Plan a kickin' surprise party for your friend or foe
Planning a great fete is a challenge at the best of times. Planning a surprise party is an opportunity to really show off your skills. Just make sure to follow a few simple rules and even your co-workers will be congratulating you around the water cooler on your triumph.
Rule One: Make sure the Guest of Honor (GOH) actually likes surprise parties. There are ways to discover this information subtly. If she does not, then DO NOT PROCEED. Catfights have started because of less.
Rule Two: Make sure the date is free for the Guest of Honor. Don’t pick a date first and then try and get your GOH to keep it. Either personally arrange to meet with the GOH on the selected date, or get a mutual (and reliable) friend to take the GOH out to a special event that night as the designated “companion.” Make sure the “event” is significant enough so that the GOH doesn’t casually cancel at the last minute.
Rule Three: Be sneaky. Asking to borrow your GOH’s email list isn’t going to be subtle. Planning a truly successful surprise party means getting into true Charlie’s Angels mode. Be covert. Get a few trustworthy friends in on the planning. Just make sure to choose people who won’t inadvertently slip up and blow the event.
Rule Four: Be smart. Randomly sending out an invitation to everyone in your GOH’s address book could get very ugly. If you aren’t sure who the person is, seek clarification. Nothing is worse than having four exes show up at a birthday party.
Rule Five: State it loud and frequently. In your invitations, repeat at least three times that this is a SURPRISE party. That they should not RSVP to the GOH and should they have to cancel, call YOUR number. It’s amazing how many people actually fail to really clue into this fact and call up the GOH a few hours before to apologize for missing the party.
Rule Six: Make sure everyone arrives at one of two specific times. The first time should be at least 45 minutes to an hour before the GOH is scheduled to arrive. The second time should be at least 45 minutes to an hour after the GOH is scheduled to arrive. That way, hopefully no one will show up at the same time as the GOH.
Rule Seven: Consider an unexpected venue. Why not hold it at a restaurant in a party room? Or consider using the designated companion’s home? That way, it’s much easier to get the GOH there without being terribly obvious. It’s easy for the companion to come up with an excuse to stop by their own house. If the GOH lives with someone, you can arrange to use that space… just make sure there are people helping to clean up afterwards!
Rule Eight: Be aware of parking. One of the easiest giveaways of a surprise party is familiar cars lining the street. Ask people to park around the corner or in a less conspicuous place.
Rule Nine: Have a signal with the companion. Make sure whoever is with the GOH gives you a quick call before arriving so you can prepare everyone.
Rule Ten: Take pictures! After all of your hard work, it’s crucial to get those initial pictures of the shock on your GOH’s face. Not only are they a great memory of the occasion, but they can make for great gossip and giggles later on.
Written by: Robyn Burnett