Having thrown one surprise party, I will now consider myself an expert and share my basic tips for throwing any surprise party and getting away with it!
|My Birthday last year|
I promise I’ll get to the “how-to” but first…a little background information.
Birthdays have always been a big thing in my family, I always had a big party and did fun things growing up… and as such, I think it is important to feel special on your birthday! However, not every family is the same and my fiancé did not grow up with the same sense of “birthday urgency” as myself. Naturally, my traditions are going to win out on this one.
I have to say, he certainly went above and beyond for my first birthday together, waking me up at the crack o’ dawn to go on a hot air balloon ride that ended with champagne and strawberries back on the ground, followed by drinks at a great happy hour place and dinner at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon… an amazing restaurant I had been dying to go to.
|Hot air balloon ride!!|
|An incredibly fun desert inside a white chocolate shell that melted as the poured warm raspberry compote over it.|
|Our 6 courses at Le Atelier
There were even more events and gifts for my birthday but you get the point…and this post isn’t about my birthday…it’s about HIS! As you can see, he went so all-out for my birthday that I was just itching to do something equally awesome for his!…and then I deployed.
I really deployed at the perfect time since I will be back in time for all of the holidays (and cough my birthday) but the one thing I did miss was his birthday.
When we went on our cruise, I took him on an excursion to swim with dolphins and said that was his present…but lets be honest, that was in March…I couldn’t only do that!
So, I decided to plan a surprise birthday party…from around the world.
Looking back, here are the steps I followed
1. Plan Early
I got started on planning the party about a month and a half before it actually happened. I contacted friends to give them a heads up and emailed the bakery and the restaurant I was looking at to see if they would accommodate my requests. I created a facebook group in messages so that I could add people as I remembered and make sure everyone knew what I was thinking.
2. Be Sneaky
Obvious, I know. But more than just making sure no one spills the beans, I wanted to make sure he thought all of his birthday surprises were already complete! I won a free delivery of tres leches cakes from a brand new bakery in Las Vegas — BakeShop — when I told them my story and what I was planning! They delivered them the night before his birthday and even put a little birthday ribbon on them so he really thought that this was his surprise and his birthday cake!! It was even better since the 4th birthday card and one of his gifts were also delivered that day!
|I was so jealous…If you are in Vegas, be sure to check them out!|
3. Get people involved
If you have someone who really can’t keep a secret…maybe invite them the week of…luckily I had no issues with anyone having loose lips! I really wanted to be the one doing most of the work but I also knew there was only so much I could do from my laptop in my little room. I had friends pick up the cake and bring it to the restaurant as well as another friend bring in a balloon. I don’t think it has to be insanely decorated to be a great time, but I wanted it to be obvious that yes, this was a birthday party.
4. Get a cake
Or some kind of unique dessert. I know that a lot of restaurants will bring out the birthday person a scoop of ice cream with a candle or a slice of cake but I really wanted it to be inclusive. Whether it is a pie, a cupcake tray or a full on cake, make it so everyone can partake!
|He loves ice cream so I thought this was a cute play on the idea of it|
5. Low-key is key
I had originally wanted to do the party down at a restaurant on the Strip but during the week it just was less feasible for our friends and honestly, it would have been harder to be sneaky about. I picked Sammy’s Pizza – a restaurant that was close to us and low-key enough to not create suspicion. I pre-ordered and paid for his entire meal and a bottle of wine to start the table off. The staff there was so unbelievably helpful and even accommodated my wish for a surprise on the pizza!
|They wrote “I love you” in pesto!|
6. Get them there late
Again, obvious I know. We have great friends who tag-teamed on confusing him about what they were doing that night…were they going out? were they going to grill out at home? So it didn’t even make him think twice when they were running late (he did give me a speech about how people never plan ahead for timing though…oh the irony). It was important to me that everyone else be there for the big *Ah-Ha* moment rather then him being there and everyone show up right after.
|Everyone starting to show up!|
7. Be Grateful
I was so thankful for all of our friends who helped me with this and sent me pictures, I could not thank them enough. I immediately did a YELP review for the restaurant and by tagging the places again in this blog, I am trying to help them out some more so you can use them too!
It was not the most ideal thing for me to miss his birthday but I have to say, I had a lot of fun planning it and talking to him right up until he left for dinner. I was skyping with him and facebooking with our friends up until the last minute making sure everything was going to be as smooth as possible. It was hard not saying anything especially that week leading up to it but it was so worth it!
If you have tips or stories from your own surprise parties…leave them in the comments!