Advertise With Us | Vendor Login

Party Ideas & Tips

Share your party ideas

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 Tracy Brengard

Vacations, swimming pools, lemonade stand, all of these things remind us of sweet summertime! While it still may be hot outside, school days are just around the corner. Soon there will be no more sleeping in, so ease into that back to school routine with some fun activities for the family.

Here are a few ideas to get the entire family ready.

Host A Party

Host a cookout or picnic at a pool or in your backyard. Keep the food simple and kid-friendly, as well as the decorations. For example, cover tables with white paper and fill mason jars with crayons for centerpieces. Use a large chalkboard to welcome guests and let them sign in as they arrive. Apples and flash cards or any other school related item as décor for tables or wall hangings is a great idea as well.

For an educational twist, set up a map with some push pins and allow guests to plot where they have traveled for summer vacations. A door prize can be given to those traveling the longest distance. Involve the kids by having them bring items for school that can be donated to a local school or charity that accepts supplies to distribute to those in need.

Family Activities

If a party isn’t in your plans, there are some things you can do at home with your family. Start a new tradition that will make memories for years to come. Here are a list of ideas:

  • Create a countdown calendar to mark off the final days of summer.
  • Cook a special breakfast on the first day.
  • Buy a growth chart or even find a space on a hidden wall to mark your child’s growth each year.
  • Host a family fashion show and have each child model their first day of school clothes.

The entire family will look forward to their beloved tradition each and every year.

Think About The Teacher

Another person to consider on the first day of school is your child’s teacher. Here are a few ways to show your excitement that you have them as a teacher:

  • An apple for the teacher is a fun, inexpensive way to start the year.
  • A handwritten note from you or your child, thanking the teacher and expressing your excitement about the school year might be a thoughtful idea.
  • A basket with supplies any educator would appreciate might include paper clips, sticky notes, or copier paper.
  • A small container with quarters for the soft drink or snack machine would definitely come in handy.
  • Flowers are always an option! A cheery bouquet of sunflowers, daisies, chrysanthemums, or summer wildflowers will brighten any teacher’s desk.

Going back to school each fall is a milestone event for any family. Make that transition smoother by finding a way to celebrate while making memories that will last a lifetime.

by Kelly Curtis

Planning a buffet for your next party? This seems like an easy route to take to serve your food. However, there are a few tips you must keep in mind when setting yours up.

  1. What/Where – Decide what serving dishes you will use as well as where you will place each one. This is easier to do beforehand than stress the day of. All you have to do is place the food on each dish.
  2. Use Labels – This takes the guessing game out for the guests. This also helps guests with food allergies out so they know what to avoid.
  3. Plates First, Silverware Last – Why do this? Of course we understand why plates need to be first. But if we put silverware last, your guests won't have to juggle them as they move down the line.
  4. Make It Ahead – Don't spend your entire day cooking. Think of meals that can be prepared the day before or even a week before and are ok to freeze.
  5. Think About The Kids – Sometimes it's easy to overlook the children at the event, but they will appreciate you thought of the, as well as the parents. Add chicken nuggets or mini sandwiches.

We hope these tips help. Do you have your own buffet tips? Share them with us at

by Laken Watts

Engagement parties, wedding showers, baby showers, all of these parties have one thing in common: food. Whether it is just a cake, or a full three course dinner, food is so central to all of our celebrations. Most parties feature the food all set up together on the bar or dining room table, placed neatly next to the punch and a gorgeous centerpiece. Insert your hungry guests standing in line to fill up their plate and you’ve quickly got a crowded dining room. But we’ve got a better idea: Tasting Stations.

They’re perfect for those summertime parties, especially on a cool, Saturday night. Here’s your how to on setting up tasting stations.

A sample menu would look like this:


  • Pork tenderloin rolls and a scrumptious horseradish sauce
  • Sushi with simple California rolls
  • Peel ‘em and eat 'em shrimp with cocktail sauce
  • Crowder pea succotash (
  • Warm brownie & ice cream
  • Beer, wine & mini water bottles

Set Up

Start with getting a few extra tables to put around your garden or patio. Don’t be afraid to have a station set up inside on the dining room table as well. You may have to do some rearranging, but that’s usually always necessary when throwing these parties.

Any kind of tablecloth will do, and a little secret-they don’t all have to be the same. As long as they aren’t bright pink princesses mixed with your grandmother’s hand sewn lace, you’re good to go.

Space out your tables, and use the same serving pieces you normally would. Use the small plates, and as utensils, use toothpicks and plastic seafood forks. Do you see Continue reading "A New Twist on Party Food" »

Hosting a party? Have you ever thought about your hostess responsibilities? There's a lot more to it than you think. This week's Party Tip will focus on a few ways to make you a better hostess than you already are for future events.

  1. Introduce your guests – As soon as possible, introduce your guests to each other. That way, everyone feels included.
  2. Ask for dietary restrictions – Make sure there's something for everyone to eat. Some may have dairy or nut restrictions. It's important to be aware of that as well so you can let them know what dishes may not be for them.
  3. Engage your guests – Keep the conversation flowing and avoid any awkward silence.
  4. Seat someone new to each other – Don't just group friends together. Make your guests branch out and meet new people.

There are are many ways to be a gracious host at your party. How are you one? Share us your tips at

by Tracy Brengard

4th of July is a treasured national holiday. Many families celebrate in the traditional fashion with a neighborhood cookout or family gathering and end the night with fireworks. Keeping such traditions in tact is important, but sometimes it is fun to try something new!

Mix It Up With Your Food

Whatever type of food you plan to serve on the 4th this year, mix it up and prepare a different menu item. Traditional recipes combined with a new appetizer or desert can liven up any table. Keep with the theme and find a fun recipe using red, white and blue ingredients. For example, strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream are utilized in many holiday desserts.

Don't forget to liven up your table as well. Most craft stores have fun decorations you can use to set the table or picnic area. Purchase or create place cards and name your foods like Liberty Burgers or Freedom Fries. This would be a good way to involve the children or grandchildren in helping name all the food. Also, you can easily find themed plates, napkins, cups and serving pieces. Many flowers, such as tulips, roses, gerbera daisies, phlox or hydrangeas come in red, white or blue varieties and would make a festive holiday arrangement. Your table is one of the main focal points, so spend a little time on your table.

4th of July Activities

If you live in a neighborhood with children or grandchildren, try having a Patriotic Parade. Kids can decorate wagons, bicycles or even golf carts in red white and blue and parade around the neighborhood. Someone might be selected as Uncle Sam and judge the vehicles, awarding a prize to the most patriotic entry. The event could end with Uncle Sam reading a book to the younger ones about the founding of our country. The 4th of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh or The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner by Patricia A. Pingry are two examples of books that help explain the history of the holiday. This would be a great activity shared by all.

All About The Fireworks

The culmination of any 4th of July involves fireworks. Some may prefer to go inside to watch New York or Boston light up the sky on television. Still others attend events and watch a local fireworks show. While these are the least risky options, many enjoy lighting fireworks with family and friends. Most are aware of the dangers of fireworks, and adults should always be present. One or two adults could be in charge of a neighborhood show, which is a safer way for the kids to enjoy the holiday.

However you choose to celebrate the 4th of July, make it festive with decorations, flowers and food. Remember to appreciate the history of the day and enjoy celebrating with family and friends!

by Kelly Curtis

Birthday cakes are such a huge part of any birthday party. It's honestly one of the main highlights at a party. Guests walk in wondering what type of cake they'll see, since there are some very detailed cakes designed today. The most important thing to remember when figuring out what type of cake the birthday recipient will have is that it reflects them. Still need ideas? This weeks Inspirational Friday is all about birthday cakes.

Don't forget to talk with your bakery. They'll have great ideas if you tell them what you have in mind and even if you don't. Don't forget to share your pictures with us at


by Laken Watts

Your baby is 6 months old, and we know what you’re already thinking: first birthday party. Your mind starts to wander to blow up toys, goody bags, smash cake and decorations. All you see are dollar signs. Never fear, we’ve got your how to’s on doing a ONE-derful party that won’t break the bank.

Birthday Party Location

Do it at home! Why rent a big party space when you can open your home to friends and family for free? Homes make everyone feel more welcome and “part of the family.” Your house will be the perfect quaint atmosphere.

What Food To Serve

Also a DIY. Buying food at your local bulk store or cost saver grocery is the way to go. For this little girl’s first birthday, we commissioned grandmas to make a few sides to help bear the burden, because let’s face it, EVERYONE wants to come to this first birthday. The theme was Look Whooo’s Turning one, and momma made most of the food to look like owls.

A Party Isn't Complete Without Decorations

This little girl in particular had her bedroom done in an owl theme, with bright pops of color. So to save money, Mom went ahead and carried that theme to the party and used decorations she already had. Tissue paper flowers (see our tutorial) made for cute table decorations, and the only money spent was on these glittered O-N-E letters. These were cardboard letters found at the local craft store. We dipped in Modge Podge and rolled in gold glitter. Easy!

Don't Forget The Cake

The infamous smash cake. Baking a homemade cake seemed like the best idea for this budget-savvy mom. She bought a cake, and baked two layers in a small 6” round cake. Then we iced with a pink buttercream icing and rose tip. Total cost for the cake was about $4, which was much easier on the pocket book. For the rest of the family, she did a regular sheet cake.

Capture Those Special Moments

This could easily be the biggest bulk of the expense for your child’s first birthday. No doubt, we want to get photos of them smashing that cake, and quite often, photographers can do a separate shoot for that special event. For the party, get a friend to take photos throughout the day of your little one to document the occasion. Even a simple point and shoot camera will do the job.

There you have it. Simple and easy, and right on the money steps for planning a first birthday party. Decide your budget, and use these simple tips to help plan your child’s first birthday party. Also, don't forget to talk with party vendors as well. They have such amazing ideas and a variety of packages that may work within your budget as well.

by Kelly Curtis

Have you ever thought about hosting a bonfire? These are truly ideal for those cooler nights. Even if the days are warm, the nights can still get a little cool depending on where you're located. They're laid back, yet fun. So, this week's party tip focuses on hosting one with ease.

  • Party Decorations – Keep it minimal. You don't need much since it will be outdoors. Include personalized cups, napkins and maybe a banner.
  • Food – Keep it simple with a s'mores bar, hot chocolate bar, popcorn bar and hot dogs. You can really get creative with all the bars and toppings that you can include.
  • Entertainment – The fire itself. You can also include outdoor games, just be sure to provide enough lighting to see.

It's truly very simple when planning a backyard bonfire. Just pay special attention to the details, like the personalization. Do you plan on hosting a bonfire? Don't forget to send us your pictures at so we can share them on the blog.

by Tracy Brengard

In my mind, Father’s Day always conjures up a list such as this: a neck tie, a set of tools, golf balls, fishing tackle, a coffee mug & any item proclaiming “World’s Greatest Dad!” In reality, if we asked dads what they actually wanted for Father’s Day, it would probably be alone time doing something they enjoy.

Celebrate Dad

I don’t remember Father’s Day being a big production when I was a girl. My dad was probably lucky to get a homemade card! While my sister and I love and appreciate our dad to this day, the celebrating of Father’s Day was not the commercialized event it is now. Certainly fathers deserve a special day. Today’s dads are more involved than ever when it comes to actively participating in parenting their children. A neck tie or coffee mug would certainly bring a smile to any dad’s face, but choosing a more meaningful gift should be a goal for kids, possibly with a little guidance from mom!

Be Creative

The web is full of traditional Father’s Day gift ideas, and whether your dad is into hiking, golf, horses, or books, focusing on his particular interest should provide a starting point. You can never go wrong with homemade cards, gift certificates or pictures created by the kids. These are priceless treasures to any parent. Unlike moms, dads will generally go buy what they want or need when they want it or need it. They tend not to wait for a holiday hoping someone will remember they need a new fishing pole. For this reason, a little creativity is in order.

Start A New Tradition

It may be time to turn Father’s Day upside down and start a new tradition in your family. Making a donation to a charity in your father’s name is one example. Another idea might be to plant a tree in honor or in memory of dad.

Your special gift could be as simple as spending time with your dad doing something that he enjoys. Plant a garden together, go on a bike ride, or spend the day watching his favorite movies. Let your dad’s interests be your guide! Whether you rely on past traditions or plan on starting a new one, make dad the center of HIS day!

by Kelly Curtis

Yes, balloons are seen at every party. However, they're a staple. You can easily do a complete makeover on balloons so it provides something unique to your party. Here are 3 ideas on how to give your balloons a complete makeover.

  1. Personalize Balloons – You can easily personalize with balloons with a permanent marker or paint. It can say, "Happy Birthday Recipient’s Name" or just spell out their name.
  2. Give Them a Little Sparkle – Add some sparkle to your balloons my adding glitter. You can dip the bottoms or tops of the balloons in glue and then dip in glitter. Also, give spray adhesive a try and add glitter.
  3. Add Sequins & Garland – The sequins are the same concept as the glitter. Just add a dab of glue and add sequins. For the garland, use whatever you have on hand or purchase some at your local craft or party store. Once you have your garland, just tie it to the ends of the balloons.

These are just 3 ways to redesign your balloons. However, there are many great ideas out there like adding fringe or even macramé to your balloons. Whatever you decide to do with your balloons, don't forget to share them with us at

Follow Us

Copyright 2002-2015 by All Rights Reserved.

Additional Resources: | | |

Powered By