How to Throw a Surprise Party


Any occasion can warrant a cloak-and-dagger affair — but first, use these tips to plan the perfect sneak attack.  These are some tips from Premier Princess Parties.


First, ask yourself these questions:

Do I Have the Right Candidate?

Certain people — let’s call them “fastidious” — don’t like surprises. “I am one of them!” Dallas event planner Steve Kemble says. “I want to know everything about an event before I go.” Also rule out anyone who gets really excited about milestones and birthdays. Trying to surprise these types is almost mean, he says: They’ll just think you’ve forgotten to plan anything.

Do I Have Enough Time?

Ideally, that’s six weeks for a party of 25 or more, says Kemble. One month out, consider reserving a room at a restaurant or bar — a good idea if it’s a place your guest of honor frequents, or that will best accommodate everyone. The biggest time sink, though, will be figuring out whom to invite (including any surprise guests!), then tracking down their contact info.

 Am I Up to the Task?

Here’s a dirty secret: “Many times the people being surprised find out; they just don’t tell you,” says David Tutera, host of WE TV’s My Fair Wedding. Evaluate yourself as a potential host: Can you keep your cool? (Hint: Don’t stop talking to your best friend two weeks before her birthday.) Are you prepared to improvise if things go off-script? If not, stick with a non-surprise party.

 Get Creative — Just Not Too Creative

“If you do something too funky, the person is going to know something’s up,” Kemble says. “If you go to Chili’s a lot, say, ‘Let’s go to Chili’s.'” When Kemble helped Lori, wife of Dallas Cowboys executive Jerry

Planning Your Party

Creating the Atmosphere  Like a Frozen Princess Party 

Once you’ve selected a party theme, it’s time to think about how to give your home (or party space) a matching atmosphere. When decorating, simplify by making the party table the centerpiece of the room. If you want to go all out, decorate the floor, ceiling, walls and doorway too. Here are some tips to turn tables into fables and walls into a wonderland!

Chances are you and your child will pick a theme that matches their interests. Themes could include a  princess party Chicago,cartoon character, favorite animal or hobby. Try decorating with all the matching pictures, stuffed animals, toys and games you have already purchased for your child. For instance, if you’re having a Toy Story party, you can decorate your child’s room to look like Andy’s room with Buzz Light-year bedding, Toy Story action figures and movie posters.

If you don’t have a particular theme in mind consider decorating the party with a simple concept such as all pink, polka dots or inside out (bring things that are normally outside indoors!). This type of theme is common for first birthdays since, more than likely, your child has not developed specific interests yet. Have fun. Get inspired by a color, pattern or wacky idea that encompasses things you already own or your home’s decor. Then, use that idea in every aspect of your decorating such as tableware, food, favors and even craft activities.

Include your party guests in the decorating! Ask everyone to arrive in costume or give all the guests a hat, headband or costume accessory to wear as they arrive. This is a great way to make everyone feel more involved and who doesn’t love playing dress up?

Remember; think outside the box when considering the location of your party. A garden party doesn’t necessarily need to take place in a garden. You can create your own garden indoors with the help of tissue paper flowers, plastic butterflies and a child’s tea set. Create a winter wonderland on a hot summer day by decorating with fake snow and serving frozen treats. So don’t let the time of year affect your choice of theme!


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