Surprise Party Ideas

Invitations

Decorations

Since the element of surprise is the most important part of a surprise party, take care to check that your party decorations aren't at all visible from outside the venue. If you're using strobes or any special lighting, make sure the switches are easily accessible so that the flashes and colors won't be a giveaway.

Fill the party room with decorations that will truly shock the guest of honor: Cover the ceiling with helium balloons, drape streamers from fixtures, and give guests champagne poppers and silly string to release when the guest of honor enters.

For a personal "this is your life" touch, ask friends and family for photos of the guest of honor at various ages and with loved ones attending the party. Put these photos in frames or make collages and decorate the walls with them. If the surprisee has any favorite hobbies, sports teams, animals or musical groups, you can incorporate those into the décor as well.

Visit the Evite Party Store to get more ideas and buy supplies!

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Tips

One of the most challenging parts of the surprise party is getting the surprisee to the venue without suspicion. Enlist a friend who has mastered the poker face to be the main accomplice. A few errant smiles can ruin the surprise.

Try to plan your surprise party around something that's routine in your guest of honor's week. If he or she always goes out to dinner on Friday nights with a certain friend, incorporate this routine into the schedule of the party. Then your friend will be less likely to suspect anything out of the ordinary.

When deciding a dress code, keep in mind what the guest of honor will likely be wearing and tell your guests to dress accordingly. That way, you won't make your guest of honor feel like the odd person out.

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Activities

No surprise party how-to would be complete without suggestions for what to do at the party — you want to make sure you have something planned after the big reveal. Be sure you pick activities the guest of honor might like, such as board games, dancing or wine tasting,.

As a special surprise for the guest of honor, ask your guests to share an anecdote about that person. Have them email it to you before the party, so you can put them together in a small book or photo album. Then during the party, take Polaroids of each party guest and paste the guest's photo next to his or her anecdote. At the end of the party, give the finished book to the guest of honor as a keepsake from the party.

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Food

Surprise parties are a great time to get creative and fun with your food. Throw rules and food pairings out the window and focus on serving food that the guest of honor loves. Whether that means caviar and ice cream sundaes or fast-food hamburgers with baked Alaska, surprise them with a buffet of their favorite indulgences and comfort foods.

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Drinks

Tequila Surprise

  • 1/2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz Malibu coconut rum
  • 3 oz orange juice
  • 3 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur
  • wedge of lime
  • wedge of pineapple
  • raspberry

Fill a margarita glass with crushed ice. Add tequila, rum and juices. Stir briefly, then drizzle Chambord over drink. Garnish with wedges of lime and pineapple, and drop a raspberry into the glass.

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