How to plan a surprise 40th birthday party for men

Written by alyssa guzman
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How to plan a surprise 40th birthday party for men
Planning a surprise 40th birthday party requires discretion and creative thinking. (celebration image by Albert Lozano from

A 40th birthday is a significant milestone, warranting a celebration with fanfare. You can make the occasion unforgettable with a surprise 40th birthday party for the special man in your life. Organization and planning are essential in coordinating the many logistics involved. Follow a few simple guidelines to make the event a resounding success.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Plan a budget and allocate funds wisely. For instance, sending electronic invitations may allow you to spend more on food and entertainment. You can still plan a memorable 40th birthday celebration without going into debt.

  2. 2

    Create a list of tasks to complete before the event. Solicit help from friends you can trust to keep the birthday party a secret. Ask them to store decorations and supplies prior to the party, and then help you with set-up.

  3. 3

    Assess the celebrant's preferences and personal tastes and pick a consistent party theme. Ask close friends of the birthday boy how he might like to remember his 40th birthday. No need to surprise the celebrant with a black tie reception if he would prefer a weekend out of town playing golf with close friends.

  4. 4

    Verify the honoree has no plans on the date you have scheduled. Devise a strategy to get him to the site while keeping him unaware. Coordinate logistics with his friends.

  5. 5

    Make a list of people you are going to invite. Ask the parents or close friend of the honoree to review the list, and add any people you may have overlooked. Collect the addresses and phone numbers of the people on the guest list.

  6. 6

    Issue an informal announcement to notify guests of the upcoming surprise event, and request they reserve the date to attend the surprise party. Notify guests either via e-mail or phone. Remind guests the event is a surprise and request their discretion when discussing the subject.

  7. 7

    Send birthday invitations with surprise party messaging. Choose a design that also incorporates the number 40. Request guests confirm their attendance for the party by sending a text message to your cell phone or e-mail address.

  8. 8

    Plan the birthday party menu, activities and decorations. Liven the atmosphere with balloons in the celebrant's favourite colour and keep his favourite music playing in the background. Ask the helpers you previously identified to help you prepare and coordinate food, beverages and the cake.

Tips and warnings

  • Start planning the surprise 40th birthday party at least eight to 10 weeks prior to the actual event.
  • Send invitations at least six weeks prior to the birthday party date.
  • If you are unsure of the celebrant's taste in music, play songs popular during the decade of his birth.

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