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In your honor: tips for organizing a party in honor of someone else

One of my favorite aspects of being Shot In The Dark Murder Mystery Games Mystery Maiden is designing custom games for special events and parties. My clients often ask me to design a game to surprise a loved one during an event held in their honor.

A party in honor of someone is very different from the alcoholic birthday party that some of us have grown accustomed to. A party thrown to honor another is an opportunity to showcase your accomplishments, milestones, and interests.

Throwing a party to honor someone else, whether it’s a birthday, graduation, or anniversary, is something that should be done with care. Here are some tips to help you plan a party in someone’s honor.

When I was young, I was delighted to hear that my dad ordered lawn flamingos to celebrate my mother’s 40th birthday (to my disappointment, the flamingos turned out to be plastic). Fortunately, Mom took the embarrassing prank well (but she got her revenge on our 16th birthday!). When she tried to return the favor to my dad a few years later, he didn’t take well to the idea of ​​a surprise party. The difference between my parents was that my mom liked the idea of ​​a surprise in her honor. My dad felt the opposite. When planning his party, you must first determine if the event will be a surprise or if the guest of honor will know about it in advance. In the case of my parents, my dad would have reacted better if he had been informed of the party in advance. Consider everything he knows about the person when deciding if the party will be a surprise. I never would have guessed that my dad wouldn’t love a surprise party, and I’ve known him my whole life! How can you be sure? Casually bring up surprise parties with his honoree and gauge his reaction.

The next thing you need to do is find out as much as you can about the honoree. Regardless of how well you know someone, chances are another person knows something you don’t. Last fall I created a custom murder mystery game centered around my aunt who was turning 60. One night while she was in the shower, I had a clandestine phone conversation with my uncle, who gave me such great ideas that we identified the issue. immediately. Brainstorm information you know along with information you learn to piece together your party details.

The guest list will make or break your party. There are two things to remember when creating a guest list. First, don’t invite the wrong people, and second, invite the right people! Sure, I could probably throw a party for your Aunt Gertrude. I can put up cute green and orange decorations and order a celebratory flan cake. You could even fill your living room with guests simply by stealing your address book from its spot next to your rotary phone. But how would you know that “Big Barry” is actually Aunt Gertrude’s exterminator, Penny Marshall is the IRS agent who audited her last year, and Hilda Harper was her best friend who stole her favorite pair of shoes 30 years ago? years? ? The truth is that I will not know. When Aunt Gertrude walks into the party venue, she’ll wonder why her bug boy, the auditor, and her evil ex-best friend are raising glasses to toast her.

However, there are always people who touch our lives that we would love to see at a party organized in our honor. A coach, teacher, mentor, or even a former boss might be on that list, but it’s not in Aunt Gertrude’s address book. Hmmm…complicated.

First, I would make a list of all the people I know Gertrude likes: her next door neighbor; her childhood best friend; the women of her skydiving club. Then I’d call each of those people and ask if they can think of someone else they know who should be on the list, and so on. I’d have to do more than just steal her address book, but this is Aunt Gert, after all: if she’s worth a big party, she’s worth a few phone calls and an afternoon of my time. Inviting mentors, coaches and others from your honoree’s life means the difference between an everyday party and a true celebration of your guest of honor.

During the party, keep your honoree in the spotlight. Select about five people on the guest list to write and deliver a speech about your guest of honor. Not sure who to turn to? Choose one person from each part of your honoree’s life. For example: childhood, adolescence, 20, 30, etc. If your honoree is young, select from your job/school/social life and clubs or activities your honoree belongs to.

Lastly, make memories. To truly put on an elegant evening, make invitations or programs to commemorate the event. Guests, as well as your guest of honor, will cherish the keepsake for years to come. Don’t know where to get them? We recommend: Nicola Jane Originals at

Anyone should feel honored to have a party thrown just for them. Follow our tips to ensure that your guests, as well as your guest of honor, feel like this: Honored.

For more party planning tips and to share your own tips, visit the Shot In The Dark Mystery Games Dark Community.


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