How to Organize a Fun Surprise Birthday Party

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Unlike typical birthday celebrations, organizing a surprise birthday party requires some additional planning. You need to elevate your event planning skills to ensure success.  Here are some vital steps to guide you:

Pleasant Surprise – or Not

The first step is to determine whether the celebrant will appreciate a surprise party or not.  Does the guest of honor have some of these traits?

-an outgoing personality

-likes being the center of attention

-considers surprises a great idea

 If the answer is yes, then by all means plan that surprise birthday party.


The majority of the planning takes place a few days/weeks before the actual birthday party.  Here are the steps for planning the party:

Set the date – Ask family or friends about the actual birthday date and the days surrounding it.  Keep in mind not to tell everyone about the surprise party.  The more people who know it, the higher the chances that someone will let it slip.

Come up with a story – The most vital, and challenging, step of organizing a surprise party is creating a story that will entice the celebrant to attend the party without him/ her suspecting something.  Ask the guest of honor to a smaller party or plan an alternate event to attend several days after the actual birthday to avoid raising suspicions.

Delegate – Allow other people to help you out with some party planning tasks.  It not only lessens the amount of work you need to do for the event, but it also reduces the risks of ruining the surprise.  Ask a couple of people to assist you in getting the celebrant to the surprise party.

Send invites – Remember to send guests the birthday party invites several weeks before the event.  Emphasize the surprise element in the invitations so people will be well informed.

Find a venue – The venue for the surprise party depends upon the story created for getting the celebrant to his/ her own party.  For example, if you are planning an intimate dinner with friends, use the restaurant’s larger room for the surprise party.  Inform the guests to come at least 30 minutes before the birthday celebrant.  Is the venue in Charleston and guests are coming in from Morgantown, WV? Then tell them to arrive an hour before the birthday party.

Plan the Party Menu – Are you going to prepare homemade dishes, or hire a caterer, or a mixture of homemade and purchased foods? Do include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on your menu.

Choose the entertainment – This will largely depend on the birthday party budget.  If you have a limited budget, then festive background music over food and drinks is sufficient.  However, a bigger budget allows for a DJ or even a hired band.

Shop for Decor – Choose party supplies that are vibrant and fun.  Even if it’s a surprise party, you can still have a cool party theme like a tropical or a vintage theme.  

Lastly, make sure that you carefully consider all the details.  Planning a surprise birthday party requires discretion, timing, and organization.