How to Organise a Surprise Birthday Party

Surprise birthday parties can be tricky to organise! Here are a few tips to help you plan a secret party.


Before you starting planning, think about what the birthday guest of honour wants. They might be planning their own birthday party, or even a celebratory holiday away. Perhaps they just want a quiet day to themselves. Think about whether your gesture will be appreciated or not! If you’re not a family member, ask relatives for their opinion.

Once you’re sure a surprise party is a good idea, start planning. Traditionally, guests will wait for the birthday person to arrive and surprise them. But what if the guest of honour is shy or doesn’t like shocks? In this case, bring them to the party first and have guests show up one-by-one.

The Card Gallery - Polka Dot Surprise Birthday Invitation

Featured Design: ‘Polka Dot Surprise Birthday Invitation’ 

Pick out someone that will act as a guide during the day. It should be someone with whom the guest of honour feels comfortable. It will be their job to keep them occupied while the party is set up and guide them back in time for the surprise.

If you’re holding the party at a house, the guide can take the birthday person out while you get ready. A trip to the cinema or shopping isn’t suspicious, especially on a birthday, and it ensures the guest of honour is booked for the day so they won’t make conflicting plans. It will also make a great birthday treat to put a smile on their face before the party’s even started!

If the party is at a venue or restaurant, the guest of honour’s relatives make a good choice of guide. They can pretend they’re taking them for a meal or a day out, when they’re actually leading them to a party!

Food and Decorations

Plan the food and decorations as you would for any birthday party. Pick a theme, or use the person’s hobbies and interests as inspiration. You might even base it on a ‘surprise’ theme to reflect the party.

Choose food and decorations that can be easily hid until it’s time to set them up. You don’t want the guest of honour to find them! Bunting and confetti are good choices as they can all be packed away and put up quickly.

As for food, choose things that don’t require much preparation – it could cause problems if your guide’s timing is off. Pizza, crisps, and other party foods are a good choice. And of course, don’t forget the birthday cake! It looks great to have the candles burning in a dark room when the guest of honour enters.

Happy Birthday Fairy Lights by

Source Image: ‘Happy Birthday Fairy Lights’ from


There’s one big rule when writing surprise birthday party invitations – tell everyone it’s a secret! Make it clear so that no-one starts chatting to the guest of honour about their upcoming party. As with all birthday invitations, make the date, time, and location clear. It’s very important that people don’t show up when the birthday person is around! You might suggest a nearby car park for guests to use so the guest of honour won’t see their friends’ vehicles and get suspicious.

Organising a Surprise Birthday Party - Organising a Surprise Birthday Party - Chalkboard Layer Cake

Featured Design: ‘Chalkboard Layer Cake Birthday Invitation’ 

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