As some of you know, recently Surprise Me Events planned its first proposal. It was an amazing experience for me to be involved in such an intimate moment in someone else's relationship, and seeing Jamie and Kyle so happy was really touching...but of course it all started with a lie (as surprises tend to do).
Disclaimer: This article is all about how to craft the perfect deception for surprise. That last part is key because in no way is this article intended to tell you how to lie to your spouse for another purpose (not that you would... but just in case).
Briefly I will tell you about the experience I had with Jamie & Kyle. Jamie really wanted her proposal to be a surprise, which was difficult since she had helped pick out her ring! So the deception had to go perfectly, with nothing to cause her suspicion.
With Kyle's blessing (he told me she wouldn't be upset when she realized she wasn't getting paid!), I "hired" Jamie to shoot an "event" I was planning (she's a videographer). The "event" was a surprise party for a friend of mine, and my "client" was her husband. I chose this couple intentionally, because I would remember their names easily, and I could talk about their relationship and lives naturally.
The initial idea was simple, but of course things got more complicated. In an attempt to get my client as far away from the planning as possible, I "sent" him far away. I told Jamie that he worked up north (which was true of my friend), and that he was inaccessible most of the time.
Unfortunately, Jamie wanted to speak with him about the details of his video, and so I was forced to take things further than I had initially intended (or hoped!)... So... I set up an email account to write to her as my fictional client. At this point, as you might imagine, I was getting a bit anxious... so much so that I repeatedly asked Kyle to reassure me that Jamie would not get upset when the truth was revealed. After all, he knows her best!
Luckily on the evening of the proposal, things went off without a hitch. Jamie never suspected a thing, her dream of a completely surprise proposal was realized, and, most importantly, she wasn't mad at me! Ok maybe not most importantly. In the end Kyle was right and Jamie was ecstatic about the whole thing.
Reflecting on this experience got me thinking about some tips that I could share with you on how to craft the perfect deception.
1. Keep it simple
Try to keep things as close to the truth as you can. It will be much easier to remember what you've already said if its been the truth. This is why I chose a friend as my "client". Try to use things that you know already. It will be much easier to talk freely to your surprisee if you're not making things up on the spot and trying to remember what you said last time.
2. Plan ahead
When crafting your initial plan, try to visualize anything that might come up before the event. If you look ahead you will be able to spot holes in your deception and plan for them. When I sent my "client" up north, I was trying to get him out of the way in case Jamie asked to meet him before the party.
3. Don't bring things up too early
If you need to tell your surprisee something that you wouldn't normally tell them until the last minute... tell them at the last minute! If your deception begins with with you sending your surprisee out grocery shopping, don't tell them 2 weeks in advance that they need to go to the store. Keep a normal time frame.
An example from Kyle & Jamie's event: Kyle wanted to make sure Jamie didn't eat dinner before she came. So the day before the "party" I told her that a few of our guests had cancelled at the last minute and the catering order was already set, so we had a lot of extra food. If I had told her too early, she might have wondered why we didn't simply change the catering order.
4. Don't involve too many people
In order to keep control you want to involve the least amount of people as possible. And of course, you want to make sure those you do involve can keep a secret! When I chose to use a friend of mine as my client, I had the opportunity to involve him in the email exchange with Jamie. I chose not to because I wanted to be able to control exactly what was said to her. Any offhand comment by someone who doesn't have the full plan in mind might jeopardize the surprise.
5. Act naturally
This one is very important. Despite keeping it simple and planning ahead, things might not go exactly as planned. I did not expect Jamie to insist on speaking to my client (and after all the legwork I had done to make sure he was unavailable!) but she did.
My advice: roll with the punches. Try to react calmly when things come up. If you have the luxury, reply over text or email, take a moment to think through what your response will be. If possible, try not to react too quickly. Make sure your response fits within your overall plan. And always act like you normally do, because your surprisee will get suspicious if you act suspiciously!
Crafting the perfect deception can be difficult! The great thing is, the more legwork (and brainwork) you do beforehand the smoother your plan will go. Surprises take a lot of work and planning, but the payoff is huge if done well.
When Jamie realized that the "party" was actually her proposal, her reaction was priceless. She laughed, jumped up and down, and even...squealed! (sorry Jamie!). And she was impressed that Kyle and I had pulled it off without her having the slightest idea what was really going on.
So try not to let the work involved deter you! And of course if you don't think you can do it alone, I'm here to help!
Have you ever had to craft a deception? How did it go? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below! If you enjoyed this article please like and share it! And as always, you can connect with me over social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.