A surprise party might conjure up images of a seven-year-old kid’s birthday with stacks of gifts, including a surprise gift box and yummy food and pointy party hats. The truth is, you don’t have to be that young to have a fantastic surprise party since you can design one.
Instead, you just need a bit of good old-fashioned ingenuity and some time to plan it. Here are six practical tips you can use to plan a surprise party they’ll love (no matter what age they are).
1. Set the Budget for Your Surprise Party
When you are planning a surprise party, the first thing you want to do is set the party’s budget. Lots of factors influence how much money this party will cost you. The planning includes the number of guests, the venue, the day of the week, the gifts, food, drink and more.
It’s also wise to consider that your preliminary budget may need to change. You can create a final budget once you get estimates for the different costs, like catering or entertainment.
2. Choose a Surprise Party Theme
Choosing a party theme from the beginning solves more planning problems than you can imagine. Essentially, it provides you with a filter through which you’ll make most, if not all, of your party decisions.
Looking at an outdoor party theme means that the colors you choose for decorations go with greens, earth tones and reds. Your gift might be a surprise gift box specifically geared toward the outdoors enthusiast, and the location of the party might be the lodge of the local ski resort or hikers’ club.
You may even extend this theme to the guest list by inviting a hiking expert to come and converse with your guest of honor. This can have a lasting impact, as the recipient gets to meet someone who has the same passion for the outdoors.
3. Make a Guest List for the Surprise Party
When you make the guest list for the surprise party, it makes a big impact on how enjoyable the party will be for everyone. Certainly, you want to invite people who mean something to the guest of honor.
However, your invites depend on how you know the guest of honor. In other words, a party for a private friend will have a different guest list makeup than a party for a business colleague.
Additionally, you might consider employing what the Chicago Tribune calls the A/B lists. For this, you create an “A” list, which is made up of your preferred guests, while “B” is the list of guests who will get invites once people from your “A” list decline the invitations.
Going this route allows you to keep the budget for the party under control. It also ensures that you have a nice mix of guests at the surprise party.
4. Create a Private Facebook Page
While it wouldn’t seem like it, Facebook gives you a perfect way to converse with invited guests secretly. From the outset of the planning phase, set up a secret Facebook group for the party. Invite all the party attendees, minus the guest of honor, to join the page.
This platform allows all of you to discuss party plans in real-time without alerting the person of honor. You could incorporate a Google Docs for people to sign up to bring certain items.
5. Create a Gift Suggestions List
Some parties, like bridal showers, traditionally include a gift registry or a gift ideas list. If you think it’ll be helpful, then create one for your guests to make gift-giving easier. This is particularly helpful if some of the guests are business acquaintances and not close friends.
For example, if you’re celebrating an artistic friend, create a gift list that includes arts and crafts gifts. If they work in the restaurant industry and want to celebrate their newly minted bartender life, some bar gifts are the gifts for them.
If you’re not sure what kind of gifts to put on the list, it may also help to work with a company that understands how to put together curated gift boxes. Going this route can take a lot of pressure off you as the party host, which frees up your time to work on other matters.
6. Choose a Venue for Your Surprise Party
Without a doubt, the venue of the party will cost you the most. It may also be the most difficult part of the party to plan because venues can be hard to secure.
Blame this phenomenon on the pandemic and all the canceled events that it caused, including weddings. Right now, it’s safe to say that people are making up for the lost time. As a result, many venues are booked months in advance. If you must book an event space, then do so as far in advance as you possibly can.
Final Thoughts on Surprise Party Planning
Surprise parties aren’t just for kids. They are for all people, including your business colleagues and friends. The trick to pulling a great party together comes down to the planning. From choosing the right theme to choosing the right gifts, a little forethought goes a long way toward making your surprise party great.