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3 Steps to Planning the Perfect Surprise Party

For me, planning events is usually lots of fun. I love to choose a theme, order decorations, and plan a menu. But a surprise party? That's a whole different ball game! All of the work, plus the task of keeping it all secret from the guest of honor, or guests of honor in this case. Keeping a secret like this from two of the people closest to me (my then-boyfriend-now-husband Andy and my best friend Amy) means double the party goods hidden away, double the day-of anxiety, and also... double the fabulous reaction!

Here's the money shot:

Ready for all the details on how to pull off an epic surprise BBQ of your own?

1. Theme, Theme, Theme

Some people may shy away from themes, but I think they bring parties to life! They're a great way to set your event apart, play on the interests of the guest of honor, and create a memorable evening for all. I had never thrown a surprise party for more than one person, especially two people with completely different interests. I created a BBQ them to celebrate both of their Memorial Day Weekend birthdays, plus future hubby's love of all things barbecue sauce. For Amy, I knew one of the most important parts (other than being surrounded by friends) is a fabulous birthday cake, so I made sure to have one for each of them, that matched the theme, of course!

2. Bring the Invite to Life

While I love sending (and receiving!) printed invitations, there is also something great about having the freedom to design fun (and cost-effective) digital invitations. For this one, I needed to make sure to do a few things:

- Make it clear that there were TWO guests of honor

- Introduce the fun BBQ theme

- Highlight that this was a SURPRISE party

It didn't end there. Since the birthday guests themselves hadn't seen their invite, we needed to reveal the party & theme in a big way. The invite was transformed into this awesome and trendy chalk art! Talk about a statement piece!

3. It's All in the Details

- Decor: We chose gingham tablecloths, matching paper goods, and a fun banner to tie in our theme.

- Activity: Photobooths are fun and simple ways to keep guests engaged and create fun memories. DIY props brought ours to life!

- Cake: Special themed birthday cakes, one each, ended our night on a delicious high note.

This was a birthday to remember for our special guests. Of course, the pictures only tell the end of the story- a surprise pulled off, a fabulous night with friends and family, and two very happy birthday guests of honor. There were spreadsheets, shopping trips, budgets, and timelines that went into pulling off this event. Do you want help throwing a surprise party to remember? We're All Ears!

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