Top 7 Surprise Party Tips


My hubby just turned 30 last month and being the go big or go home type that I am, I of COURSE threw a surprise party! 

Based on all my other posts, you know I love event planning! 

(If you haven’t read my other posts on the parties I’ve thrown, check these out!) 

While I was planning the party I started to think about how many surprise parties I’ve actually thrown over the years! It was so fun to reminisce about them all!


I planned and threw surprise parties for my best friend’s 16th, my mom and dad’s 25th wedding anniversary (in the same year!), my husband’s 20th when we were in college. 


I even threw a surprise 18th birthday party for a friend in high school that went so well she asked me to throw one for her mom’s 50th! 

I’ve loved throwing every one! They’re always super fun and everyone wants to be in on the surprise! 

So! After throwing Matt’s surprise 30th I thought it would be fun to give you my best surprise party tips! 

1. Have a Good Cover

Having a story that’s believable is key. It can’t be too vague or too detailed. It’s best to plan something that sounds “normal”. 


For example, for my parent’s 25th Anniversary party, I asked some family friend’s to take them out to dinner at the restaurant that the party was going to be at.


(I chose a common location so it didn’t seem out of the ordinary). 


For Matt’s 30th, my dad was nice enough to suggest using his own birthday as the cover as it’s just 6 days before Matt’s! 


This was a PERFECT cover as Matt was totally thinking we were just going to my grandma’s for Dad’s birthday dinner! 


If the story doesn’t make sense, they’ll question it. They may even give you push back and make it really hard to get them to their own party. HAH! 


If you can, I have found it best to plan the party for a day that is before the special event. That way they’re not as suspicious.


Be sure to also have a “fake” plan too. Especially if it’s for a birthday. There’s nothing worse than someone thinking their birthday, special event or promotion was forgotten. 


Make sure they think something is actually happening. This will also keep them from questioning. 

2. Have Someone Who Can Keep Their Cool

Whoever is bringing them to the party or relaying the “cover story” to the guest of honor, be sure they can keep their cool and think under pressure. 


There are going to be SO many times on the way to the party or even the week of the event that the beans will almost be spilled. 


They will ask a question or start saying they don’t feel like going to the “fake” event. 


Be sure to pick a person to take them to the party who is calm and can fake it all the way up until the “surprise”. 

3. Cover Your Tracks!

If you’re throwing the party for your spouse or someone very close to you, it’s important to thoroughly cover your tracks.


This doesn’t just mean hiding food or party decorations. Think further than that. What will they stumble across?


Did you send the invitation through email? Will they be in your inbox for anything? Did you send it through texts? Will they see texts on another device in the house through iCloud? 


These are all little details that can make or break your surprise party success!


Also, be careful about what cards or bank accounts you use. Use cash when you can or cards they won’t check as often or  see statements on.

4. Be Careful with Parking

This one is pretty obvious. But it’s a good reminder. Be sure to tell people where to park. 


We’ve had a designated person telling people where to park. We’ve even had a person shuttle people to a parking lot down the road so no one could see the cars. 


Also, it’s important to be sure which route the guest of honor will be taking. 


It would be so frustrating if you had everyone park “up the street” but the “birthday boy” decided to drive the other way home and passed them all! 


Trust me… they will recognize someone’s car… 


Be sure to think it through and plan ahead! 

5. Pick The Right Place

If possible, try and pick a location that the soon to be “surprised” won’t go. 


This way you’ll be able to stash things there, decorate ahead of time, set up food, etc. Also, it will make it easier for guests to arrive ahead of the guest of honor and be in place. 


It is hard to throw a surprise party in the home of the guest of honor. But it can definitely be managed. 


If you’re going that route, I would suggest asking others to bring the food/decorations. (Unless you have really good hiding places in your house!)


Which leads me to my next point…

6. Ask for Help!

Everyone loves to be in on the surprise! Be sure to ask others to help you with the party!

Let people pick up, bring, or make food, help decorate, help with parking, even help with the surprise itself! Especially if you know you personally would be no good at keeping a secret while driving them to their surprise! 

A surprise party is a bigger task than just a normal event because of everything that has to happen behind the scenes. Be sure to let people help you!

7. Let Go and Party!

Lastly, be sure to ENJOY the party! As a bit of an anxious control freak myself, it is SUPER easy to let the “to-do list” and hiding the event consume all my focus and energy. 


Believe me. They’ll notice if you’re super uptight for no reason! 


Do your best to cover your tracks and have a solid plan. But in the end, if they find out… it’s not the end of the world! You can still have a party!


And if they don’t find out… HURRAY! You did it! Now grab a glass of wine and enjoy your awesome event! 

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Have you thrown a surprise party ?  Do you have anything to add? I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me an email! Be sure to subscribe below so you don’t miss a thing as well as follow me on Instagram and Pinterest!


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