8 Tips For Throwing The Ultimate Surprise Party

Surprise birthday party Hugh McCanns - Pikalily Food Travel Blog

Hosting dinner parties is one thing, but pulling off a surprise party, now that is next level dedication and commitment. People are opposites when it comes to a surprise party. Love them or hate them seems to be the only options here.

Well, technically they don’t have a choice, not knowing something is going to happen is exactly what a surprise is. So, now that the decision has been made, how do one go about planning the ultimate surprise party?

It’s surprisingly easy so let’s take a look.

1. Most important is the Theme

Try to steer clear of the usual options like sports, hobbies or Hawaiian parties. Try to get something that is engaging like the Murder Mystery Game as a decoy, a reason to show up at a specific locale.

Surprise parties are usually casual so try putting together a more formal event, with some meticulous planning you can pull it off without spilling the beans.

2. Do your Research

Gathering intel on your Guest of Honor is no easy task. Be very careful when probing them for clues on their plans and movement close to their  birthday. It is advisable to gather intel from their friends and family.

Remember, you only have one shot at this, as soon as they get suspicious and get that feeling that something is happening, you already blew it.

3. Decide on a location

Your friend’s house is perfect, but not someone they would know well. They should not get suspicious when you go and visit your friend ‘every now and again’. This will give you time to do the setup and decorations.

4. Mark it on their Calendar

The perfect time would be two or three weeks before their actual birthday. Mark on their calendar at home or on their phone. This will keep it relevant but not top of mind.

5. Money matters

The benefit of doing a themed party like this means that a lot of the decorations come with the game set. All you have left to budget for would be costumes, random snacks and refreshments, and the actual dinner.

6. Invitations are legitimate

By using the Mystery Dinner as a cover feel free to send out invitations to everyone a couple of weeks prior. This will be your decoy but it is out in the open so the Guest of Honor would not expect a thing.

7. What’s on the menu

A three-course meal would do the trick so ask one of your chef friends for a favour. People love to cook and have amazing recipes which they would gladly prepare for such an occasion, just reach out to them.

8. The big reveal

This is the tricky part, especially if the setup has gone as planned. In-person surprises are best done in a relaxed natural manner up to the moment of surprise. Be confident in your abilities, put on your poker face and casually enter your friend’s house for the dinner party.

As you lead the Guest of Honour through the front door into the dining room, in unison with thunderous fanfare you will see all your friends shout SURPRISE!

Got Something to Add?

Have you thrown surprise parties in the past? What advice or tips would you have? Let us know in the comments section below.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Helen, Nial and Lewis


Welcome to Pikalily, an award-winning food, travel and lifestyle blog. We are Nial and Helen, a happily married couple from Northern Ireland, who share a passion for food and travel among many things. We became parents to our beautiful boy Lewis in 2017. Follow our adventures through the blog.

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