Monday, December 04, 2006

Surprise Birthday Party

My best friend Sunshine’s birthday is next Friday. I want to have a surprise birthday party for her.

Problem is:

1) I’ve never thrown a party for anyone before(but she and another ‘friend’ had one for me before… so I kinda gotta… and actually want to)

2) I don’t know the first thing about throwing parties… I mean I know how to attend one… even make a splash there… but throwing one throws the hell out of m

3) I don’t know who to invite… my friends or hers, a combination of both?! How do I find out who she’d want there or not without her knowing what I’m planning. Should I go through her phone and just call the numbers there and tell them about it? Cos some of her friends from school don’t know me…. cos then I’d be going… Hi Tiffany… you don’t know me but I’m Overwhelmed… Sunshine’s best friend and I’m throwing a surprise birthday party for her on Friday. You gotta be there by 10pm before she gets in… interested?! (I’m honestly open to and actually asking for SUGGESTIONS… SO PLEASE HELP!!!)

4) What sort of food do I make… I want some suggestions so I can start organizing the people to make it (cos I make good pasta… just not ‘party pasta’… lol). So far I’m thinking fried chicken, fried meat, jollof rice/fried rice (or both). She’s Ghanaian, but I’m not sure if people would wanna eat ‘kenke’ or ‘banku’ in Gucci party outfits… lol. Need suggestions for appetizers.

5) For drinks I’m thinking tons of beer, Smirnoff ice, a few bottles of champagne. (Am I missing anything… keeping in mind I’m just a ‘poor student’… lol)

6) Is it better to have it at a mutual friends house cos if I planned it with her boyfriend and did it at their place… chances are… she might find out! And we certainly don’t want that!!!

7) Is it alright if I don’t have a dj? I’m kinda poor… lol… won’t really good speakers and tons of cd’s do? Except I can get her dj ex-boyfriend to do it… lol… but then I don’t know if she’d want him there!!!

8) What sort of cake should I get? Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, cheesecake? You’d probably say to buy the cake she likes most… but the thing is she doesn’t really eat cake… so I’d have to get something that the majority would like. What should the cake say… Happy Birthday Sexy Sunshine?!

9) How do I get her to the venue without alerting her suspicions? (Make her boyfriend tell her they’re going to pick up something from our friend’s place so he can take her to a romantic dinner for her birthday? I need something really believable so please help with this one…and it has to be a suggestion that would still make her look hot… lol cos I know her well enough to know that she would not love to be surprised looking ‘tired’… hehe. I mean half the fun is her having absolutely no clue about it!... lol… I just can’t wait to see the look on her face)

10) What present should I get her?

11) What should I wear? Lol

(Please I’m open to any party planning tips you can give me, suggestions for food, particular songs that I ‘just have to play’, what I can do to save some money but make it a really swell party cos she obviously deserves the best!)

Keep in mind her birthday is on Friday December 08… so I only have a few days to put everything together… so the earlier I hear stuff from y’all… the better… thanks.

Also remember the guests are going to be a mix of Nigerian, Ghanaian, Carribean… and probably a few non-blacks just to show we’re not all ‘Michael Richards’ up in that piece… lol.

Happy Birthday to my ex-friend Adesola in Lagos. We used to be close friends babe but when you started bad-talking me with Busayo cos I was doing better than you in physics class... you lost it. So I'm sorry when I'm coming back to Nigeria to visit... I'm not getting you 'American Shoes'. But in the meantime... Happy Birthday... I hope you're doing more with your 'physics' than I am...


Anonymous said...

Ooh I am FIRST!!!!!!

Ok , I think I have a suggestion about how to host the party, just invite me. Thats it, trust me, the party will be tha bomb if you do :D

chainreader said...

darn, naijadude, don't you go to sleep?


chainreader said...

ok, i may be of no use here, 'cos i am no fan of parties. but here goes nothing,.........

cake: you can't go wrong with vanilla, if you are getting only one.

dj or no: i say ditch the dj and spend the extra dough on drinks!

who to call?: tricky. careful about the numbers on the phone. some people keep the numbers of people they never want to talk to ever again on their speed dial. don't ask me why. maybe get another friend of hers to help you out with the list?

venue: tres important! am sure she'll quickly figure out your place or her boyfriend's. if you have a nice friend's place, maybe someone who owes you a major favor........

what to wear? : easiest of them all. what else? it's a birthday party. dress for the occasion. birthday suit, baby!

angie said...

I think first u have to make a LIST(very important)!
the list whas to be within ur budget.
Friends to invite: u need the input of another friend, someone who is close to her and knows her other friends.u cld include some of ur friends too.
Food to make: u idea of fried chicken and meat with both jollof rice and fried is ok. Abt appertizers, i dunno yet(will get back to u).
Were to have the party: A mutual friend's house will be a great idea.
About music, just go without a dj. Just have really good cds(good mix) and ur speakers.(its cheaper)unless a friend wants to dj for
U have to have a little help in lanning the party...e.g 1 or 2 other friends, so that there can be division of labor.

azuka said...

Hmmm. Birthday?

When last did I celebrate one?

You might want to consult with her other friends. One or more of them might actually be planning a party too...

yankeenaijachick said...

@overwhelmed naijababe....well, having a surprise party is a really really fun thing to do as long as it is done right. Girlfriend, first of all, make sure that you get the stuffs she likes in-order not to screw up anything. You would have to work closely with her boyfriend or ex-boyfriend who knows her really well as in inside/out so that everything goes according to her taste.

Girl, since you said your guest is a mixture of carribeans and other races. you might want to get not just naija songs but a very good mixture of reggae, naija, hiphop and especially her favorite songs.

And what more, if everything works out , l should be kidding. love to ya.

TaureanMinx said...

Marble cake works..theres no need to get a dj, an ipod will do just fine, if you don't have one, get one from a friend and create a long playlist of a mix of songs and connect it to speakers, then you never have to bother with the music. Make sure everyone knows its a SURPRISE or it will get messed up. Her Bf can tell her he is taking her out for dinner but needs to stop wherever the party will be first to pick up her present or something creative lol. Goodluck and let us know how it went.

Anonymous said...

Sister girl, you have a week to plan this shindig ehn and you want your friend to have a good surprise, not a I'M SURPRISED WHO THE FUCK ARE THESE PEOPLE type thing.

My advise, forget a party, yall go out and have some fun and meet back at somebody's to watch Naija movies and have a drinkfest and then go dancing. You'll be drunk and happy, if the day sucks you won't loose money and y'all have more booze to go around.....:)

Klara said...

Surprise B/day party?? Sounds great..Can I be ur friend?? Then u can throw one for me? Huh!!
Seriously, I know no great tips bt prepare her favourites & surprise her by invitin her long-lost buddy or family member!!
All da best!!

Yosh said...


Well, from the first problem u mentioned, I dunno why you feel obliged but it shouldn't be. I mean, that "do for me, I do for you" idea isn't too helpful. Don't do it 'cos she'd done for u. And as a very close friend, she shouldn't do for u just 'cos u once did for her. Well, it's d way I see it. But do wat u wanna do, as long as u don't make yourself uncomfortable in d process.

All in all, your ideas sound great! You don't have to spend too much to impress her or make your purse broke. A simple, thoughtful occasion will go a long way rather than a loud one you end up fidgeting about later. It's the thot that counts! The only part I can make an input right now is music. If you've got a pretty good sound system with some kickass music collection, u could do a collection of mp3 tracks and set to play them in "random-repeat". Gee, maybe it's cos I'm so cheap! *Lol*

Anonymous said...

I think you could definitely do without a dj...

for the cake, I think most people like vanilla... I also think tminx'a idea (marble cake) is a good option...

on how to tell her friends I think your idea about poaching their numbers and calling them up is a good one (but make sure they're sworn to secrecy). To make it easier on you, you might just want to pick out one of those friends-of-Sunshine-who-aren't-also-your-friends (one who's quite close to Sunshine), and then get him/her to tell the rest of the friends-of-Sunshine-who-aren't-also-your-friends (and of course, call a day or two before the party to see if the friend has actually done so).
Have fun planning!

Ineka said...

After spending all that money on her surprise party, I don't think you need to get her an extra present.
Oh, and get her Icecream cake. It rocks.. :)

ChiefO said...

overwhelmed jam vera up biko, she is a partyplanner major. and i mos def think she knows how to throw down parties no like she ever invites me o but i know she does organize awesome parties. sometiems she tries to factor in gate fee and all that stuff though but overall she sabi plan party like she eat pizza crust

Anonymous said...

Ok as party planner extraordinaire, (i wish), a few suggestions ...

The ipod idea is good, or even a laptop - if you can get enough music to cover all bases. You might need extra speakers though. Ask someone to bring their hifi speakers.

Tell everyone coming to bring a bottle. That is apparently a very jand thing but it works. Everyone brings a bottle of liqour, wine, or if they dont drink, juice/soft drinks. That way you dont spend too much. Just get a few mixers juice and soft drnks just incase most people come with alcohol.(oh you should also consider how old she is and the majority of people coming and whether you guys drink as well)

Get other people - her close friends to do different types of food. Dont cook too much - if it was purely nigerian, then i'd say ok at least have some rice but as its mixed, just get finger food. Primary thing is CHICKEN - lolllll - always a crowd pleaser. You can either make it or buy it. Get LOADS. Buy little things like cocktail sausages, quiches, pies whatever other sort of canapes you guys can get and can warm up in the oven very easily. Get Chips/crisps/nachos and lots of dips and you're done.

Extras would be a big wad of serviettes, copious amounts of plastic cups (always run out). If you stick to finger food, then you dont need cutlery. Paper plates - optional, not really necessary.
Just get disposable everything (no washing up) and bin bags, placed strategically around the house so people can dump their trash.
You can then split up the food and extras amongst her close friends.

The party is your present to her - you dont need anything else (especially as you're broke)

And you're done!

Anonymous said...

Oh and as for the cake, its her birthday so get what works for her. If she likes chocolate cake, then get that. Screw everyone else.

For the guests - liase with her other friends and her boyfriend. Send a general email out saves you the discomfort of calling people. Call the ones you do know and are sure about so they definitely come.

If you definitely want to get her a present - a nice bottle of champagne/flowers also work.

imoted said...

Just make sure no one spills the beans. One time my friends did a surprise b/day party for me. They were all acting funny every time I brought up my bday and what I wanted to do, even my family. So I picked one I knew that if I bugged him he'd tell. Well, I did and he couldn’t resist, he spilled it. I had to act surprised though when I got there. It was a great party after all! Few years later I told them I knew. HAHA!
Ok, so enough about me, to answer some of your questions- I think if you both have mutual friends, those should definitely be the first on your list. Then people you know she hangs with when she’s not with you, plus siblings around your age group, I think. For food, my Ghanaian friends love Jollof Rice. I don't think you can go wrong with that.
That's my own 2 cents. Be careful if you really want it to be a surprise.


i can only try, as im a wedding planner and not a party planner but here goes:

Music: dont bother about a dj, get someones laptop or ipod put loads of songs on it, attache to speakers and there u have it.

seeing as i used to live in london, what u do is ask everyone to bring a bottle (yeah it really is a jand thing) that way u save money on drinks so u only need to buy a few bottles of soft drink and water.

Food: my advice is always just o have finger food especially as u d be having ppl from different parts of the world u dont want some white chick choking on ur jollof rice (no offence to any white chick o) so just have loads of chicken, and all that even crsips and nuts on a plate will suffice.then u could also get her close firends to bring something as well, so if one of ur naija friends makes the baddest 'puff puff' then ask her to make some. u get the drift?

guests: get her BF to invite some people, be careful who u call from her phone cos there would definielty be ppl she doesnt want to see. and dont get the ex boyfriend dj, trust me u dont want boyfriend and ex boyfriend in the same place.

you dont have to get her a present, the party is enough of a present anyway but if u insist get her a necklace or wrist watch (if u can afford it) something she would keep for a long time.

venue: always better at a friends house, or better still at her boyfriends friends house, that way its easier to get BF to tell her he needs to pick something up from one of the boys before they go for dinner.

what to wear: jeans and a top, and flats trust me ud be running around.

what else, think ive covered everything if i havent remind me and ill get back to you.

nosa101 said...

Get her bread. Everybody likes breadd

snazzy said...

My advice is about what to do about drinks. Telling people to bring a bottle generally works for smaller parties but not for larger ones. Since you are talking about buying a lot of beer its either that you are inviting quite a few people or you and your friends are alcoholics.

But seriously if you are going to get the drinks. for a party of about twenty, thirty people this generally works. 2 suitcases of beer (24 cans in each) A handle of vodka and one of whisky (liquor stores in Yanks sell them, don't know about Canada though,) and about 5 bottles of white wine. Now when I was in Yanks that would be about $150, and then you generally throw in $30 for like a hundred cups and a bunch of mixers. Individual items will run out but there will be stuff for people to drink the entire night.

Anonymous said...

na wah...all this physics class beef na wah oh.....that sounds so naija on the real...

snazzy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

21 comments??? ah ah when did this one come up??
okay surprise party let me focus...everybody has pretty much suggested everything i would suggest so oya let's start talking about what you will wear now! see me talking as if i can even put clothes together these days, i'm sure whatever you wear will be fantastic! ;)

Vera Ezimora said...

NaijaDude: You betta stop being first o! Wetin dey do u?

Overwhelmed: Here's a planning tip: INVITE ME!!! Send me a ticket 2 Canada...ASAP

And I think you should order me some pizza crusts.

And in terms of who to invite, invite ur friends, her friends, and mutual friends.

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

what venue are you hoping to throw the party at - what music are you going to playing - what are the crowds into !! some questions are think that might be useful. Sorry I cant be of any help.

So no american shoes for your girlfriend all becasue of physics - I can understand why she fell out with you LOL -

Hope the party planing turns out good.

Anonymous said...

babe last minute plans more often than not- dont go right.
instead of making it a full blown party however, you can jus have a chilled hang-out kinda thing.
vanilla and chocolate- cake wise.
somebody else's house- venue-wise, not a boyfriend or bestfriend..
and you definitely have to let more of her friends into your plans..
then you'll be fine.
ps: mail me a slice of the cake oh!!

Anonymous said...

ooooh, I have a lot of experience with this. Since she has a boyfriend, just ask him what she likes and whatnot. Find out from her in a SUBTLE way the people she is close to. Get her phone somehow and send text messages. About drinks - supply varieties. As for cake, chocolate never goes wrong

Freaky Deaky said...

Can you get a cake that's like have chocolate and half white or yellow cake? Most people that like cake at least like one or the other so you shouldn't have to worry about half the people not eating any.

You should invite her friends, mutual friends, and maybe a couple of your friends that you think she might get along with. Maybe you could plan the party with her boyfriend and another friend (preferably someone who knows some of her buddies at school).

Get some dark liquor, light liquor and stuff that you can mix.

Ditch the DJ and just play some of her favorite songs and whatever might be popular with the crowd. College people have eclectic taste in music so make sure you have some variety.

Anonymous said...

as long as u have music(dont get a ur douch, get ur ipod and let it shuffle ur favs jare...), have chops including cake, have drinks...ENUF LIQUOR(lol..yes, i like my liquor), and have MAD BABES (guys will always show up whether invited or, the party is set!...Dont OD on the planning...takes the fun away and stresses u the heck out!

TP said...

What a nice idea. In practice though, it can go wrong very easily. You have to share the burden of planning and organising so that all your friends can play separate roles. Do the things you are most comfortable with, and delegate the rest. You might want to handle the food and drinks, and ask her boyfriend to get her to the arranged venue, while somebody else handles the music. Finger food is a good idea. Get stuff like cocktail sausages, chicken or prawn satay, spring rolls, crisps, nuts and chicken wings. Add lots of drinks and loud music and you've got yourself a party!

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

Thanks for all the suggestions people. I’m calling her boyfriend and one of me and sunshine’s mutual friends and we’re gonna come up with a plan together… so far I’m thinking about 60 people. Don’t have a budget yet… I’ll get one with them and delegate responsibility and watnot. Thanks y’all for your suggestions. I’ll ask any more questions that I might have… and in the meantime. If you think of anything else that I should do at the party… please feel free to leave a comment here.. thanks a lot really… I appreciate it. I’ll update you on plans and how the whole thing went down!

reen said...

lmao @ the "american shoes" part

dont know about throwing parties either but for appetizers u should get lots of chips(doritos, nachos,lays,tostitos or even tacos lol) and some kind of dip to go with them.

as for her gift if u have no clue what to get then just get her a gift card...... i guess

oh and get her and icecream cake dont know what flavor tho...

Anonymous said...

Everything has been said already.
Just make sure the cake is Vanilla ;-) lol

Funmi said...

dang girl! all these comments for your surprise party - u better make sure your friend has a great party with all these wonderful ideas.

Anonymous said...

u 4got Soda and water dear.Soda for the non-drinkers and water to bring the drunks down b4 they try to drive home.Goodluck with u're party. My best friends birthday is on the 9th and my other best friends wedding aniversity is on the 8th.

Anonymous said...

umm.... i hope "Sunshine" doesnt have this blog's address... since its supposed to be a suprise and all...