Planning the perfect surprise party: ten important considerations
Think back to all the surprise parties you have attended, and I bet you can think of an incredible one, a mediocre one and one which just didn’t work. When hosting an event like this, your aim is to make the ‘surprised’ feel like a million dollars and for everyone else to have fun too. Continue reading for ten important considerations when you are planning a surprise party.
- The date
Planning something for mid-week may be a lot cheaper, but in opting for a Wednesday, for example, you will be ruling out people who have a little further to travel. Not only that, but people will be less willing to let their hair down and possibly leave early for work the following day. A Friday or Saturday night usually goes down well with most people. Do be careful to check that there are no weddings or family events which would stop a large number from attending.
- The budget
Before you make any significant decisions, it is crucial to consider how much money you are willing to spend on this surprise party. Having a budget will allow you to narrow down your options much more efficiently, as well as ensuring you do not end up in the red. At times, it can be difficult making a decision and not wanting to let someone down. Being able to explain that a particular item or service won’t be suitable for you because it exceeds your budget can be helpful.
- The venue
Finding somewhere that is the right size is essential. Choosing a place that holds a much larger number of people than you have invited will look empty and, vice versa, people don’t want to turn up at a venue where there is very little standing room. If you are catering for a wide range of people, it is vital to ensure there is sufficient seating available. Do your research fully before booking somewhere. Search for event venues in Utah, for example, using a search engine. You can look at their websites to find out basic details. However, until you’ve actually visited a place, you won’t get a full understanding of its facilities and ambiance.
- The guest list
Having a clear idea of who will be invited to the surprise party is vital. Be sure to ask the ‘surprised’ person’s family and friends for the names of anyone you don’t necessarily know, but they are sure should be there. As with all events, there is a possibility of causing upset and offense if you invite one cousin but not another, for example. If the venue is large enough, ask them all rather than potentially cause a rift. Send out invitations with plenty of time and remember to put an RSVP date on there too. In addition to the formal invitations, which are usually perfect for older members of the family, use social media to your advantage. Creating a secret Facebook event is really useful. People seem to be much better at responding to invites online rather than in person. You can also chase people up almost instantly if they are avid social media users.
- The theme
Not all parties need a theme but having one can make a momentous occasion even more special. If the surprise party is to celebrate a big birthday, why not make even more memories by having the decade in which they were born as the theme? Guests could not only dress the part, but you could have appropriate décor and food as well. Alternatively, you could choose to use a specific letter of the alphabet, B, for example, if the lucky recipient of the surprise is called Ben. Another great choice is a color scheme. If their favorite color is green, this could be used for outfits as well as decorations. Don’t forget to make a note on the invitations to explain to guests what is expected of them.
- The food
For extra special occasions, you may wish to consider a sit-down meal. This can be pricey and cause a lot of headaches. Undoubtedly, your guests will have a wide variety of dietary requirements, such as gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, and so, having such a range of main meals can add extra cost. Most people opt for a buffet, whether cold or hot, knowing that you can cater for everyone for a much lower price. Some venues will do this for you, whereas others will allow you to bring your own. Be sure to ask that question before booking the place.
- The drink
Not all get togethers require alcohol. In fact, none do. However, a lot of people do expect there to be alcoholic beverages available. Some venues will have a bar open for you, whereas others may allow you to bring your own drinks. It will all hinge on the guest list and those who are coming as to what you choose. It is also important to consider whether you will provide free drink for everyone. If you take your own alcohol, you will not be allowed to sell it, so you are offering it free of charge. However, if you use a bar, you may wish to offer all guests one free tipple of their choice or put a certain amount of money behind the bar to cover the cost of drinks for a limited period of time. A welcome drink or cocktail is another consideration to make. Just be sure that your guests are not a little bit too merry before the guest of honor arrives.
- The surprise
The final consideration relates to the actual surprise itself. You will need to come up with a fake event to take them to without them realizing where they are going or even that it is to celebrate their big day or occasion. Remember to put yourself in their shoes and consider how they will feel. After all, they are the most important person in all of this, and you need to think about what they will and won’t appreciate.