Checklist for planning a surprise birthday party

Checklist for planning a surprise birthday party

Ultimate check-list for planning a surprise birthday party:

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned,”– Benjamin Franklin

Just as it is important to plan everything in life, it is also important to plan a birthday party several days or weeks in advance if you want it to be a success. If you are planning for a surprise birthday party, make sure you check on the availability of the ‘birthday baby’.

This done, make sure you follow this guide to pull off the most flawless birthday party ever.


A month before:


Let your most important guests know about the party you are planning to organize. Try having a brainstorming session to generate more quirky and innovative ideas. For, multiple brains throw in several ideas.

Decide on the theme:

Zero-in on the most popular idea or theme from your brainstorming session. Make sure you inform the guests about the party theme and the dress code, if any.

Stay Connected:

Form a small group with a limited number of people and keep everyone posted about the developments. Creating a Whatsapp Group could be helpful, as it would keep everyone on the same page.

Checklist for planning a surprise birthday party

Three weeks before:

Pick a venue:

Select a venue that best suits your party theme and is also easy for all the guests to reach. Remember that you would have to bring in the ‘birthday baby’ to the venue, without a doubt popping in their mind of your plans. So, select a venue that you frequent or the ‘birthday baby’ enjoys being at, to make your task simpler.

Collect memorabilia:

If your birthday plan includes surprising the ‘birthday baby’ with some interesting glimpses from the past in the form of pictures, make sure you start collecting them well in advance.

Although it might take just a few hours to put it all in place, because of which you may tend to postpone them to the last moment, never do that, as you never know what might keep you busy then.

The same goes even with shooting a video of wishes from those who cannot be there at the party, but matter a lot to the ‘birthday baby’. Make sure it is all done several days before the birthday to avoid the last-minute confusion. Keep everyone posted on the idea and by when you expect a response from them.

Make sure the video is signed off with the message by the ‘birthday baby’’s boyfriend or girlfriend, as the case may be. If possible cull out a picture from the ‘birthday baby’’s Facebook profile and add glamour to the video. Because, 10 years later, when the ‘birthday baby’ and her consort become man and wife, they would surely cherish these moments. For some strange reasons, if doesn’t work out, the video will be the sweetest memory, as people love to live in nostalgia.

Remember? PB Shelly said: “Saddest songs are those that tell of sweetest thoughts.”

Send out invites:

Send out invites to all the guests much in advance, as you might not be able to follow up with them, as the date of celebration approaches. Keep in mind the fact that all this needs to be a hush-hush from the ‘birthday baby’. Be sure that your guests block their dates for the event, so that your party does not turn into a mess.

Checklist for planning a surprise birthday party

Two weeks before:



Book all the entertainment programmes and relevant artistes that you would need for the birthday two weeks in advance, so that you have ample time for a plan B. Hire DJ consoles in case the venue isn’t offering one and stock music, which the guest of honor enjoys. Also include a photographer/videographer to capture the moments and expressions of the guest of honor as she enters the party venue and is swept off her feet with the surprise gathering.

One week before:

Buy decorations and other party supplies:

Keep everything at hand. Dedicate the last one week for buying decoration and other party supplies. This would leave you sufficient time to bring in personalized banners, cake, and other decoration material that would replicate the senses of the guest of honor.

Three days before:

Verify your checklist and see if everything is in place. Try to follow-up or finish anything that you have missed out. Visit the party venue, if you have booked one and check if all the arrangements have been made.

Check loose ends on the eve of the event.

Have a dry run:

Set up everything and have a dry run with your close friends/important guests on how things would go on the actual occasion.

Talk to the ‘birthday baby’:

Keep a track of the “birthday baby’s” schedule to make sure they are not occupied at a time when you are planning to surprise them. Inform them that you would like to spend time with them and ensure that they would keep themselves available, helping you take them to the party venue.

Check the equipments and other technical stuff:

As Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong,” constantly keep a check on every aspect of the party plan, from the equipment to the entertainment, food, and beverages to the guests.

Few hours before the party:

Pick the cake, snacks, drinks, etc. Decorate the party area. Keep in touch with your guests and make sure everyone would be there on time.
Checklist for planning a surprise birthday party

All this done, you have just one task left, and that is to welcome your guests, surprise the ‘birthday baby’ and have fun! You, as the celebrant of the party, would be remembered long by your celebrity friend and the guest alike. Cheers.

Sindhuja Iyer

Passionate writer. Grammar Nazi . Social Butterfly. Hates laziness. Is probably thinking of a story idea while speaking to you ;)

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