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Use Wedding and Party Network's party ideas and tips to assist you in planning your next party or special event wedding. Have you thought about when to consult a book a location or what you need to host an outdoor event? Everything from "how to keep food cool outdoors" to "how to hire a live band" can be found in Party Ideas and . View our Party Ideas and Tips and remember to check back often; we are always updating our site with the latest tips to keep your party planning efficient and easy. "Been Then – Done That" Share your party or special event ideas and tips.

by Tanya Giraldo

The big two-one is a celebration that marks the true beginning of adulthood. Naturally, the party has to be huge. Wedding and Party Network has your top tips on throwing a fun, yet safe 21st birthday bash.

Hangover Kit
Whether you are going to a party or hosting your own, a hangover kit is great to give as a gift or to have on hand. Fill a basket or bag with water bottles, ibuprofen, crackers and mints.

Designated Driver
If you are going out or your guests don't plan to stay the night at your party, make sure to decide on a designated driver who will abstain from drinking and will take everyone home safely.

It's common for the party to take some time to amp up, so have some board games or drinking games planned out throughout the night. Twister is a good ice-breaker and card games can easily turn into drinking games.

Always plan to have food available for you and your guests. Either plan to eat before you start your night or order a pizza when your party begins. Cookies, chips and, crackers are great to nibble on, especially if someone gets a bit peckish later in the night.

The goal of this party is to celebrate a new stage in life–the beginning of adulthood. Follow these simple tips, have fun, and be safe.

by Hannah Jackson

It is definitely possible to think of the Fourth of July and come up with tons of ways to involve kids, but it's also one of those holidays where you have to be a little more creative so that your kids feel really included and have a great time. Being a sucker for taking something that us bigger kids enjoy and making a kid-friendly version, I've compiled a short list of ways to help the little ones in your life love this summer-staple holiday!


The idea that pops out to me the most is taking your kids to a Fourth of July parade. They have them all around it seems, and while it may be hot and loud to you, it's a trade-off to watching kids be awestruck at all the elements! There are animals, candy, fire trucks, more candy–basically a child's dream! If you're up for it, venture out and visit a parade nearby. Some small towns even have a small carnival afterwards with rides and yummy food.

Safe Sparklers

When I think of being kid-friendly on the Fourth, I definitely don't think of fireworks. But I've found an innovative way for small children to get to (with supervision!) experience sparklers. They are perhaps the simplest of all fireworks, but never cease to still be quite entertaining– even for adults. Take a disposable, plastic cup and cut a small hole in the bottom big enough for the end of the Sparkler to stick through. The kids can stick their hand into the cup and hold on to the end of the Sparkler without the chance of stray sparks hitting them.

Fireworks Show

Still going along the firework route, visit the local fireworks display. For older kids this is usually really fun because they tend to sit still and actually watch more than a small child would. If you have a baby or a toddler with you, they will be interested for a little while but will soon get antsy. Bring along some Fourth of July coloring pages or some fun holiday themed snacks that you and your kids helped prepare earlier in the day. I know a lot of us with kids don't have tons of free time lying around for extra preparations, but if you wake up that day planning on that being your accomplishment for the day, then it makes it a little more doable. You can make cookies with red and blue icing or some easy party mix with red, white, and blue candies mixed in. Or for a healthier snack, put some sliced up strawberries and blueberries in the diaper bag before you head out.

Built in Helpers for Your Adult Party

If you're hosting or helping out at a party for you and your adult friends, let your kids be your helpers for the day. Kids absolutely love getting involved in anything you're working on, so give a task or two to them that you were going to have to do anyway and let them shine. Whether it's helping make a dessert, DIY-ing a party decoration, or going out and buying supplies–make it a mission for you both. It'll be a sweet memory and will make them less bummed about you having a party without them!

It's easy to prepare for a kid-friendly Fourth of July, just make a few plans ahead.

by Tanya Giraldo

As the temperature rises, so does the cravings for corn dogs, pool days, and fireworks. It's never too early to prepare for that Fourth of July party you've always wanted to throw. Wedding & Party Network has your four must have DIYs for this year's best Fourth of July Bash.

1. A Bucket Full of Sparkle

It's not a Fourth of July party without the sparklers, especially if there are lots of them! Get a pack, fill a small silver bucket and decorate with ribbon and streamers. *Note: make sure to keep lighters or matches away from the reach of children.

2. Ice, Ice, Baby.

There is no escaping the July heat, but stay cool with specialty ice. Fill ice trays with blueberries and strawberry slices, add water, and freeze. These are perfect to put the finishing touch to  party drinks.

3. Much More than a Jar

There is much you can do with mason jars and at this party you can use them as a silverware caddy and drink glasses. Get enough mason jars for each guest. Fill them with a red, white, or blue bandanna (as their napkin) and a spoon, fork, and knife. Each guest has their silverware and drink glass all in one.

4. Say It With Some Fruit

Nothing goes better with your Fourth of July feast than some fresh watermelon. Make it festive by cutting thin slices and, using a number four cookie cutter, cutting little 4s out of the fruit. They will be much easier to munch on and your guests will be impressed with your attention to detail.

With these easy DIYs, get your party started and have fun celebrating Independence day with family and friends.

Check back soon for more party ideas and tips from the Wedding & Party Network.


Every little girl likes to feel special on her birthday, and you know your little princess deserves to have a special day full of wonder and excitement. But if you find yourself a little apprehensive about throwing a party, Wedding and Party Network is here to help.

Here are 10 easy tips to make your little girl's birthday party a royal flush!

#1. Pick A Theme She Loves

Make this choice hers and hers alone. No reusing her sister's Dora the Explorer stuff just because you are tired of storing it. Don't let her older brothers make fun of what she chooses (at least not in front of her!) Let her pick something she likes. You can make suggestions if she gets stuck but be sure the final idea is all hers and that she is excited about it.

#2. Invite the Right Amount of Guests

This will depend on your party space, the number of adults that will be available to pitch in and your daughter's own temperament. If she does well in big groups, the more the merrier! But if she is shy and easily overwhelmed, keep the guest list to a small group of close friends and family. It is easy to fall into the trap of inviting more kids than you think will attend because you "owe" them (their parents) an invite but be realistic about how much space you have to entertain and which adults are truly up for helping you out.

#3. Get Adult Volunteers That Know What They Are In For

Speaking of helping out, this is a big one. If you want to get through this party with your sanity, don't try to do too much yourself and don't push responsibilities onto a friend or family member that truly can't commit the time. Be upfront about needing help, how long the party will last and what they will be expected to do. Before the party, plan specific tasks for each person. Don't try to wing it or something is bound to be forgotten. And certainly don't forget that this party trick you are asking for puts you in the line of fire to return the favor at some point.

#4. Princess Prep Time

If you need some time to get dinner or an activity ready, this is a good moment to play up some princess necessities like getting ready for the big party. This is where a fort in the living room comes in handy. Girls can play with some pretend makeup or the real thing if you have an adult volunteer while you make last minute arrangements to make the night run smoothly.

#5. Have Dinner and Dessert Separate

Even though you are thinking it would be easier to get the messy food and cake out of the way all at once, remember that too much too soon with all that excitement can take a toll on little ones. No one wants a bellyache to slow down the action 5 minutes after leaving the table. So plan to have a light easy dinner then plan an activity before the big cake moment happens. Opening presents is a good choice. Lots of excitement for your birthday girl, but everyone else is, more or less, sitting down watching and digesting before the sugar rush to come.

#6. The Present Trap

While older kids might not venture into tantrum territory, younger children often have trouble understanding why they aren't privy to any of this present business. Try to talk to parents and see if younger children can start playing outside or in another room if this is a possible problem. You could also choose to open presents after the party if there is concern about gifts being shared, broken or lost. And one thing that never disappoints at any kid party is a well crafted goody bag for each child. While you don't have to spend a lot on these to make them special, do made an effort to wrap them festively and include some unexpected items like small toys, collectible erasers, sidewalk chalk or other highly coveted items. This can easily take the place of present opening chaos.

#7. Budget-minded Fun

While it's fantastic that the boy down the street had pony rides last summer, that doesn't mean you have to try and one-up someone else's special event. Plan activities that will be fun for your child on any budget. Does she love to color and make stuff? Have a station for the kids to decorate their own party hats. Up for a little adventure? A scavenger hunt is perfect to get everyone exploring together. Love music? Set aside time for karaoke or dance party. Have a Wii or XBox? Play a tournament style game and give out small prizes to the winners and candy treats to all that participated.

#8. Plan Activities… But Not Too Many

A bad mistake is to think that the kids have to be 100% entertained every second of the party. Plan some unstructured time to just play with the new toys or twirl around in party dresses. If you have a magician coming or a bouncy house ready to ambush, don't rush from one activity to the next just to squeeze it all in. Make sure each activity has a little breathing room so there is time for chatter, impromptu dances and a few snapshots to occur. Otherwise, you'll find yourself barking orders all night just to "stay on schedule."

#9. Never Underestimate The Power Of TV

While you might think it's a party so who would want to sit still and watch a movie, the answer is you! Plan to have a special viewing of something you know will be a hit. Maybe it's something that was just released or an old princess favorite like Cinderella. Start it up, pop a big bowl of popcorn and turn out all the lights to give the girls a theater-like experience while you use the time to regroup. Even if you only get 10 minutes to pick up the kitchen and 30 seconds of downtime before you have to join Continue reading "10 Ways To Plan The Perfect Party For Your Princess" »

by Hannah Jackson

It's a given that we should acknowledge our dads on Father's Day with a gift of some sort, whether homemade or store-bought. But what about getting down to what really tugs at a dad's heartstrings? Most dads (whether they admit it or not) are extremely sensitive when it comes to their kids. So let's take advantage of that this Father's Day (and many other days throughout the year!) and tailor this holiday specifically to what makes them feel most loved.

Memory Lane

If your dad is the sentimental type like mine is, creatively taking them back to special memories you two share can be a home run on Father's Day. It isn't always necessary to buy them the next up-and-coming technology or popular gadget (although, those can be fun gifts to give). To some dads, it means more to sit back and reflect a little bit on ways that their role as your dad positively impacted your life and made you the person you are today. Our lives are shaped so much by our dads, so we should make sure to periodically encourage their hearts. Dads don't always think that they've done a good job raising us, so by bringing up sappy/funny/or serious memories from your life together can really go a long way.

What does this look like practically? For the little kids, they're still making memories, so a craft made especially for their dad or grandparent is a memory they can hold on to. For a grandparent, it may bring them back to when their own kids were bringing them pictures and mementos home from school or church. It will allow them to relive that precious time. Crafts from kids are so honest and a tangible reflection of their personality. Dads thrive on seeing this in their kids. If you're older, you can rummage through old photo albums and recreate an old picture of yourself or with your siblings. I've seen this idea online recently and it's pretty neat and could get a good laugh. Find an old picture of you, either as a baby, toddler, or kid, and try to take the same picture as an adult. If you can find one of you with your dad that would be special as well. This could be something you and your siblings could go together on if you're all in the picture. Frame the old picture beside the new picture and each write a little memory from that year of your life with him. He will possibly smile, laugh, AND cry this Father's Day!


Everyone knows the popular song, but did you know that this is arguably the best gift any dad could get from his children? I did a little research with my own dad, and he verified that from us older kids nothing makes him feel more loved than knowing that he has our respect. As good as our intentions are, we probably aren't consistent all year with showing our dads the respect they deserve. Life gets busy and we forget to reflect on how our dads have poured into us all our lives with their love and wisdom and just plain awesomeness. All of this doesn't end just because we grow up and move out of the house. But respect doesn't have to stop with mushy feelings about how great your dad is. You can still take those emotions and thoughtfully translate them into a present to give him on June 15th.

Homemade Coupons

This is a very well-known gift alternative, but it's frugal and really effective. Just make sure you take a little bit of time to be creative with what you put on your coupons. Continue reading "How To Make Your Dad Feel Special" »

We held a writing contest for students at a local Jr. High where we asked them the question, "Is music important for a party?" The following essay was written by one of our two winners, ninth-grader Courtney Smith!

The Importance of Party Music

Music matters. If you've ever noticed, nearly every party has some kind of music. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why that is? It's because music is a comforter, a force and sometimes even a friend. It's so important for parties because it creates an atmosphere, conversation between guests and makes people feel more welcome and at ease.

The kind of music you choose for a party makes a difference. Different types of music make people feel differently or gives the party a different vibe. Music can make people feel many different things. Upbeat music makes people feel happy or fully of energy whereas slow music makes people feel more down. If you want people to dance and have a good time at your event, you should choose a playlist with a good beat and a relatively fast pace.

At certain events, a particular type of music is considered traditional, such as the the wedding march playing as a bride sways down the aisle. If you were to play something else, your guests may not feel that they are at a wedding. Likewise, if you play all slow songs at a dance party, guests might feel they are at some sort of formal event.

Music also has the power to spark conversation between guests. Two strangers at a party could become friends solely because their feet are tapping to the beat of the same song. They might talk about the artist, the meaning behind the lyrics or even what they were doing the first time they ever heard that particular song playing over the radio.

Mostly, music has the power to bring people together, and that's why it is so important for parties.

Thank you, Courtney. Good job!

It’s almost bachelorette party season and this means maid of honors from all over are scrambling for ideas to make their bride’s party unique and fitting to their personality. Bachelorette parties have changed over the years. Lingerie showers and hot pink and black used to be the “IT” thing to do (and they still can be), but these last two years I have seen a trend of classy bachelorette parties that are perfect for your relaxed bride!

Here are a few ideas that maybe more suited for your bride:

Is your bride a mermaid in disguise? Come on, we all know one. She’s the girl that never leaves the beach. From tanning to frolicking in the water, she’s all about a day in the sun for her big day. How do you turn her love for the sun into a bachelorette party? If you live near the beach, round your girls up and rent a small house located on the beach for a weekend. The first day can be spent playing in the sun and when the sun goes down it’s time for the lingerie and bachelorette shower! The next day can be spent creating an at home spa for the brides and bridesmaids. It’s the perfect way to cure a hangover from the sun or champagne.

Don’t live by the beach? Enjoy a day by the pool! Everyone can enjoy a day full of fun and floating on the water. Just remember, to wear sunscreen. Anything looks good with a white dress, but a sunburn that’s the color of a cherry, not so much.

Whether you decide on the beach or pool, it might be a good idea to look for several restaurants that you can rent a room out for two nights. There’s nothing like having your own private party to laugh, tell jokes and harp on the bride all in privacy. Beach restaurants are usually packed with families and you’re always so close together. A rented room would be perfect for a nightly bridal shower or to start off a bachelorette night!

It’s time to set sail and feel free!

Wherever you decide to go, don’t forget these bachelorette beach emergency essentials:

  • Sunscreen -Chairs/Umbrellas
  • Monogrammed Beach Hat
  • Aloe Vera
  • Cooler with Snack
  • Plenty of Water
  • Precious Bikinis
  • Disposable Water Cameras
  • Jelly Fish Sting Soothers
  • Favorite Book
by Hannah Jackson

It's common knowledge that we all eat ice cream year-round, but it's a little more fun to consume in the summer when it can serve two purposes: satisfying a craving AND cooling you off. So why not plan an entire party around it? The time is drawing near to ponder about your favorite flavors and toppings so you can share them with others by hosting a party!

Gathering Your Supplies:

If you live for practicality (like me) in just about every area of your life, then this party should be no exception. While there seem to be loads and loads of options to choose from, look for cute serving bowls that are both reusable and affordable. You definitely want them to be affordable if your affair will be a large one. If it will be more intimate, then you can splurge a tad more if you want since you won't be buying as many.

Plenty of popular stores sell ramekins that are the perfect size for sampling ice cream. You may already have some you can use! You can get different colors, or stick with all one color, depending on if you have a theme going on. Depending on where you shop, you can find ramekins for as cheap as a dollar a piece. Like I said, if you are going big you may want to go half and half–buy as many ramekins as you can afford, but then also find some colorful disposable cups to use as back-up. If you really want to do all disposable, use a handful of ramekins to serve your toppings out of. They will add a pop of style to your table and will make it look put-together.

If you have enough, try using the silverware you already have for your guests to eat with. It will cut down (even just a little bit) on your cost and you can just throw them in the dishwasher when everyone is done.  Getting to use real silverware will also make your friends feel more at home at your party! I have found that it is much less stressful to utilize things I already have around the house than to have to keep adding items to a shopping list.

Flavors and Toppings:

To cut down on some chaos, go ahead and have all of your options prepared. What I mean is, if you are going to make smoothies go ahead and make them and have them set out in pitchers for your friends to directly sample. It could be fun to take the time to let everybody actually make their own concoctions, but only if it's a very small get-together. It usually seems like the more off-the-cuff aspects you incorporate, the more money you will end up spending to ensure that there are plenty of desirable choices.

A unique way to decide what flavors of ice cream to serve is when you send out your invites to the party have five or six (or however many you think you can manage) flavor options on there and let them check their favorite. They can send them back to you and this can be their RSVP. That way, you will know that you are going to make the right choices. And it will keep you from stressing when you stare down the endless aisle of frozen goodies.
For your build-your-own sundae bar, just think out of the box.

You can display the usual; various candies, sprinkles, hot fudge; OR you can have a theme. A theme might be more cost-effective. For an example, you can pick a color as your theme. If you choose red, have all red toppings on your bar. It's as simple as that. That will allow you to get more creative since you will have to be more narrowed in your choices.

There are tons of ways to make an ice cream party a huge success! Hopefully this will help you out as you take the journey of planning a perfectly practical ice cream party to cool you and your friends down this summer!

We held a writing contest for students at a local Jr. High where we asked them the question, "Is music important for a party?" The following essay was written by one of our two winners, ninth-grader Ashlyn Baldwin!

Music and Parties

Music can be used to describe people's lives or how they feel in a particular moment. It can set the tone, and get a party going! A party without music is not very fun … at all! A party needs music to relieve awkwardness, prevent boredom and most of all, keep your guests having fun. People will stay longer if the music is good!

Parties can become awkward really quick. If everyone runs out of things to say, they just sit there quietly, and that's no fun! Music lightens the mood, and makes it so people don't have to worry about not having something to talk about. It drowns out all the awkwardness with its beat, which is awesome! A lot of people think that if they're going to play music, they need a dance floor. Umm … no! The presence of music doesn't require a dance floor for fun!

But parties don't just have the potential to become awkward, without the right entertainment they can also get very boring. If you were all excited because you were invited to a party and showed up to discover there was no music playing, you would not be staying long! But you don't just need fast music like rap to have a fun party, and it shouldn't be all slow, mushy songs either. You need songs with a good vibe/beat so that people can dance, but people like to dance to slow songs as well, so throw in some of those!

Just don't play, like, five slow songs in a row. That will kill the mood. Seriously.

When throwing parties, everyone is always like, "What if nobody shows up? Or what if they show but think my party sucks and then leave?" Really, don't worry about who doesn't show. Your party can still be fun even if only some of your guests arrive. And those who didn't come? It's their loss! And getting people to stay and have a good time once they've arrived is easy. Just put on some music with an awesome beat mixed in with the occasional slow song, and people will love it!

Parties, like life, are dull and boring without music.

Lot's of people (especially teenagers) find it hard to throw a party, but it's easy. Just get together with some friends, find a whole bunch of songs to play, get snacks and find a place to hang out. It doesn't have to be some big expensive place. Have it at home, at a friends house or even in somebody's basement! And don't forget, a party can still be awesome even without a dance floor.

One last thing, a party does not have to have alcohol or drugs to be cool, it just needs music!

Thank you, Ashlyn. Great job!

by Katelyn Copeland

We held a writing contest for students at a local Jr. High where we asked them the question, "Is music important for a party?" The following essay was written by our runner-up, ninth-grader Katelynn Copeland!

How to Select Party Music

Having the wrong kind of music can bring down the mood of the world's best party. People feel music, and good party music has the ability to not only create a particular atmosphere at the event but also have a very strong influence on the attending party guests and their general experience.

It would be silly to say, "This playlist is perfect for any party." Every party is different and party music often needs mixing properly on the night. This is why a professional party DJ or band is a good idea to manage the party entertainment. Either way, it's important to give the music choice a lot of thought and consideration.

When people are party planning, they will generally have close family and friends attending, and so it's quite possible that they know their party music preferences in advance. Nothing is better on the night of the party than to have certain party tunes that stir up the good ole memories!

Listen through old CD's or other party music collections. What's important here is that the host and the party guests will enjoy it on the night. Another trick is to send off little song request slips with the invitations. This will give an even better idea on what type of music to play at the big party.

Thank you, Katelynn. Great job!

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