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(19 Posts)
Bopeep14 Wed 16-Jan-19 10:59:16

My family are organising a surprise party for me and hubby for a special wedding anniversary coming up later this year. I found out yesterday from someone, who obviously didn’t realise it was a surprise.
Hubby and I really don’t want a party, inviting people we haven’t seen for years and estranged family members, I can’t think of anything worse.
Do I tell them I know and ask them to cancel it, or do I just let it go ahead?

Greenfinch Wed 16-Jan-19 11:05:29

A difficult one. I am with you all the way.I would just say that I really hate surprise parties and let them do what they want with the information. Keep it general.I always think surprise parties are for the benefit of those who give them rather than those who receive them.I hate them with a passion though there will be many who say they really enjoyed being on the receiving end. It partly depends on personality.

Scribbles Wed 16-Jan-19 11:22:13

Let it be known at every opportunity that you and OH are treating yourselves to a holiday alone together to mark the anniversary (and make sure you book it!). Add into the conversation remarks along the lines of ..."so much more relaxing than a party for loads of people." Or, "parties are so stressful - trying to make conversation with people you haven't seen for years against all the background noise . These days, I enjoy a quiet night at home much more...."
Good luck!

EllanVannin Wed 16-Jan-19 11:31:41

I have a feeling that this is going to happen in the family later this year. My stepdaughter has a big " O " coming up and certainly doesn't like a fuss as she's a nervy person but her son (my step-grandson ) I know would like a big family gathering as there are a lot of us including GC and GGC.

Besides anything else her partner died a few years ago and 2 of her schoolfriends, one of them only last month so any party would be too close to the anniversary of her friend's death.

I would rather book a photographer and have us all on a large photo as it could be the only opportunity to have us all together-------considering my own age too. It would be a lovely keepsake for the children of the future as family photographs are becoming a rarity.

I certainly wouldn't want to go against my step-daughter's wishes of surprising/shocking her with something that I know she wouldn't be happy about.

crystaltipps Wed 16-Jan-19 11:34:43

I’d hate a surprise party. One of the nice things about a party is deciding who to invite, what to wear etc. Maybe email your family member who you think is organising ( one of your DC? ) saying youve got wind of the plans, you are really pleased they are thinking of you, but really you’d rather have a holiday/ close family only meal / whatever and take it from there. After all, it’s not going to be the surprise they planned so hopefully they can change tack at this early stage.

jusnoneed Wed 16-Jan-19 11:47:26

Be up front and tell them. I'm sure that once they think about your wishes they will be happy to do what you would prefer, it's your anniversary after all. You could just start the conversation off by saying you have been thinking about the anniversary and that you would just like to do something quiet and maybe have a nice meal with the immediate family and go from there.

Foxyloxy Wed 16-Jan-19 18:20:30

Let them have their pleasure in treating you. They must be very proud of you, and want people to wish you joy. If it will cause an argument, and you can’t enjoy, then book yourself a holiday far away, and say it was a surprise present for your husband.

Gymstagran Wed 16-Jan-19 19:03:37

It seems they have gone as far as notifying, inviting people which is a shame. But I still agree with jusnoneed be up front with them. I told my family well in advance that I didn't want a party and organised a family break instead.

lilypollen Wed 16-Jan-19 19:38:11

Bopeep, you can't stop it now but at least you are prepared! Only surprise I liked was DH for my 60th, night away then DSs and DB and other halves turned up. Low key enough for me. DH hinted about a party for his 70th but I don't have contacts for half his 'friends' and don't like some of them anyway, so no. It will be close family at a hotel as a surprise, though I'm sure he'll guess they will be there.

M0nica Wed 16-Jan-19 20:17:27

I fully share most people's dislike of surprise parties. What I do not understand is that the people organising the party do not know this, as they are obviously family members close to you.

I think you have two choices,1, as has been mentioned is to be upfront with the organisers. Say you have heard about the party and heard about it from someone who did not realise it was a surprise (whatever you do , do not name them) and then explain how much you appreciate their plans but you are not a party person and would not enjoy an event like this, and possibly suggest something you would like, a weekend in a hotel with immediate family or similar.

The other option is to start planning an alternative event for about the same date - a weekend away as above, or both going on a cruise, during the discussion, you can refer to your not enjoying parties and perhaps reference a friend whose family did something like that, how she had hated it and still felt guilty because everyone had put so much effort into something that she really didn't enjoy.

Lynne59 Wed 16-Jan-19 20:25:53

TELL them. It's my 60th in a few months, and my family know I don't like parties. I certainly wouldn't thank anyone for inviting people I don't see/don't like to a "do".

Dontaskme Wed 16-Jan-19 20:33:50

Let them know that you couldn't imagine anything worse than a surprise party, and make sure they know you mean it. I've always made it clear to my lot that a surprise party would be the last thing I would want, along with having my home "made over" by one of those awful 60 second type shows. Tell them for goodness sake..

Buffybee Wed 16-Jan-19 20:41:15

I would also be "upfront" with whoever is organizing this party for you. Tell them that you found out about it from someone who was not aware that it was a surprise (do not tell them who it was) and that you are glad that you did find out as you really wouldn't enjoy something like that and would prefer a meal with close family members instead.
I feel that we have come to an age, where we don't have to do anything we don't want to do.
One of the advantages of getting older!

lilypollen Fri 18-Jan-19 23:22:16

I think Bo's problem is that the 'surprise' has already been organised, hence the person giving it away, so what does she do?

BradfordLass72 Sat 19-Jan-19 00:19:36

Yes, I agree with Scribbles make it known asap, that you've planned a trip away to celebrate that special anniversary and, at the same time, mention how much more peaceful it will be as you dislike fuss.

I'm surprised that those close to you, who must know you dislike parties, are planning one! Who is it for, you or them?

BlueBelle Sat 19-Jan-19 05:49:43

Oh you can’t be so mean as to tell them, however much you hate a party I can’t believe people here would do that, it seems terribly mean to me after all they have done it in good faith because they want to give you a nice time because they love you, and it sounds as if it’s done and dusted what a shame that person gave it away I would hate it too but I d just go along with it and you might be surprised that you do enjoy yourselves and if not what’s one night out of a lifetime
I would never do this for anyone as I know lots of people don’t like surprises ( I hate them) but I d be mortified and so hurt if I did something out if love and had it thrown back in my face

Willow500 Sat 19-Jan-19 06:03:13

Difficult dilemma but it depends how far into the future this party is. If it's imminent then I agree with BlueBelle that it would be mean spirited to make them cancel everything. Also some of the guests may have already made travel plans and be looking forward to surprising you. I too would hate it but having now been forewarned you can at least plan what to wear and be ready to look delighted.

If it's months away then yes - possibly make the organiser aware you've accidentally found out and could they help arrange something low key like a weekend away instead.

harrigran Sat 19-Jan-19 09:09:59

We are the same, dislike large parties and never arrange that kind of celebration.
It was our golden wedding in 2017 and one of my relatives kept asking me what we were going to arrange as she had to book a flight from abroad. I tried to say we didn't want to make a fuss, I had just had cancer and chemotherapy. In the end we arranged a lunch and champagne reception at home but felt we were pushed into it.

Bopeep14 Sat 19-Jan-19 12:17:03

Thank you everyone for your advice.
Bluebelle I agree with everything you have said, I cannot hurt my lovely family members who are organising the party.
It’s only one night. I am going to look on it as a positive and enjoy myself whatever.