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How To Throw a Surprise Birthday Party

Surprise parties requires more extensive planning than others. Take a peek at our top tips for planning a flawless and fun surprise  birthday party!

Throwing a surprise party can require some serious effort. You don’t have the birthday girl / boy to help with the theme or guest list, so it’s up to you to put together the party of their dreams from what you know about them.  Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a fun and flawless event.

Book the birthday guest. Before you go forth with planning the surprise, make sure the guest of honor doesn’t have previous engagements! Maybe they were planning to go to Vegas to celebrate? Catch them before they book the tickets. Of course, you’ll have to persuade them to stay - a fake story about you buying non-refundable tickets to this amazing show or play may work, while giving you a reason to get them out of the house the night of the party.

Next, put together the guest list. Since you don’t have the help of the birthday girl/boy, putting together the guest list might take some time and investigating. Consult the guest of honor’s bestie or significant other about any work friends you may not know about as well as which coworkers and family members not to invite.

Send out invitations. Invitations are especially important for surprise parties. They hold vital information that can either make or break the surprise. Be sure to include what time guests should arrive, as well as what time the guest of honor is expected home. That way, guests running late will know if they should wait a little longer and avoid spoiling the surprise. Most importantly, be sure to include that it’s a surprise party on the invites!

Plan a distraction. To ready for the big surprise, get the guest of honor out of the house! Tell them you are going to grab dinner before that “show” you bought tickets for, and then convince them to stop by your place after dinner. Designate someone to take charge and ready all the guests for the surprise. It may be a good idea to have that person’s contact information included on the invitation as well, so that your phone isn’t going off constantly during dinner.

Get ready for the surprise. Add more shock to your surprise by giving guests confetti to throw at the guest of honor. Party poppers are always a hit as well, and will definitely some more excitement to the room. If you want to really get wild, distribute a few champagne bottles for your guests to pop. You’ll definitely want to have a video camera ready for this one!  

Find more party planning inspirations for Adult Birthdays

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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