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SURPRISE! Gather 'Round and Celebrate Mama Miller!

Psst … Host + Gather launches on November 1st!

We at Uncommon are rolling out a brand-new offering! It’s something new and exciting and oh-so-fun! So what is it, you ask?

We are creating, producing, and filming an 8-module online course that teaches you how to become a confident party planner and host in your own home. It’s called Host + Gather! This course is YEARS in the making and I can’t wait to share all the tips, tricks, and expertise we use here at Uncommon when we plan parties!

As we await our November 1st launch date, we wanted to walk you through a party that highlights what we teach in Host + Gather AND a party that celebrates a truly special lady! It was oh-so-special to me, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you!

But first, a little background ...

Growing up, my sister and I would babysit for a sweet family down the road. They had five kiddos and a dog, so we helped over at their home often. Our families became fast friends, and over the years, all of us kids have become more like siblings.

Our families have celebrated together for years, throwing weddings, birthdays, graduation parties - you name it! As families, we always work together to pull off these gatherings and share the workload.

The matriarch of their fam, Mrs. Miller, and I have planned so many parties together that I have lost count! We make a great team and I always find I learn a thing or two from her whenever we work together. She is the most loving, caring, and thoughtful planner. She loves on her guests hard and makes each guest feel seen and heard. She honors everyone before herself.

Party Planning for a Special Lady

I love watching Mrs. Miller celebrate other people, so when it was about time to celebrate HER 60th birthday, I was so excited!

Mr. Miller and the Miller kids approached me at the beginning of the year with the idea of hosting a SURPRISE birthday party for Mrs. Miller! They wanted to go all out … Like ALL OUT!! And I was ALL IN!! We were so excited to start talking about preliminary plans. As we got further into the details, things got interesting as we had to hide our meetings, conversations, and plans from Mrs. Miller!

So many details needed to be developed, so we began the process of The Uncommon Way. If you haven’t heard of The Uncommon Way, it’s the planning and hosting method we created years ago, and we’ll be teaching the whole process through Host + Gather! The Uncommon Way covers guest lists, budgets, invites, moodboards, venues, and SO much more.

Planning for the party was now in full swing and we were dreaming BIG!

We settled on an Italian theme to honor Mrs. Miller’s love of Italy. We called it “Mama Miller” … I hope you said that in an Italian accent! We knew we wanted some special nods that were unique to her throughout the event. So Chick-Fil-A iced tea, Cosetta’s Catering, and custom Vera Bradley bag cookies became a part of the plan. The kids decided on a couple ways to honor their mom through fun games, speeches, and prayers! We found the cutest venue that set the perfect backdrop for an Italian event!

Pulling off the SURPRISE!

Everything was falling into place until we asked ourselves … How do we actually get Mrs. Miller through the doors? What do we say to get her to that building at a specific time? Huh! That’s a good question!

Well, we had to create a story. It had to be something believable and foolproof, and it had to be detailed so all of our tracks could be covered.

Enter … Mama Driver! You see, Mama Driver also turned 60 this year, and it just so happened her birthday was a little before Mrs. Miller’s. Soooo, we made up this entire story about how we would be celebrating MY MAMA’S 60th surprise birthday party, and that’s the story we told Mrs. Miller! We made sham invites, told her silly details, and got all of her kids in on the plan! She bought it!

Over the next several months, it was SO hard to keep the secret. I almost slipped half a dozen times - it was close! As we came to the party date, we finalized details, got our party helpers in order, crossed every T and dotted every I, and went over the plan until we knew it by heart. Then, we put all of the planning into motion.

The Big Event!

Here was her reaction!

Priceless! I will relive this moment for years to come! Getting to celebrate someone who always celebrates others?! Now, that’s the good stuff right there!

There was SO MUCH JOY! We ate yummy Italian food, sipped iced tea, shared stories, recorded voicemails to the birthday girl as part of the photo booth, played a few themed games, and finished the night in prayer. This gathering will forever be one of my favorite events I have ever been a part of!

To learn how YOU can create special gatherings like this for the people you love, get on our Host + Gather waitlist!


- Katie + The Uncommon Team


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