After a great day out enjoying a romantic surprise I planned for my husband, I’m inspired to share my tips on planning a romantic surprise for your wife, or husband. Depending on who they are and their personality and interests, some of these will be suitable for you, and not others, but hopefully they help you to create a magical moment, however you do it.
There are small ways to leave a romantic surprise for your partner – such as love notes or breakfast in bed, or more involved ones such as a helicopter trip to an island for lunch (which I managed to pull off today!). Whether your plans are grand or simple, I hope your romantic surprise is appreciated, and reciprocated soon!
Choosing how to Surprise your Husband, Wife or Partner
The first decision in organising a surprise for your loved one is to work out the scale of your surprise. Are you celebrating something special, or just wanting to make them feel special? How long has it been since you went the extra mile? It’s too easy to get comfortable with your day-to-day lives and forget to plan special moments, or special days, whether you’re newlyweds, or have been together for decades.
What are you trying to achieve with your special plan, and how do you want them to feel? If you haven’t already, it’s great to understand the five love-languages in a relationship, and especially to be aware of which love language your husband or wife most connects to. For instance, one of my husband’s love languages is receiving gifts, but I am not particularly interested in being bought material things. My primary language is being helped, so I love when he goes out of his way to make my life easier in some way.
As you read through the list of tips and ideas, consider what will really make them happy. Although you may get a lot of joy out of planning a surprise party for them, if they don’t like large groups, or feeling unprepared in social situations, it could backfire.
Ideas for Romantic Surprises for your Wife or Husband
- Make a day all about them – let them know in the morning that you’ll be taking them on an adventure doing some of their favourite things (or let it all play out as a surprise) and take them to their favourite brunch spot, followed by an activity they love but haven’t done in a while, or even something neither of you have tried before. One Valentine’s Day, Blair took me paddleboarding, knowing I’d wanted to try it for years, and it was such a romantic surprise knowing how much thought he’d put into it.
- On a day you know their movements, but won’t be with them, leave them love notes to find around the house/car/their handbag, or wherever they’re going to be. Even if they are working that day, you could collaborate with a work-mate to sneak notes into the office, or pre-order and pay for their coffee and morning at their regular cafe, putting a little note in the bag.
- You don’t even need to find paper for notes – use a whiteboard marker to write a note on the window, or use your finger to write in the steam before they shower (just don’t use your favourite lipstick on the mirror, it’s hard to get off and it’s unhygienic!
- Plan a movie night at home with their favourite film (even if it’s a chick-flick or a car-racing movie you don’t particularly like), with all their favourite snacks. Bonus points for a cosy outfit to enjoy it in like matching trackies or PJs.
- Is your partner busy and their space has been taken over by mess and debris? Tidy it up for them, as best you can. Pick up all their laundry, have something dry-cleaned, arrange their bookshelves or just do the chores they usually do to give them a break. If their love language is being helped, this one will be much appreciated.
- Make time for real, uninterrupted and important conversations. Take the night off cooking, put away your electronic devices, and really tune in and listen to each other. For a little inspiration, see our love story couple’s journal, and either talk through, or write in your thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams for the future. It’s also available as a wedding anniversary journal.
- Buy tickets to their favourite band, comedian, an art exhibition or even a movie they’ve had their eye on. Having shared, out-of-the-everyday experiences together gives you new things to talk about, as well as reminding you of the days you started dating.
- Set aside 15 minutes one evening to give them a massage. Wait til they’ve just had a shower and are getting comfortable, have a nice body oil, and rub their back or shoulders to really help them relax.
- Put 3-4 date-ideas inside balloons, and ask him or her to pop whichever he feels like, then go on that date.
- A simple gift. If they love gifts, surprise them with something romantic that you know they’ll love. It doesn’t need to be expensive, it could be as simple as a new monogrammed journal, or a box of chocolates, or flowers (they’re cliches for a reason!). Don’t overthink it.
Or maybe… you want to go all out, and plan a real event, adventure or excursion!
How to plan a surprise event/adventure/excursion for your partner!
Whether you’ve been together for two months or twenty years, there’s never a bad time to turn the everyday into a day to never forget, and by planning a surprise party, event or getaway for your partner, you can really create magical memories.
The element of surprise
Essential to any romantic ‘surprise’ is that he doesn’t see it coming. To ensure they shows up on time and doesn’t schedule any other plans, you’ll have to tell them something – a little white lie. Set up a fake event – a movie night with friends, or even a surprise party for someone else (I chose to say we were going out for brunch with friends). Don’t involve too many people in your plan if you don’t really need to, though – and only give them enough notice as really necessary.
Plan something special
It doesn’t have to be fancy, but do something you don’t usually do rather than a ‘surprise’ date to a location you’ve recently been to – Blair surprised me two years ago on Valentine’s Day with Stand up Paddleboarding. He knew I’d wanted to do it for a while, so it was really special when he surprised me with it. Earlier this year, I organised a night away in a hotel for us – as we have flatmates, any time we have alone is special.
You’ve got to think of everything
Snacks, changes of clothes, appropriate footwear, SPF, hair-ties, sunglasses, whatever makes them comfortable, and whatever they’ll need for your plans. Be mindful about food – researching dietary requirements for instance, and making sure wherever you’re going will cater to them. Heading on a plane – you might need ID, even domestically, and of course a passport if you’re planning something extremely out-there!
Consider giving them a little notice
Okay, so you want a surprise, but you can still surprise them with the news of what they’re doing. If you’ve gone to a lot of effort to organise and plan something amazing, but you think they’d be happier being prepared, then consider letting them know with an hour or two, or even a night, to prepare. If my husband wanted to surprise me by taking me somewhere overnight, for instance, I’d love to know the day before. He’s just not going to know what skincare to pack, and he’d definitely forget to pack the pillow I like to sleep with. A little precious, sure, but I’d still be over the moon to know that he had organised it all for us.
I hope your romantic surprises are lots of fun and all go according to plan!
Whether this has inspired you to head to Waiheke for the day, or simply plan a romantic home-cooked meal, I hope you’ll include more date nights in your life too! If you enjoyed this content, take a look at our Couples Journal Blog for more, and of course check out my wedding planner if you’re a bride to be!