Need help planning a surprise party? Here are 10 top tips for organising a great celebratory event.
1. Speak to the friends of the person you’re throwing a party for. Ask them what they think about the idea of throwing a party and get a couple of them to help you with the planning. Two heads are better than one.
2. Make a list of everyone you’d like to be there and make a rough estimate of how many would be likely to make it. That figure could be tricky to predict if you’re working at limited notice.
3. Think about the location of the party and whether you want the party to be at someone’s house or an booked venue. If it’s going to the be the latter option, which may be more suitable for bigger guest numbers, you’ll need to decide what are you will be looking at and how many people (as per point 2) you need it to accommodate.
4. Think about whether you want food at the party. You may need external catering or the venue you are going to may be able to provide it for you.
5. Based on the number of people who are coming, what part of town the party you’d like the town to be in and whether you need food, you should now have a good criteria for choosing a possible venue.
6. Speak to the venue and confirm that they have availability on the days you have in mind and can meet your requirements. You may want to be flexible with those criteria to get the best venue. Each venue may have a different method of charging. Some will charge per head, some for the room and others will let you have a room if you can guarantee a certain amount of takings behind the bar.
7. Book up the venue and start inviting people. Be more formal with the invites for a more definitive idea of numbers and if there’s time. Otherwise, do a ring around and email. Be prepared to pester people if necessary and make sure they all know it is a surprise party. You don’t the guest of honour being tipped off!
8. Make sure the guests know what the policy is with regards to presents. You don’t want some bringing gifts and others not. They’ll only blame you if they feel foolish.
9. Consider the most plausible explanation for why you are taking the guest to that venue on that day. If you are going to a bar or restaurant, why not come up with fake plans about meeting one or two other friends there to mark the occasion…ie, their birthday.
10. Depending on how surprised you want them to be, you may want to be quite elaborate with how you reveal the party to them. This could include turning off the lights or getting guests to hide. Either way, I think the least they can do is yell ‘Surprise!’.
If you want to throw the party at a bar in London, make sure you find somewhere that meets all your criteria, such as with the food and capacity. Make sure you choose the best party venue London has to offer.