Although surprises can be hard to plan and even harder to execute thanks to work schedules, chatty friends and unforeseen interruptions, with a little foresight – and some  occasional help if need be – they can be pulled-off.

The key is not going too overboard. The surprise doesn’t necessarily have to be the entire night; it can just be the specifics. Your significant other can be informed that you’re planning something special; they just don’t have to know exactly what that “special” entails.

Rearrange the furniture:  Nothing screams “SURPRISE” like walking into a house you don’t even recognize (and no, we’re not talking about breaking and entering into someone else’s home for the evening). What better way to change up the atmosphere than by rearranging a few pieces of furniture. Perhaps try to achieve an upscale restaurant vibe by moving a couch into a different room and replacing it with a table and two chairs or set-up a romantic picnic with a blanket and a bunch of pillows. Or, for something a little simpler, consider setting-up a make-shift massage table and stocking up on some essential oils.

Lay out the appropriate attire: The night wouldn’t be truly special if you were both dressed in your usual pajamas and sweats, so it’s important to look good. Get yourself gussied up beforehand and lay-out an appropriate outfit for your special someone to don upon their arrival. If you want to go all-out consider buying them something new, but if not, dry cleaning their favourite outfit will do the trick. 

Build a custom playlist: No romantic evening is complete without some appropriate background music. Don’t bother with the cheesy Barry White – unless that really is your thing – but instead opt for songs that you both enjoy, preferably ones that are fairly mellow and make sure the playlist is long enough to run throughout the entire evening. You’ll win bonus points if you include songs from special milestones or memories of your time together as well.