Tips for Throwing an Amazing Surprise Party

A successful surprise party will leave the guest of honor absolutely shocked. You want to guarantee that she knows nothing about the event, and these tips can help you keep the secret:

Set ground rules with the guests. Your surprise party invites need to make clear that the party is indeed a surprise and that guests are instructed not to whisper a single word about it. They must also be on time because you can't hold up a surprise if someone is tardy.

Work with collaborators. Find the friends and family members you can trust with a secret. Then ask them to take the person who will be surprised out to dinner the night before the surprise party. This way, you can start preparing food, and you can hide the food in another collaborator's refrigerator so the recipient has no idea what happened in the kitchen.

Time it right. You need to be able to set up the party, so try to either get the recipient out of the house or busy in some way so you can handle last-minute preparations. Preparing for the party while the recipient is at work is a good idea, and then you can spring the surprise on the recipient when she gets home.

Concoct a plausible story. Convince the recipient that you will be doing something else at that time. For example, if you are having a birthday surprise party at your home, tell the person about to be surprised that you are taking her to dinner. When she comes home to prepare to go out, she will be stunned to find a party in full swing.

Focus on make-ahead food. You might be playing a game of hide-and-seek as you wait for the guest of honor to arrive to the party. You don't want to be worrying about a soufflé if it is your job to be as sneaky as possible.

Be careful with parking. If the party is at home, ask guests in the invitation to park as far away from the house as possible. Otherwise, the guest will know that something is up.

Have a backup plan. After the surprise, the recipient and guests might feel a little letdown. To avoid any awkwardness, set out a game or make sure that gifts are available for the guest to open. This way, you can keep the party going.

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