Monday, January 18, 2016

Surprise Party!

During the summer I started brainstorming for AJ's birthday in January (what can I say? I like to think ahead) and decided I wanted to do something special, he was turning 30 after all! I browsed around on Pinterest and found loads of cute golf party ideas. The word puns were killing me...."thir-tee"/"par-tee"/"thanks for swinging by" and I knew I'd love to throw my man a fabulous golf themed "par-tee." The party was this Saturday and it turned out great! My one regret: I didn't take one single picture when the guests were there! Lame! Thinking of throwing a surprise party? Maybe these tips can help you! I had never even been to a surprise party before so this was all new to me!

The Surprise Element: I began getting $20 cash back each week when I grocery shopped. Using this method, I was able to get close to $300 cash out without AJ even noticing! I sent out e-vites instead of paper invites so AJ wouldn't have a clue. My awesome mom helped out a TON with party planning, so all the decorations and supplies hung out at my parent's house. I ordered the food via phone when AJ was gone one day. In addition, I subtly asked AJ lots of questions about who exactly was in his "lunch crew" at work so I would know who to invite. Most guests were a no-brainer but there were a handful of people he hangs with at work that I don't know. I used his school website to get the email addresses for invites. Once I told the Steele fam about the party, they decided to come visit and surprise AJ! That was just the icing on the cake and made the surprise even more awesome and special.

The Lies: I told AJ the gym was being painted all day Saturday so he wouldn't try and workout and see the decorations in progress. I told him we were going to a special early birthday at my parents house. I offered to drive there (which I never do!) and pulled right into the clubhouse and said "Come on! Let's look at the paint!" AJ was confused and a little irritated, but I opened the door before he could protest and next thing you know.....SURPRISE!

The Food: We used Cafe Rio catering and it was wonderful! Great customer service, affordable, and we are loving the leftovers! My mom made over 60 Funfetti cupcakes for dessert and even those had a cute golf theme to them.

The Decor: I had gathered a bunch of baby pictures from AJ's mom and was racking my brain thinking of a good way to display them. I remembered the jumbo clothespins we used for our wedding and decided to upcycle them into a golf themed display. Easy peasy and a great way to use wedding leftovers. Paper goods were white and green. We also had balloons. I ordered water bottle labels from Chickabug Designs and they turned out so cute!

Entertainment and Take Away: My mom is the party game queen so her and my dad designed a "1986 Trivia" quiz and I wrote an "AJ's favortite" game. Prizes were gift cards to AJ's fave spots: Cafe Rio, Chick fila A, and In and Out! I found on Pinterest a cute "guess how many golf tees" game and we played that too. The takeways were totally all my mom's idea and they turned out great: white chocolate golf balls with a tee and tag attached "Thanks for swinging by..."

Location: We hosted the party at the clubhouse of our condo community. Only $25 to rent, no mess or fuss at our own house, and it was a nice space. I'd totally host another gathering there.

All in all, I am so thankful to everyone who came out to help us celebrate (especially Mom and Dad Steele who traveled all the way from Oregon), and to my family for helping with all the fun details. It was a birthday for the books!!

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