14 How to Throw a Last Minute Party, Part 5: The Story

Welcome back to the final installment of “How to Throw a Last Minute Party.” This fantidlyastic series is all about how I, a severe procrastinator, pulled together a Simpsons Themed party for my beau (he’s a huge fan) in just over a week. Of course I can't take all the credit, I had some friends and family to assist. Today I’ll be spilling the beans about the story of how it all went down.

You’ve already heard about the planning side of things, so I thought it’d be entertaining to recall how difficult it was to keep the party a secret. And of course, gushing about the beau’s reaction to his ‘main gift.’ There may have been a few beau guilt trips involved. So hang on tight folks because here we goo….

Oh and it shouldn’t go unnoticed that I am simply the worst poker-faced liar. Seriously, ask me to tell you that the grass is purple, I promise it won’t be pretty.

I really owe a lot of credit to one of my best friends for kicking me into high gear. She knew I had wanted to throw a birthday bash for my beau’s milestone b-day. One night she non-stop texted me about locations. For the life of me couldn’t figure out why. Then bam- uhh his b-day was a little over a week away. So taking her suggestions, we made our final decision on the location.

When making the invitations, the beau had to work that night and I casually used, and fully intended on attending, a friend’s invitation to a movie as an alibi, while in all reality I was creating those schmancy invitations the night away. Yep, they took all night. Sorry friend for cancelling on you!

Here’s the kicker, we (the MIL and I) had to be up bright and early the next day. You see, we had previously planned a weekend get away with the beau’s family for his upcoming birthday. This left no time for delivery (uhh the party was already less than a week away) so I handed them off to my pops to hand deliver them. Guess all our efforts impressed the pants off our friends and family since we had close to 90% attendance rate. Thanks pops for putting those charming skills to work!

After the long weekend, the focus immediately turned to the food and decorations in which the beaus mom took over and was going to set up and deliver (what a MIL?!). About mid-week I get a call from a girlfriend. She knew he wouldn’t be home and questioned how we were going to get them there. D’oh, that’s a big piece of the puzzle my friends.

Let me tell ya, she saved my tuckus! She concocted the following: She would invite him to a birthday dinner where the four of us (including her boyfriend) would go for the ‘free birthday margarita (aka the birthday location).’ Sounds pretty innocent right?

Well, the whole thing spiraled into the perfect guilt trip. I was going to play it off that I hadn’t done anything special and almost forgot about his big milestone birthday (I’m a horrible girlfriend, blaming it on no money, etc.).

Two days left and little did we know our secret was almost exposed... The beau had some questions for aforementioned girlfriend’s boyfriend. He works in the heating/cooling business and he wanted to bounce some ideas off of him about a used furnace. Girlfriend’s boyfriend, just about said “We’ll just talk about it at your party,” when my girlfriend jumped in and cut him off mid-text. Instead, they talked via speakerphone so she could dodge anymore bullets. Crisis averted, best friend ever, no?!

The last piece of the puzzle was the cake. See the cake was made at another friend’s home which was waaay north of any party activities. Since we could have risked the “third party” cake getting damaged at the party location (it was a restaurant and all), I had arranged that I drop off the cake at my sisters (also somewhat north home) and she bring it into town for us. I had also requested she help the MIL set up for the party. Yep, washing my hands of most of the manual labor, what kind of demanding sibling had I become?

In a bit of sad news, this was one of the last photos we captured of his father (the on in the hat) who passed away shortly after the party. We were blessed that he was healthy enough to attend.

The evening before, I pulled the last second last trick out of the bag. Since I was ‘such an awful girlfriend’ for forgetting his birthday and that a friend had to invite us to dinner… I promised to make him dinner to celebrate. I assure you, it wasn’t anything fancy. I even guilt-ed him into and opening his present afterword.

Immediately following dinner he was handed the gift, his main gift. The drawings were still in the shipping envelope, which was opened (since I couldn’t wait to see it). I guess you could say it added to the effect.

He gave me a weird yet piercing look. He couldn’t quite grasp what on earth could fit in a 12x15 envelope, and why it would be opened, and why it wouldn’t be wrapped. After some coaxing he opened it. Then more staring ensued.

Him being fully confused, I excitedly explained the gift-- how crazy demanding I had been to the artist (Becky @SketchyStyles), and how I hunted down the perfect gift last year. Immediately doubting he had liked it, not realizing that it took a few minutes for him to process, I gave him a pout. A pout all for nothing because as soon as all the dots connected, he was ECSTATIC! He began devising a plan on where he wanted to frame them, to display them ASAP, and that he wanted more drawings from her. I proceeded to tell him all about how I almost tricked him into making his own frames. He laughed hysterically. SUCCESS!!

All that was left to do was to get ready for the party. Since he’d been hearing how awful a girlfriend I was all week, I told him pick out my outfit only request that it’d be somewhat dressy. He choose the swanky-ish outfit you saw during his birthday edition of What I Wore Fantastic Friday. It was all an effort to keep his mind from asking questions about the evening.

As we pull in, I text everyone that we’re close, it’s already dark out.

We walk up and he asks ‘why is our friend here?’ One of our friends is handicap and parked front row. Not expecting that question, I simply say ‘Oh must be coincidence’ while scurrying inside before he noticed any other familiar cars.

Our ‘couple friends’ are waiting in the lobby area with menus (for added drama), the server brings us to the room and opens the door.

He’s baffled, speechless, jaw wide open. He didn’t realize it was for him. I had to nudge him to take a step as everyone yelled surprise! The look on his face. If I wasn’t trying to take in the moment it would have been the perfect photo. REAL SUCCESS!! Instead, I leave you with his huge cheesy grin when we were just about to sing “Happy Birthday.”

Later that evening after mingling and having a good time with all our friends and family I asked him what he thought. He could barely manage words over his huge grin but managed to say “I’ve never had a party thrown by friends or have ever been surprised before. Thank you, the best presents ever.”

Man of few but meaningful words.

Moral of the series: planning a party in under a week is difficult. Enlist your friends, and family. They really help you pull through your procrastinator ways.

So did you really think the party was going to be pulled off? Have you ever thrown a surprise party? Were they speechless? Have you ever been extremely grateful that things happen for a reason?

Want to follow the story from the beginning? Check out How to Throw Your Own Last Minute Party:

Part 1- Choosing the Location and Theme
Part 2- Simpson's Themed Invitations the Visionthe Tutorial
Part 3- Budget and Checklist Freebie
Part 4- Food and Decorations
Part 5- The Gift
Part 6- Pulling it all together-- aka the story 
(you're here)



  1. Ha! What a sweet story. I too am a horrible liar. I'll even blurt out a secret I'm keeping to avoid getting caught in the act of lying (so long as it's my own secret, I'm pretty good at keeping others). I'd say the party was a success!!

    1. Glad I'm not the only one! Changing the subject is sooo difficult especially mid-sentence.

  2. It was all you! I'm just naggy ;-)

    1. I've said it before, you're totally not naggy at all! Miss you!

    2. definitely not her loving husbandDecember 13, 2013 at 7:35 PM

      I agree with Cortney ;)

    3. You two would win the cutest couple award!

    4. Oh Kyle I know where you live....

  3. I so would've spilled the beans. I am THAT person in the family. As soon as I buy something or have an idea for someone's birthday or Christmas, I tell them. I can't help myself. So I have to wait until RIGHT before just so I don't spill the beans. I have no self control.

    It looks like a great party and like everyone had such a great time! Lovely picture that you got of everyone including your FIL <3

    1. No self controllers unite! I'm notorious for spilling the deets on stuff by accident. Chalk it up to the beau not digging further with his questions.

      Indeed it was a pretty awesome party. Thanks my love!

  4. I loved reading this Trisha! It sounds like you pulled together one of the best birthday parties ever! :)

    1. Awe you're too kind, my love! It was a lot of fun, and we were surrounded by our amazing friends and families!

  5. I love his face in the last photo! He looks like he's gushing :)

  6. Hi Trisha,

    This is AWESOME! I love the theme, the near spoiled surprise and his reaction to the gift!

    Thanks for letting me be a small part of such a fun day!!



Comments make my heart go pitter-patter! Your comment may not appear right away as they are manually accepted.

Pin It button on image hover