Planning a party can be time-consuming, expensive, and stressful. If someone close to you is approaching a birthday, consider throwing them a surprise party. You’ll save them a lot of time and unnecessary worry, not to mention they’ll be delighted by the revelation that your casual dinner plan is actually a proper birthday bash.
If you’ve ever watched an American sitcom, you’ll have seen a storyline featuring a surprise celebration at least a dozen times. However, when planning a whole party is your responsibility it suddenly doesn’t seem quite as exciting as it was on Friends. Take the stress out of planning a surprise party with these tips.
Create the guestlist
The first and most crucial step in planning any party is deciding on the guestlist. The number of people invited will affect the venue you choose, and the budget you need to make the evening a success.
Invite people you are sure your friend likes and knows well. Don’t use your friend’s social media connections as a basis for the guestlist, as you could end up inviting people they’ve not spoken to in years, like that woman they went out with once or that random guy from their gym. Stick to people your friend speaks highly of and don’t invite anyone you have doubts about.
Pick a theme
A themed party can be a great way to decide on décor, food and entertainment. Go with a classic like Alice in Wonderland and scatter playing cards across the tables, paint giant mushrooms onto cardboard and pick up an old clock from a charity shop.
You could personalise the theme by choosing something that fits your friend’s interests. For example, if they’re a big fan of James Bond, a 007 party would be ideal. Encourage guests to smarten up with a suit and tie, or cocktail dress and heels. For entertainment, you could mix your own 007 inspired cocktails. Just remember, that martini should be shaken, not stirred!
Organise the cards and gifts
A traditional aspect of a birthday party is for the guest of honour to receive cards and gifts from their friends and family. Make sure you set aside a space for people to put their presents when they arrive. No one wants to be wandering around the room with their gift the whole night.
For a special birthday, buy an extra-large birthday card to commemorate the occasion and ask all the guests to sign it too. You could even get a personalised card to really make your friend feel special. Whichever card you choose, they will appreciate the effort and be grateful to have a reminder of the evening.