The first thing you need for a stellar surprise part is an unassuming guest of honor. Most people throw surprise parties for milestone birthdays, but other special occasions can fit the bill too – a surprise engagement party for a couple, a surprise show for an expectant mom, etcetera.

Once the guest of honor is chosen it’s time to get planning! Find a partner in crime, preferably someone who knows the guest of honor as well as you. if you’re throwing a birthday party for a family member, it woudl be wonderful to tie in a friend that would have the “in” on more friends to invite.

Creating an online invitation is great – a private event on Facebook can connect you with lots of potential guests while keeping the guest of honor out of the loop. Make sure everyone invited knows this is a top secret surprise party.

DYNAMIC DETAILS
The “dang!” is in the details. Work in as many special details that fit your guest of honor as possible, for example:

  • Decor in their favorite color or theme
  • Their playlist as the sound track for the party
  • Their favorite food and drinks being served
  • Activities that match their personality – karaoke for a wannabe singer, dress up theme for a Halloween fanatic, minute to win it games for a competitive friend, etc.
  • Create a sign for the event that guests can write on as a memento of the party for your guest of honor.

PEOPLE POWER
Regardless of how great the details, the event’s success lies within the people – those putting it on and those attending.

Have guests arrive half an hour before your guest of honor. If parking could be a problem or the “surprisee” might recognize cars, find a close location where guests can park and carpool or shuttle to the event.

Find a trustworthy friend that can make sure the guest of honor gets there when they are supposed to. You’ll be busy corralling the crowd of party-goers so leave this job to someone else.

Enlist some look-outs at the party you can help you watch for the guest of honor.

Invite some very special guests and use them to keep the surprises coming for the first hour. Old high school friends or past coworkers, or family that lives far enough away the guest of honor wouldn’t expect them. Stash them in an extra room and have them come out in 10-15 minute intervals as a new surprise.

Planning a surprise party can be a challenge, but if you do it right, it’ll be the event friends and family talk about forever.