Yearning to throw your loved one the best surprise party ever?

Here are some tips to make your surprise party a great event that the “Surprise-e” will never see coming!

1. The Decoy Date

Most people will have a hard time pretending that they did a Sixteen-Candles-plain-old-forget of the birthday. It’s tough to fool someone who knows you well enough that you’re throwing this party to begin with! Instead, why not try playing it small? You can tell them that on the day or night in question, you would love to treat them to a little one on one date to celebrate. Genius! Now, you have someone – let’s call them the “decoy date” – who is close to the surprisee and can keep them entertained until the actual surprise happens.

2. Keep it Cozy

A small group can keep a secret better than a large group, so invite inner circle only! This also can enable the gathering to take place in more places than a large group. You can throw it at their house, at a cozy bar, even a surprise picnic!

3. Early Bird Gets The Worm

Friends and family want to make sure they make it in time for the surprise! A great way to enable them is to give everyone a little bit earlier than you think! An extra cushion helps!  I mean, remember: they’re friends and family of the person being surprised, so they’re going to get along fine until the lady or gentleman of the hour comes along. A comfortable cushion of an hour before the surprise guest is due to arrive is great. Make sure your decoy date is in on the act, too.

4. Say Surprise To The GUESTS!

Keep the party a secret from the Surprisee but make sure everyone else is in on the secret! A great way to do this is to include the word “SHHH” in the subject line of your evite or “SURPRISE” in the facebook invite – and make sure it’s a secret event if you’re doing Facebook so your party doesn’t get its cover blown! A hilarious idea is to get a nametag, write in “Benedict Arnold,” and threaten that if anyone spoils the surprise, they will have to wear the nametag at the party.

5. Hide The Cars, Too!

If you’re having a birthday party at the person’s home, and they live in a small neighborhood, all the cars out front can look suspicious. Make sure that this is something guests take into account, if you need to. No reason the surprise should be given away by ten cars in a rural driveway!

6. Stash Supplies

If you are throwing a party at their own home, make sure you stash the decor at a friend or neighbor’s so the surprisee can’t stumble onto their own party supplies by accident.

7. Hide Yo’ Kids, Hide Yo’ Wife

Extra lights and decorations are a dead giveaway that something’s amiss. An easy way to mask it all is just to turn the lights off. So, when it’s almost time for the big surprise, make sure you turn off the lights to hide all the party guests and party decor.

8. “We Wasted The Good Surprise On You!”

Make sure that everyone gets to say their fave line from Big Daddy at least once before the guest of honor gets there. Man, I love that movie, too.

9.  Ice Cream Cake In The Freezer

Make sure that if there are any frozen goodies such as ice cream cake that they’re stored safely away until after the surprise guest can get there. No one likes crying over melty cake.

10. Dress To Stress Less

Give a dress code that’ll match the Surprisee. If they’re a fashionista and get surprised while wearing less than their best, they won’t enjoy this party as much as they could. Make sure that your guests and VIP are a perfect fit!