5 Ways to Plan the Perfect Surprise Party

Surprise parties can be fun, exciting, and overwhelming with all the planning! Besides the invite list, food, and location, what makes the perfect surprise party so perfect? The CGS Team is answering that question! Whether you are planning or surprise party now or plan to in the future, this article is for you. We’re sharing 5 tips to help you plan the most memorable surprise party. Before you know it, all your friends, colleagues and family will be giving you the nick name of “party planner.” Future career, maybe?

Assemble a Dream Team

The first thing you should do when planning a surprise party is enlist the help of others. Whether it’s a friend, coworker, or family member you’re planning the party for, it’s vital to have some help along the way. Your enlisted team should:

  • Help distract the person whose party you’re planning
  • Help you generate a list of who should attend
  • Assist in finding a location
  • Give opinions about the menu and what’s going to be eaten

Yes, you’ll need a team! But, be sure your team can keep a secret. The worst thing that can happen is someone spilling the beans about the party. Getting help can make the process of planning easier and much more efficient.

Know the Person You’re Planning for

When planning a surprise party for someone, it’s good to keep in mind what type of person they are. If they love to be in the spotlight, then throwing a surprise party is perfect! If they tend to be reserved and introverted, go about throwing the surprise party in a way that won’t make them feel weird – maybe by keeping the party more intimate.

Does the person like or dislike certain food, drinks, or music? If you aren’t too sure, reach out to people they are close to. Ask if anyone could provide 1 tip about the person to help make the party a success. The party should be all about them, so knowing what they like is a crucial step in planning the perfect surprise party.


The location is another critical part in planning the perfect surprise party. If you are sharing the location to the special person ahead of time, make sure it’s not a location that draws too much attention. It should be a place the person is familiar with, so no eyebrows are raised. Some common locations include:

  • The person’s home or the home of someone close to them
  • A restaurant large enough to occupy the party
  • A bowling alley, park, or entertainment place the person may frequent

Booking the location should probably one of the first things on the agenda, so it’s important to have an idea of how many people are invited. If you’re planning a large or exclusive surprise party, consider hiring security so no unexpected guests can sneak in.

Sending out Invites

When you send out invites, be sure to tell your guests it is a surprise party. If you do not notify your guests that the party should be kept a secret from the special person, there is a big chance of someone telling the person and ruining all of your hard work. There’s a lot of trust that goes into planning the perfect surprise party, but try not to let that stress you out. Have faith that your guests will treat this surprise as if it was for them.

Traditional, in-print invites can be costly. Consider going the e-invite route. You can design the perfect invitations and have them sent via email for a fraction of the cost. If you don’t know everyone’s email, you can always have a few flyers printed up as well.

Prep the Guest of Honor

Make certain the guest of honor is prepped enough for the surprise gathering. The worst case is they aren’t dressed appropriately and they feel out of place at something that was made to make them feel special. When planning out the “scam”, make sure it’s in accordance with the dress code of the surprise party. For example, if the surprise party is formal, make the guest of honor think they are going to a fancy restaurant.

Since they are the guest of honor, they will have to arrive after the other guests to avoid the surprise getting ruined. As the planner of the surprise party it is your duty to guarantee a fun-filled night, so be sure your guest of honor is always where they need to be, when they need to be there. Don’t forget to enlist the help of your dream team on the day of the party.

Related: How to Throw a Dinner Party on a Budget


It’s such a great feeling to know the guest of honor had a night they will never forget! Taking a lot of pictures throughout the night for keepsake is always a plus! Although the memories will forever be in their heart, it’s nice to have something to look back on the moment surprised is yelled. Have you ever planned a surprise party? What tips would you like to share with the community? Leave a comment below to share some of your party-planning tips and tricks.

The CGS Team



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