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How to Throw the Perfect Surprise Party in Los Angeles for Your Bestie

Your best friend’s birthday is coming up and you want to make it one for the history books! With the internet in the palm of your hand, the world is at your fingertips, making it even easier to pull off this awesome bash. Who better to take on the task than their bestie, and what better place to host a show-stopping shindig than Los Angeles? Here are some of the key things to consider when planning the perfect surprise party in LA.

Birthday Party Fun

First rule of thumb when planning a surprise party: know your guest of honor (GOH). Are they the type of person who even likes surprise parties? Then find out what they like. Favorite colors, settings, themes, food, everything.
Maybe brainstorm with another close mutual friend just to make sure you don’t miss anything important. Equally crucial, be aware of things the GOH does not like! If they scare easily, maybe don’t make loud popping decorations or fireworks. If you have done sufficient prep, you will have all the ingredients for a great party.

Get a party planning committee

Nothing huge, but at least one to two other people to help you organize and set up this event. Make sure to delegate work appropriately to everyone in the committee.

Party planning has a lot of moving cogs: food, decorations, venue, invites, GOH transport… you’ll want a crew. But don’t tell too many people because the chances of word getting back to the bestie multiplies with a larger crowd.

Pick a theme

This can be as direct as “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” themed, or you can go for a theme of general colors like rose and gold.

Make a list of possible themes that would set the scene for a shindig that seems hand-picked for your bestie (because it is!). Then put yourself in their shoes.

Look at the options from their perspective and decide which one would best spark their fancy. Once you’ve found a winner, that “theme” is now your mission statement. All the details from here on must relate to this in some way or another.

If you want to be extra, go for a medieval-themed party where everyone can dress up as royalties, lords, ladies, knights, and serfs. Decorate the venue to look like a castle straight from the Middle Ages, and prepare a medieval feast. You can go over the top if you want to. It’s your party, so you’re the boss.

Don’t forget the food

Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the food. Food is one of the absolute most important things about a party! Quality, quantity, and style are super important to consider.

Whether you’re cooking from home or having it catered, make sure to find a place that fits your style, theme, and budget. Know the guest list to ensure correct food amounts; a little extra food is okay, not enough food is NEVER okay.

Fortunately, in a city like Los Angeles, there’s no shortage of food options. From casual American classics to gourmet international cuisine, you’re spoiled for choice!

But before you scope out caterers or draft a menu, learn about any allergies, intolerances, and preferences, particularly for the GOH. To keep everyone fed and happy throughout the whole event, consider offering sharing platters like charcuterie boards, cheese plates, and family-style entrees.

Last but not least, the perfect dessert is KEY. Whether it’s cupcakes, birthday cake, or creme brulee, you’ll need to get the right flavor and correct amount for everyone. (And make sure the GOH gets first bite!)

Find a magical Los Angeles party venue

The perfect venue is super important when setting up a surprise party. You’ll need the venue to fit the style of the party. You’ll need to know if it should be indoors or outdoors, boho apartment or bowling alley. Check out these wonderful Los Angeles party venues to help narrow down your options.

Details, details, details

When you start decorating, make sure to stay true to the theme. Keep colors, style, and vibe in mind at all times.
Make sure that if you need seating or tables that you have enough. Make sure music is all queued up and all the equipment works. If there is a band, make sure they are paid and punctual.

Check to ensure all the lights, A/C, heating, sound, and decorations function as they should. Again, put yourself in the GOH’s shoes. If they came into this room completely unaware, what would they want, need, or notice?

Finalize the guest list

Decide how big this party is going to be. If you are planning a rager in the desert or a get-together at T.G.I.Fridays, that needs to be figured out right away.

If you are planning to send out invites through social media, make sure that the GOH is blocked from seeing any posts or events relating to the party. When addressing the possible guests, let them know this is a surprise, so mum’s the word!

Make sure you are very clear on location, guest arrival time, and any tasks they may need to carry out like food, decorations, napkins, music, what have you. And ensure they know they must arrive early!

Get the GOH looking good!

There is nothing worse than planning a great event where everyone is dressed up and looking amazing… except for the guest of honor!

There should be a designated person to be with the GOH ahead of time to get them looking their best and to make sure they arrive on time to the venue. Have a good alibi for yourself and for them. You don’t want to raise suspicion, but you do want them to be looking and feeling their best when the surprise happens!

Coordinate the surprise

Everyone should be on the same page as to what happens when the guest walks through the door. Hide well, yell “SURPRISE!”, play music, set off poppers, maybe plan a reveal of some sort. Have a plan that everyone is on board with so the moment can go off without a hitch.

Breakdown and aftercare

Have a plan for afterwards. If you are moving to another Los Angeles party venue, find appropriate transportation. Make sure cleanup of the party is done properly — this includes breaking down tables chairs, and sound equipment, as well as cleaning up spillage, trash, and food.

All the guests should be aware of the event’s end time. If there is an afterparty, know where and when it’s taking place.

Throw the perfect surprise party in Los Angeles

There you have it! All the necessary ingredients for throwing the perfect surprise party for your bestie in LA. Now, go orchestrate a night that they’ll cherish forever!

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