Monday, April 8, 2013

A 30th Surprise Birthday Party

Things have been a little quiet around here recently, for a multitude of reasons, but one of the big ones was because I've been busy planning this — a surprise party for Sean and his best friend, Arthur.

Since September, Arthur's wife Holly and I have been planning a big 30th birthday surprise party for our husbands, who were born just two days apart in the same hospital. They grew up a bike ride away from each other, had birthday parties together and were each other's best man. We thought it would be really fun to have so many of the people they know and love come together to celebrate their birthdays and their friendship.

It took a LOT of preparation to pull off the surprise, and we couldn't have done it without so many people's help. My mother-in-law agreed to host the party at her home, and friends helped us smuggle in party supplies so our husband's wouldn't wonder why we were bringing them with us. 

The trick to a successful surprise party is to convince the people they've already been surprised; that way, they let their guard down and don't expect anything more. The only problem with that method is that you have to plan multiple surprises! 

We recruited Arthur's cousin and Sean's friend to pick them up at the house on Saturday morning and take them on a secret adventure. The boys were completely uneasy about not knowing where they were going, but ended up having an amazing and fun time touring Cacoctin Creek distillery in Purcellville and Port City Brewing in Alexandria.

To make sure they arrived on time, we told them we had dinner reservations with family in Washington D.C., and they would need to be home by 5 p.m. We told the guests to arrive at 4 p.m. It worked out perfectly. They walked in the door and were stunned to see 34 of their friends and family members!

While the guests waited for the boys to arrive, we had them fill out these cards I made with little writing prompts. Some of the answers were hilarious and some were very touching.

 To save ourselves some energy, we had most of the food made or bought stuff ready to go. Sean's mom made cole slaw, potato salad and an apple pie. We ordered pulled pork, sauces and cornbread from Pork Barrel BBQ. Arthur's mom got the incredible cakes from Desserts by Gerard; we had two small carrot cakes (Sean's fave!) and a fudge marble strawberry shortcake confection.

Us girls left the house as soon as the boys left and hit Costco to get the rest of the supplies and it was easy peasy. We asked guests to bring craft beer in lieu of gifts, which saved us the need to buy beer for 40 people and also meant we naturally had a wide variety.

The boys were truly stunned and had a great time visiting with all of their friends and family. I'm just happy we pulled off the surprise! Happy Birthday to Sean!

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