This past weekend I hosted a surprise hibachi dinner party for my husbands 41st birthday. It couldn't have gone better!! I was really worried with the big blizzard that people wouldn't be able to make it but 16 of our closest friends and family were able to come. My mom got stuck in the snow and our friend who lives in Jersey also got stuck, but everyone else was able to make it! My sister and John drove in to stay with us from Pennsylvania for the weekend, and I let Martin know that they really wanted to try a hibachi dinner place, so we should take them to Arirang, which is a great hibachi/sushi place in Brooklyn. Martin had absolutely no idea!! He's talked about a surprise party before and I said I just don't do them, so he's never really expected me to have one for him (I actually don't usually do them, this was my first time hosting!) Honestly I was very nervous in the beginning, and I asked myself questions like, how many people to invite? What if no one can come? What if there is a snowstorm (which is likely in Feb) and no one can make it in the snow? What if it doesn't go well? What if he gets really nervous and really didn't want a surprise party? I won a year free subscription of a site called purple trails and reading through their party advice, honestly made me feel a whole lot better about it. I started planning about 6 months in advance. I looked at a few places online, maybe we'd have the party in a little hall, maybe in a rented room, maybe at restaurant, and I decided on Arirang. Next thing to do was send out the invites. My sister has a card company called Beach Greetings LLC so she was able to make the invites for me. I sent those out about a month before the dinner and requested an rsvp about 2 weeks before. I ended up choosing Arirang because of 1st their ability to host many people, (even up to 50 if needed), 2nd people they do everything, and I mean everything. They had the seating done so that we were all engaged and sitting in a sort of circle, drinks were included, appetizers, soup, salad, and they even had the chefs perform a little for entertainment while cooking the food on the 2 hibachi grills in front of us. At the end, they brought out an ice cream cake and loaded it with the black glitter candles I gave them, played music and we all sang happy birthday to Martin as the chef flew his hands around Martin. He loved it and looked so shocked and happy. For the favors, I bought about 10 packages of incense and packaged 10 sticks together and wrapped them in a ribbon. I also got great party poppers with little toy/trinkets in them when you pop them open. It was important to have someone there to get stuff ready before we arrived, so I asked Martin's mom and dad to get there earlier and put the ballons up, the incense and the poppers on everyone's napkin, it looked so pretty when we got there! The only advice I would give is to make the time between when everyone gets there and when the guest of honor arrives about a 30 minute difference. His dinner started at 4pm and we were supposed to arrive for our (reservation) 15 minutes later and we ended up being there early! I tried to stall but I was running out of places to put makeup and hair to brush. We ran into another couple outside and they played it off like they were there by coincidence and Martin bought it until as we were walking, another couple of friends came up behind us and I was like "Wow! you guys are here too! What a coincidence!" And Martin started saying "hey, whats going on? You guys are here from North Jersey?" And he figured it out, but whether the surprise happens outside or inside, it still happened!! I could tell having everyone there really made him feel special and loved. It is a wonderful gift to be able to give someone a surprise party and I totally recommend it. Above is a scan of the picture the restaurant gave us of Martin at his 41st birthday party!! They also gave him a cool buddha to drink sakkhi from, that'll come in handy!