Birthday Party Planning, to Surprise or Not to Surprise?

The ideal birthday celebration is educational, entertaining, memorable and fun for the honoree and all of the guests.  One way to achieve these objectives is to plan for the event well in advance.    Start by thinking about the honoree.  What type of event would they enjoy most?  Are they adventuresome and would they enjoy a big surprise party or would they prefer a quiet dinner at home or at a restaurant with a few close family and friends?   How much time, energy and money do you want to put into planning the event?  Do you want your event to be a total surprise for the honoree, a partial surprise, or no surprise at all?

Birthday Party Planning, Plan the Event around the Guest of Honor

If you are planning a total surprise think very carefully about how you will assure that your honoree attends.   If you do some behind the scenes planning to, for example, arrange for the honoree to get time off from work, how do you know the honoree would appreciate this?   An honoree who works as a server at a restaurant might not appreciate your arranging for them to get the highest tip night of the month off from work.  Can you be sure that you have invited everyone your honoree would want you to invite (and perhaps, more importantly, to skip inviting people they would not want to invite).   For these reasons we recommend that the honoree be involved with at least some of the planning for their surprise party.   The honoree might help plan the starting time and ending time for the event.  They should know where to meet their host, and they should have the opportunity to specify who should be invited and who should not.   Also, you may want the honoree look forward to the event, rather than feeling left out for half of their birthday.  If your honoree is adventuresome, all of the birthday party planning details can remain top secret, just tell them that “the surprises begin when the blindfold goes on.

One of the regrets I’ve seen in browsing the internet and have heard as well is “we didn’t take enough photographs.”   Thus, I recommend planning your event and your photo album at the same time.   Since many people reading this blog are not experts at party planning I’ve provided a website that will guide you through planning both your event and photo album, suggest some great activities, and even some additional times for birthday celebrations such as 100 day or 1000 day birthdays that can be accomplished with a limited budget.  Be safe, do very meaningful and memorable activities, have fun, and produce a great photo album.

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