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How to Plan the Perfect Surprise Anniversary Celebration in NYC

How to plan the perfect surprise anniversary celebration

Anniversaries are moments of gratitude, joy, and love, and hosting a party to celebrate the milestone is the perfect way to honor them. Whether you’re planning an intimate evening with your partner and close friends or a spectacular soiree for your parent’s wedding anniversary at a local elegant venue in NYC, the element of surprise adds a sense of wonder and excitement to the day. We’ve put together a reliable guide explaining how to plan a surprise anniversary party that dazzles your guests.

Choose the Right Date and Time

Anniversary parties are a fantastic way to bring friends and family together and cherish special memories while creating new ones. You do, though, want to make your celebration convenient for as many guests as you plan to invite. That’s where your calendar comes in:

  • Picking a date: It’s a good idea to arrange an anniversary party on or near the exact date of the milestone. Make sure that the venue, decorations, floral arrangements, caterers, and entertainment are all available for this date by organizing them well in advance.
  • Picking a time: The perfect time to start the party depends on its location, theme, duration, weather forecast, and the guests’ needs. Importantly, consider the schedules of the unassuming guests of honor — what time would best fit into their day?

Look into what other events are going on in the city during that time.

How Far in Advance to Plan a Surprise Party

Give yourself ample time to organize the celebration. If you start planning three weeks to a month before the big day, you have time to make alternative arrangements if any plans change. You may need to book several months in advance for in-demand venues and performers. In contrast, some efficient vendors offer same-day deliveries in specific regions, like Mahir Floral & Event Designs does in New York City.

If your surprise anniversary party falls over a popular holiday, lock in the date as far out as possible so guests can block their calendars and make sure they’re in town over the event.

How to Keep a Surprise Party a Secret

The perfect surprise anniversary party is one that’s, well, a surprise! You can keep your plans a secret by following these three surprise party tips:

1. Create a Diversion Event

To ensure the couple or spouse of the hour gets glammed up for their surprise celebration, you need to either invent a reason — like dinner plans at a fancy restaurant — or create one. Consider inviting them for a few drinks at an upmarket cocktail bar or taking them to an art gallery for a quick viewing before whisking them away to the celebration you’ve been planning. There are always events going on in the city so finding a diversion event should be easy!

2. Keep All Party Chat off Social Media

Make sure everybody knows that the party is a surprise! An excited Facebook post, a loaded comment on an Instagram picture, or even an innocently shared article about surprise-party planning can tip off the guests of honor that secret celebration plans are afoot. Either create an exclusive messaging group for party talk or chat with each guest one-on-one.

3. Have the Guests Arrive Early

A group of well-dressed, familiar guests arriving at a venue at the same time as the spouses can immediately let the cat out of the proverbial gift bag. Request that all family and friends arrive at least 30 minutes before the guests of honor. Also, if guests are running more than 15 minutes late, kindly request that they wait to enter the party until after the loved one or couple has had their surprise.

Pick the Perfect Venue and Decorations

An event’s location and aesthetic set the mood for the celebration, so you should consider holding the event at one of the best anniversary venues in NYC. The venue should provide a beautiful and functional foundation for the party, while flowers and decorations should add character and good vibes to the space. Only with the perfect combination of venue and decor will the experience become fully immersive and memorable — not to mention the gorgeous photos you’ll have of the party!

How to Select the Perfect Venue

To decide where to host the special occasion, consider how many guests you want to invite, what activities you plan to offer, and, most importantly, what the couple would love most. Hiring a larger venue is smart if you have a long guestlist or a big band playing, while a smaller get-together at home is preferable for a more cost-effective celebration of love. Of course, if you have a sizeable house that can cater to 20-plus guests, bust out the good silverware and dress up the dinner table with a heart-shaped rose bouquet.

How to Find Decoration and Theme Inspiration

Choosing decorations is one of the most exciting parts of planning a surprise anniversary party. You can use decor and custom floral arrangements to highlight a specific theme, aesthetic, or color that’s special to the lovers. For example, if the celebrated couple had a destination wedding, you could choose flowers from that region as an homage to their big day as part of.

Wedding anniversaries also have specific milestones, each with their own associations. Consider picking an aesthetic that aligns with the millstone the couple is celebrating. Here is a quick look at anniversary milestones, their traditional and modern associations and which flower best fits each anniversary:

Anniversary YearTraditional GiftModern GiftFlower
1st AnniversaryPaperClockCarnation
2nd AnniversaryCottonChinaCosmos
5th AnniversaryWoodSilverwareDaisies
10th AnniversaryTinDiamond JewelryDaffodils
15th AnniversaryCrystalWristwatchRoses
25th AnniversarySilverSilver JewelryIrises
50th AnniversaryGoldGold JewelryViolets

If you or your parents are celebrating a 15th wedding anniversary, you could decorate the space with crystal candleholders, crystal chandeliers, and crystal vases adorned with milestone-appropriate roses. If fresh flowers feel too fleeting for such a meaningful day, you could replace them with longer-lasting preserved roses in gorgeous crystal bases.

Curate a Memorable Menu

If your party includes dinner, plan a menu for your guests that delights their palates and warms their hearts. Buffet-style spreads with at least one vegan option are a welcome safety net when catering to a large group of diners. Some venues even include a la carte dining options, so look out for that when picking a location if you think that’s what your family would prefer. 

If your anniversary party is more of a “daiquiris and donuts” affair, your guests would certainly appreciate a table of hors d’oeuvres to snack on between cocktails and bubbles. Also, keep in mind if any of your guests have younger palates or special diets so you can accommodate their preferences.

Pick the Perfect Floral Arrangements

Flowers tie an event together in a way that no other adornment can. They add life, vibrance, color, and sophistication to the room while complementing your other design choices. Some people prefer arrangements of understated elegance that give the space room to breathe. Your guests of honor might rather gravitate towards flowers that sing with creativity and extravagance. Sometimes, it’s best to let the professionals work their magic with exquisite arrangements of seasonal blooms of their own design.

Put It All Together With Mahir Floral & Event Designs

Mahir Floral & Event Designs makes hosting wedding anniversary celebrations in New York City convenient, customizable and effortlessly stylish. Our high-end, modern floral arrangements and decor options add a unique flare to venues, whether at home or in grand venues. We offer same-day delivery to NYC boroughs, including Manhattan, seven days a week. To get started, contact us on our website or browse our anniversary collection.

plan a surprise anniversary event