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Planning a Surprise Party - Shhhh!

Planning a Surprise Party - Shhhh!
You’ve seen them on your fav TV programmes: from Emmerdale to Friends, surprise parties are a staple of TV land. But, as the surprise party for ex-TOWIE, Mark Wright, recently showed, they can be great fun in real life too. Surprise parties may not be quite so common in the normal world, perhaps because they can be tricky to pull-off, but if you follow a few simple rules and plan it all well, they can be brilliant. Rule 1: Make sure everyone knows the party is secret. Send out invitations that tell guests it is secret. Make sure that if it is a family invitation they tell everyone in the family it is secret. I nearly put my foot in it lately when my hubby received a facebook invite to a surprise party. I very nearly posted a message on FB to say we were going. Make sure how to RSVP is clear. This is when you need .... Rule 2: Have an accomplice This is vital if you are arranging a surprise party for someone you live with. You may need someone to send invitations and make ‘phone calls. You will certainly need someone to receive RSVPs, whether by post, phone, email or text. The accomplice can also help with other arrangements: buying supplies, decorating the venue, providing an alibi etc. Rule 3: Make sure the person you are surprising is the right person at the right time This rule might seem a bit weird, but surprise parties are not for everyone. For instance: • some people just don’t like surprises. They like to be in control and usually do all the organising. • Other people who get really excited about birthdays will ensure they celebrate by making their own plans. They might be hurt if you appear to have forgotten their birthday, so you will need to either fit the surprise round them or do it before or after the actual day • Make sure they are dressed right – you will need to make sure the alibi fits in with the style of the event. A person who always likes to dress-up when going out will hate it if they turn up in trackies when everyone else is in their glad rags. Which leads us to:- Rule 4: Don’t make it too difficult Make the surprise party fit around something fairly normal. If you usually go out on a Friday night, fit it round that. If you like to go walking on a Sunday, meet friends for a surprise picnic. If the person you are surprising goes shopping with a friend on a Saturday have a surprise at the house when they get home. Rule 5: Don’t talk about the party Make sure everyone invited knows not to talk. Let as few people know about the party and arrangements as possible. Only talk about the party with your accomplice and get them to do the chasing. With those rules in place, you need a plan: 1) Book the venue if necessary 2) Work with your accomplice to get the guest list together and find all the contact addresses. 3) Send out invitations 4) Appoint a ‘babysitter’ – the person who will ensure the guest of honour gets to the party. Have at least 1 excuse up your sleeve – sometimes the original plan won’t work 5) Organise food, decorations, entertainment and who is going to organise it on the day 6) Once you have had replies let the guests who are coming know the arrangements – for instance they may need to be at the venue an 1 hour before the guest of honour is expected to arrive and they will need to hide their cars. 7) The ‘babysitter’ will need to ensure the person you are surprising is dressed right and ready to go – with a secret way of telling the guests that they are on the way. 8) Make sure someone acts as a host to your guests and keeps everyone informed on the night, then you can all surprise the guest when they arrive.