Surprise parties are one of the greatest and most fun ways to celebrate a milestone occasion. Not only are they exciting for the hosting husband who knows what will be happening, but also touching for the wife whose husband took the time to plan something special just for her!
Here are steps that you can follow to throw a successful surprise party for your wife:
Step 1: Planning the surprise
- At home: this is the easiest option, but have to make sure your wife will be out and everyone arrives early and parks far away. Lights should be off and shoes hidden.
- At the office: will have to get your wife away from her desk. Can do so by having manager call her for a meeting or you or a colleague take her out for lunch. The surprise can take place at her desk or in a boardroom.
- Restaurant / Hotel: you have to give your wife a good reason to go there so she is not suspicious. Make sure you have reservations and that the restaurant or hotel knows it is a surprise!
When: you want to choose a day and time convenient for all your guests and when you know your wife does not have any other plans. It’s better if the surprise party is a few days before/after the milestone day, therefore your wife will not be expecting anything or be suspicious.
Type of party: whether it be for a birthday, anniversary or retirement, the type of party needs to considered in the planning process. You should choose a theme relating to the occasion. (For example 50th surprise birthday party can have a 50’s themes.)
Invite guests: invitation should display details of the event and really focus on the fact that it is a surprise. Your invitation can mention gift suggestions as well.
Find a chaperone: distracting your wife is a key element to the surprise. It can be you, a relative, friend or colleague. It is important that you make sure your wife has a firm commitment in terms of activity (can be a manicure, movie, coffee) and time (know exactly how long will be gone so chaperone does not have to make up excuses and delays.)
Step 2: Set up
Decorate: you may not have much time in advance to decorate for the party, so as soon as your wife leaves with the chosen chaperone, you and friends can set up and decorate. If the party is at a restaurant or hotel, then you can probably start to prepare further in advance. You can have balloons, streamers, candles, flowers, photos, noise makers, etc. If you are throwing a themed surprise party, then you should decorate accordingly. For example, a lot of red, flowers and hearts at an anniversary party.
Food and drinks: you can cater or make your own food to offer your guests if the party overlaps lunch or dinner. Even if you do not serve a meal, you should have snacks and drinks available. You can have snacks that are easy to make, such as chips and vegetables with dip or party sandwiches. You can also set up a bar or hire a bartender. No party is complete without a cake. Getting your wife’s favorite kind is the best option.
Music and entertainment: select music that all your guests will enjoy. It should be upbeat but not obtrusive. You can have a slideshow playing in the background, if the location permits it, with pictures and messages from friends and family. You can hire entertainment as well, such as a musician or magician. You can even have a roast which is always amusing.
Step 3: The surprise
Have a checklist: go through the list of things to do and reminders to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything, for example: food, decorations, make sure people park far away, music selected, entertainment confirmed.
Lure your wife to the party: make sure your chaperone is on board with the plan. It is a good idea to get chaperone to call or text you when they are few minutes away to make sure lights are off, everyone is quiet and prepared to yell surprise.
Take a lot of photos: make sure some of the guests have a camera in hand to capture your wife’s initial reaction. Have a friend act as the designated photographer or encourage your guests to keep snapping pictures all night.
The most difficult part of a surprise party is keeping it a secret. The best way to plan a surprise party and to make sure no one slips is to plan your surprise party online. You can send an email invitation to all of your guests with a link to the surprise party website, where guests can RSVP online. This will avoid you having to worry about your wife hearing a phone message or viewing a reply card. By creating a website for your wife’s surprise party, guests can view all the details of the party and offer their feedback about theme, food, decor, and music using online polls and messages boards. The website will be a private communication hub where guests can chat amongst themselves, with no chance of your wife overhearing anything. It will also keep guests informed about the chaperone plan and how it is important show up on time and park far away. A gift registry, with details or a link to your wife’s favorite store, can be featured on the website for great gift ideas. Pictures and videos can also be posted on the website before and after the party. It will also be great to show your wife the website after the surprise, so she can see all the planning that was involved and messages from friends and family.
Remember the following to keep your wife’s party a surprise:
- Do not talk about the surprise party and swear your guests to secrecy. You never know who is around and listening, therefore it should not be discussed with anyone.
- Never send invitation by post (if address error will return to sender) or leave residential number as the contact number (don’t want your wife to overhear a voicemail.) All communication should be done in person, on cell or office phone, or via email. (Make sure to include your private contact information)
- Tell close friends and family your plan, even before sending them an invite, so they can make themselves available and guarantee there is no time/date conflicts with your wife. They can also provide suggestions and help you plan the party.