I was able to recreate quite a bit for her scrapbook. My dad and I actually began making plans a year in advance. I began her scrapbook with a calendar page from the year before. I then included photos and information from all of the banquet rooms we had considered. The banquet room we ended up choosing was in a hotel, so we saved a postcard from the hotel along with a brochure of the hotel.
We did hire an entertainer and so I included some information from his website to add to the scrapbook also.
When we compiled the guest list, I printed it out so she would know who we invited. I had asked for R.S.V.P.s through email and so I was able to print out all of the emails, both those saying they’d love to attend and those that were regrets. Some of the regrets actually wrote personal messages to give to my mom. So, they were given to her at the party and then put into her scrapbook with the other messages.
I also saved one of the invitations so she could see the invitation that went out to all of her friends.
Journaling can also be fun when planning a surprise party. For example, my mom did not want to go to the restaurant where the party was being held. We journaled about how we had to convince her that no one else could accommodate our family that night and how this place was the only one that served foods my sister could eat. When we arrived, we did not want to walk through the parking garage, and so we led my mom around the side of the restaurant. She truly thought we were all nuts, not knowing where we were going. These are great things to journal as a remembrance of the event.
During the party, we had multiple people taking photos. We of course were the last guests to arrive and I wanted photos of other guests as they arrived and of the hor d’orves table. And of course we wanted a photo of my mom walking in and being surprised.
We did take pictures throughout the evening and had a lot to work with when we went to create her album. My mom was able to see the party from start to finish through our eyes.