Your best friend’s birthday is coming up, and you still haven’t thought of the perfect present. You know that she doesn’t need anything in particular. But you want to surpass last year’s birthday present, which is hard. Then it hits you. A surprise party is an amazing idea! Having everyone she loves to gather up in one place only for her is a great gift.
However, the tricky part is planning a surprise party. It takes skill, stealth, organisation, and, naturally, a lot of luck. But, seeing the look on your friend’s face is worth it all. Here’s a couple of tips and tricks that will help you plan the big day easily.
1. Picking a date
Picking the right date is essential if you want to make your surprise party truly a surprise. As you’re trying to astonish her, organising a party on the exact day of her birthday may not be a good idea. She’ll expect a gift, and it probably wouldn’t be as surprising as you hoped. Plan a party before the actual birth date. That way you will surely surprise her and avoid the feeling of being forgotten.
Once you’ve picked a date, think about the people closest to her. It doesn’t have to be a large party to be a good one. Make birthday invitations and send them out to her friends and family. Don’t forget to state that it is a surprise party so it’s top-secret.
2. Pick a theme
You don’t have to be a kid to have a themed party. Even adults like to dress up or mask up and have fun. If your friend is into that, consider adding a theme to the party. A good theme can turn a boring, average party into a creative, jaw-dropping one.
Think about the party theme ideas your friend will love. It can be anything, from her favourite film, colour theme, or even a beach party, to Christmas themed ones. Guests can come dressed as her favourite film characters and you can show off your creativity by designing decorations and planning activities. If you opt for a themed party, make sure you have a costume or clothes prepared for your guest of honour. She will want to fit in as well.
3. Pick a place
Keep in mind that the place of an event may be a key ingredient for a surprise party. Make sure that you pick a place your guest of honour frequently visits. For example, if you tell her you’re taking her to a fancy restaurant in the city centre, she may get suspicious. However, if you tell her you’re going to your place to watch a film, she probably wouldn’t expect there are hidden intentions.
Throwing a party at your place is much more convenient. You get to plan everything without interruptions. Even though white lies are almost necessary to organise a good surprise party, you can still fulfil your promise, and watch a film. Set up a home theatre room in your living room, and play her favourite film to watch with her favourite people.
4. Preparing for the event
If you want your party to be a success, you must prepare for it carefully. Even though planning it and inviting people is hard, preparing the actual place is not quite easy either. Will there be a cake? What about drinks? Will everything go smoothly? All these stressful questions are probably running through your mind.
If you want your celebration to be complete, don’t forget about the food and snacks. Plan your menu according to the part of the day when the party is scheduled. If it’s in the early afternoon, canapes or small sandwiches are a great option. Cooking dinner with your friends can also be an amazing idea. You can have fun preparing the food for the party, and enjoy it later when your guest of honour arrives. In case you’ve decided cake is necessary, consider making it so it fits in the theme. That’s a huge bonus for your organisation skills. On the other hand, if you or your friend are not cake lovers, cupcakes never fail to make anyone smile.
To ensure your surprise party will be a true hit, cocktails, punch, and juice are necessary. You can have alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. However, asking party attendees for the drink preferences can make your job much easier. Make sure you have a little bit of everything, as people frequently change their minds.
5. Decorations and Set up
Once the big part of the planning process is done, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and set up the party. Ask a couple of friends to help you make the decorations and decorate the room. Everything should be done before the guest of honour arrives. As you’ve decided that you’ll be watching a film, you need to transform one of your rooms into a home theatre.
Transforming a room in a home theatre is a simple job. The only thing you need is a television. Keep in mind that there will be more people, so you need to place your TV so everyone can see and hear. Consider buying one of the high-quality mobile TV stands. They can be motorised or non-motorised, and everyone in the room will be satisfied with the view.
Don’t forget to get the good speakers as the bad sound spoils the mood and leaves everyone irritated. Place the speakers around the room, for example, on your shelves. You can even set them so dialogues, music, and sound effects are coming from the different sides of the room.
Besides watching a film in your theatre room, you can play various games. For example, play an insert of a film on your TV and have guests guess what film it is. Divide them into two teams, and the winning team gets to choose the next film you’ll watch.
In addition to that, you can play some music and encourage others to dance. Shake off that couch bottom and turn this into a real party. Darts and board games are always fun, so consider including them in the activity schedule. Don’t forget the cake or cupcakes, and sing the birthday song at the top of your lungs.
As you can see, with a good plan, organising a surprise party isn’t that hard. Even though keeping your mouth shut and getting people to participate may be tricky, the expression on your friend’s face is worth the effort. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy it. At the end of the day, the most important thing is making your friend happy.
Emily Wilson is a psychology student from and a freelance writer with 4-year long experience, passionate about inspiring readers to make healthier life choices. She occasionally works as a consultant for Ultralift company based in Melbourne.