Throwing a surprise birthday party has always seemed like an awesome idea to do for someone that I love, but it’s just never made it to the finals. Now that I think about it, I can’t seem to find the reason of it not happening earlier, when it’s obviously fun and a nice, not so usual way of showing someone that you care, not to mention the relief it brings to the birthday person who has all the food, beverage, music and last, but definitely not least, the closest friends at the same time & space without even having to lift a finger. Great!
Since my sister wasn’t sure what to do for her birthday, I kinda convinced her that she should skip having a big party, and invite just few of our gal pals for a fun, ice-cream-y, intimate getting together instead. So she did. She invited our girlfriends, who of course knew about the party all along and helped me prep everything. Those are some awesome girls, I’m telling ya. So, below is how the complete process of planning the party and then havin’ it went.
1. Guest List.
Since this was a surprise party, I figured I should keep it as simple and with less complications down the road as possible. So, for starters, I narrowed the quest list down a bit and invited only her closest friends. A crowd of around 15 close friends who all pretty much know each other is the way to go for 2 reasons here. First, since they are all our mutual and really close friends and this was a surprise, they were all in some way involved with the planning and organizing, each of them contributed in a particular way which helped me with everything a great deal. Have I said how thankful I am to have these awesome right-there-when-you-need-them kind of people? I’m not sure, but just in case, an official big fat thank-you-guys-you-d-best to all of ’em. And, the second reason, the tone of the party was automatically set to an intimate, non-pressured, kinda casual which means it was almost impossible for the party to take a non-desired turn.
2. Choosing the Location.
June was slowly coming to its final days, summer has settled down in our little town, so this called for a backyard party. So, location check.
3. Choosing a Theme.
Themed parties are oh so cool and kinda in now. Not to mention the obvious fact that a themed party gives you a much closer and clearer image as to how the party will look way before it happens. The theme itself kinda dictates the steps that you should follow to make that image happen. From the color combo of the event, the interior of it, the tone of the party, what types of food and beverage will correspond with the whole concept… It’s a philosophy, I’m telling you. So so fun. And of course, knowing this, and the fact that it was end of June, I figured all that is summer-y will do just fine.
4. Food & Sweets.
Keeping in mind that I had to hide this party and the complete planning and organization process from my sister with whom I live, my options on food for the day were limited. There wasn’t any time to cook something, and I didn’t want to arouse any suspicions, so I went with prepping a nice “Make yourself a Sandwich” bar of sorts. Food bars are awesome to meet some new people, I mean you have a kick ass conversation starter right there in front of you. And even though in this case everyone actually knew everyone, they weren’t all close and comfortable that much, which by the time the night had fallen, has been completely changed. People were mixing up right there over the table, sharing some food and laughter, you know, bonding. T’was great.
Instead of a birthday cake, I talked do Bisera who works at the best cake shop there is, and we’ve come to a conclusion that the way to go here is Cookies and Muffins that correspond with the theme. Cake is great and everything, but if our previous birthday parties have taught us anything, it’s that almost no one eats cake after great amounts of alcohol. But these cookies being kinda right there on the table and in small, almost one-bite pieces, everyone just went for ’em. I mean, look how cute and delicious they look like.
Over the past few months, gin & tonic has become kinda our group’s latest signature drink at parties and going-outs. It tastes so re-freshening, it’s easy-breezy, perfect-for-summer drink, so G&T it is. And of course, beer, ’cause a party with no beer it’s just not a party.
Nothing kills the mood or livens up the atmosphere like music. We usually get crazy on the good old pop and funk and disco, we dance and everything, and this was not an exception. But, after a while, the party kinda unraveled into more of a simple, relaxed and chatty gathering of friends, which as it turned out was exactly what we all needed. Score!
7. Most importantly, pulling off the surprise.
Again, I live with my sister and it was borderline impossible to pull this off, I’m serious. She was constantly home, she even insisted on helping mi with the stirrers, but luckily she had no idea that they were for her party. I somehow managed to make some of the decorations and make the party look festive. Not as much as I wanted to, but again, she wouldn’t leave the house those days for crying out loud.
I split some tasks with my friends (my magic beans); some of them bought the bottles of gin and beers, others were responsible for cookies, I had my girlfriends come over earlier to help me with the balloons and the food bar and, actually with the complete set up of the backyard party. What would I do without them?
Now, the hardest part here was obviously having my sister leave home few hours before the party started. Since the party was at 6 p.m., I needed about 4 hours to put everything in place, and I made a deal with her boyfriend to take her out. Of course, she hesitated whether she should go, which by the time I convinced her to go, has left me with about 2 hours. So, there was lots of running. Outside. At around 4 p.m. On a hot hot summer day. Yep. But, at the end of the day, it was all awesome.