepare all of the food yourself!
Step 8: The Cherry on Top
No party (much like a dessert) is complete without the cherry on top. Without that special oomph! If it’s a birthday party, that can be the presents. If it’s a party for another occasion, there can be a special performance or an artist who would make the night unforgettable. You can indeed hire professionals for a reasonable price who will take care of the entertainment for you.
If you need more help, Events Paparazzi put together a complete guide for party planning including themes and timelines for preparation! With all of these resources, you can't go wrong.
So, there you have it! Those were the 8 steps to the perfect surprise! Let’s get started and remember…mum’s the word!