Nowadays, turning 50 is not anymore considered as an “over the hill” cliche it used to be. Although it’s still an important milestone in a person’s life, there is still a world of opportunities and experiences that awaits you.

If you have an upcoming 50th birthday event for your husband or dad, planning a memorable surprise event to celebrate the occasion will be an exciting once in a lifetime endeavour.

A surprise party is still an amazing experience no matter how old you get. Our dads are mostly creatures of habit so you need to work around his preset schedule if you want to throw a surprise party for him.

1. Choose a Theme

50 is a golden number so most 50th birthday parties are commonly themed with something in gold. But you don’t have to follow everything you read or watched. The perfect theme comes from how can you best express the celebration of your dad’s 50th birthday celebration. You can always get advice from experts who have a wide range of ideas for event themes.

Some suppliers or event coordinators have a preset theme that comes with a comprehensive package of designs and party favours. The people behind Who Wants 2 Party believe that a wide array of decorations and materials are essential in bringing your party’s theme to life. And logistics is also important as you can’t have them lying around in the house for your dad to run into. Delivering these materials to the venue hours before the event is perfect so you don’t have to haul them from your home to where you plan to set them up.

Here are some suggestions on making a personal 50th birthday theme:

a) His favourite movie – Make a theme around a movie he can’t shut up about and be creative on how to incorporate it to the party.
b) His era – Bring him back to his “good old days” and have a decade theme. You can also ask your guests to wear some clothes that are characteristic of those times.
c) Sports-theme – If your dad hasn’t outgrown his love of sports and would still scream at the television for every bad call, then having a theme about his favourite team sports is a good idea.

2. Get a Venue

A surprise party is tricky when it’s done at home, it’s not impossible, but it does pose a lot of challenges. One main disadvantage is, if your dad lives with you, you would be hard pressed to find the time to prepare for the party. Still, a party at home makes it an intimate event, something people at that age greatly appreciate.

There are a lot of parties held in the event halls of hotels and restaurants because it’s more convenient and cost-effective. Convenience is key here because you’re going to need time prior to the event to set up the decorations, food, and other essentials.

3. Organise Suppliers and Vendors

Managing suppliers and vendors is very important when planning for a surprise party. You have to act normal days leading up to the event, so you can’t be seen by your dad frequently talking and negotiating on the phone suspiciously. The need for trusted vendors that can deliver services professionally, can help a lot in making the event seamless and perfect.

4. Celebrant’s Schedule

This part may require some slight manipulation on your dad’s calendar. You ought to know what he’s got planned for the day and make adjustments accordingly. If he has appointments that could conflict with the planned party, you can try to move them around and make up some excuses to reschedule them.

On that day, the celebrant’s schedule and whereabouts are important to track in order to prevent him from finding out and spoiling the party. You should also make sure that your dad won’t get stuck at work and ruin the plan.

5. Send Invitations Secretly

Your guest list should be done before you start the preparations. Family and friends close to your dad should find a place on that list. Send the invitations to them with specific instructions to keep the event secret from the celebrant. Give them instructions on how to respond to the invitation so that it won’t pop up along with your general mail.

6. Maintain Routine

On “D-day”, wake up a little early and greet your dad like you always do on his birthday. A little celebration over breakfast and talking about a simple dinner later in the evening would make him think that he has a clear picture of what’s on his day ahead. Acting oblivious to the birthday can be difficult and a little conspicuous if you’re not someone who forgets birthdays.

Inviting him to a simple dinner in the evening would motivate him not to stay in the office longer than he should. If he’s not working that day, the invitation can also help so that he’ll have to make time with you in the evening.

7. Bring Celebrant to the Venue

You can tell him to meet you at a coffee shop somewhere away from the real venue. Don’t let him go to the venue alone as he might arrive early and some usher or hostess might bring him to his own venue where he’ll see the unfinished preparation. That can be a funny story in the future, but not something you can really be proud of.

Meet him at a station or in a cafe nearby so you can just walk to the venue. If he asks about your siblings or mother, tell him you’ll text them the address so they can follow. Let everyone that you’re coming and just casually bring your dad to the event room and you surely know what happens next.

8. Surprise!

Give your dad time to be greeted and “welcomed” by his guests and lead him to his special birthday seat. You can start the program by doing some trivia or anything entertaining centred on him.

Your dad is 50 now, most probably he has some success and is an accomplished man, so it might be entertaining to roast him a little. Make a list of fifty things that would be nice to hear about your father and take a jab on things that would make him a little flustered. It could be the following:

  • 50 things you don’t know about him.
  • 50 things he’s done.
  • 50 things that annoy him at home and at work.

Be creative with the program just make sure the night is all about him.

There you have it, your dad will recognise the thought and effort you’ve put into clandestine planning and preparation. You will also come to appreciate the friends and family who’ve helped you keep things under wraps from your dad or husband. A 50th birthday celebration is always perfect when loved ones are gathered around, to partake in your gratitude for another year of life.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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