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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

Labor Day weekend is the chance to celebrate the end of summer and get the last rays of sun. But how do you spice up the long weekend festivities without making it a usual grilling gathering? Wedding and Party Network offers these tips to make your Labor Day weekend a unique engagement.

Ice Cream Social

Make your event a child-like affair with an ice cream bar. Enjoy a frosty dessert before trading it up for hot chocolate. Use apothecary vases and glass decor bowls to fill with toppings. Go the extra mile and consider making your own ice cream. Offer variations to your lactose-intolerant friends by making homemade ice pops. You can use molds or simple paper cups to make your very own popsicles. Your guests will love the DIY touch.

Seafood Boil

Ditch the burgers for lobster with a sea food boil or clam bake. No need to dust off the grill; you can do this all in a sand pit or in your own kitchen. Give your party a sea theme, regardless if you celebrate on the beach or the backyard. Make some fruity cocktails and you are all set to a last-minute summer getaway without leaving the state.

Break from the norm and say goodbye to summer with a unique bash. Check back with Wedding and Party Network for more party ideas and tips.

by Rachel Simpson

With summer winding down, the countdown to the first kickoff of the season has begun! The comradery of uniting with fellow football fans for good food and drinks before the big game is like no other experience. With the right setup, you too can have a good time hosting a tailgate. Luckily, Wedding and Party Network has some great tailgating tips to get you and your “team” prepared for the great season ahead!

Find a Good Parking Spot

As the saying goes, “The early bird gets the worm.” It’s no different when trying to find the perfect place to set up before kickoff. Arriving early gives you plenty of time to unpack your supplies, set up a tent and some tables, and enjoy the scenery. You also have the option to park or set up near a tree for shade. Keep in mind that you may have to pay for a parking pass, so be prepared with some spare cash on hand.

Grill Some Great Food

What’s a party without delicious food? When you arrive, you’ll likely smell the wonderful aroma of grilled meat from your fellow tailgaters, so it’s a good call to load up the grill or call dibs on a public one. Pack a cooler with the staples: hamburger patties, hot dogs, brats, and/or chicken wings. Have your friends bring other essentials such as buns, side dishes, paper plates, napkins, and condiments so the burden isn’t all on you of providing the grub.

Pass the Time with Fun Games

Another staple of tailgating is the games you play with your buddies. It’s always a good call to bring a spare pigskin or two for you and your friends to toss around. You could also provide some friendly competition with some baggo (also known as “cornhole” or “bean bag toss”) or card games. The possibilities are endless!

Remember: there is no right or wrong way to tailgate. All that matters is that you and your guests have fun celebrating the sport of football. So fire up the grill, stuff the cooler with refreshing drinks, grab the folding arm chairs, and head out to the stadium with fellow fans for a great time!

Are the kids hanging their heads in anticipation of their first day back at school? Cure the end-of-summer blues with a festive back to school party! After all, what better way to celebrate a new year at school than reuniting with friends and family? This last summer hurrah will lift your child’s spirits as the countdown continues. Here are some creative ways to throw a party that will make the grade:

Offer School-Themed Snacks

To fuel the school spirit, offer snacks that your little ones typically munch on after-school! From the classic “ants on a log” to quirky apple “cars,” these healthy snacks are sure to keep your students coming back for seconds. To add a fun touch, purchase some styrofoam lunch trays so kids can sample their snacks on trays similar to those the cafeteria uses!

Unsure how to recreate these snacks? Here’s how you can do it!

Apple “Cars”
Ingredients: apples, firm grapes, toothpicks

  1. Slice the apple into wedges and trim the core.
  2. For each apple “car”, slice 2 grapes in half widthwise.
  3. Push the pick through the sliced side of one grape half, then through one end of the apple, then finish with the other grape half, sliced side out.
  4. Repeat with the other end of the apple “car” and 2 more grape slices, and voila!

“Ants on a Log”
Ingredients: celery, peanut butter, raisins

  1. Cut the celery stalks in half.
  2. Spread peanut butter inside of the celery.
  3. Arrange raisins on top, and presto!

Play School-Themed Party Games

School-themed entertainment is another great way to garner excitement for the coming school year. Your guests will appreciate these fun party games as a little friendly competition before school arrives.

School Supply Scavenger Hunt – Before your guests arrive, arrange various school supply items such as pencils, erasers, and composition books throughout the backyard and/or room. Come up with a few clever clues that describe the location of these supplies. When the star students arrive, surprise them with this creative scavenger hunt!

Lunchtime Blind Taste Test – Have the kids name that snack in a fun and entertaining blind taste test! Blindfold each participant and have them name the snack that they’re sampling. Have them sample foods such as raisins, Oreos, an apple slice, and pretzels. The “student” with the most correct guesses by the end of the game wins a prize!

Use Back to School “Survival Kit” as Party Favors

What a better way to send your party attendees home than with a useful party favor! Create a back to school “survival kit” out of a pencil bag or a brown paper bag. Stuff Continue reading "Cure End-of-Summer Blues with a Back to School Party" »

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
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