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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.

Apr
18
2014
by Kelly Curtis

Here at Wedding and Party Network we want to give you inspiration for your wedding and party details. The details are what sets your wedding and party apart from anyone else. The colors, theme, detailing and style all creates your wedding day style and conveys your party theme. So, today's Inspirational Friday will focus on party decor ideas.

Need inspiration for party decorations? Wedding and Party Network has some this week. Whether you're hosting a birthday party, anniversary party, reunion or some sort of theme party, there are decorations for your party.

Apr
10
2014
by Ed Belly

Cinco De Mayo is almost upon us! What party plans are you making for the holiday?

Holiday Origins

For those who don't know, Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for the 5th of May. The holiday actually began in Mexico after the Battle of Puebla, where French forces invaded Mexico and were defeated (albeit briefly) by a much smaller and less well-equipped Mexican army. The victory was so unexpected and so impressive that the May 5th, 1862 became a date to celebrate. Over the years, it has lost traction in Mexico and is mostly only truly celebrated in the town of Puebla itself. Other parts of the country may recognize the date, but festivals and parades are things of the past. Even so, the holiday lives on in America as a day to celebrate and honor Mexican heritage.

An American Celebration

But, wait. If this is a Mexican holiday, why is it celebrated in America? That question has a lot of different theories surrounding it, but no solid answers. The most popular theories are:

  1. When the holiday first began, it was a huge deal in Mexico. As more and more people immigrated to America, they brought the love of the holiday with them. Although the holiday's popularity waned in Mexico over time, the tradition stayed strong in America.
  2. The French invasion happened during a point in the American Civil War when the South and General Robert E. Lee were enjoying some degree of success. People surmise that Napoleon III's plan was to take Mexico and use it as a staging area to support the South and remove the Northern blockades around the Gulf of Mexico. The Battle of Puebla was a victory that stood as a symbol of France's inability to enact their plan. If France had been successful, the fate of the U.S. could have been very different.

The truth is, there is no definitive reason. Whyever it happened, the holiday caught on and now it's as much a part of American culture as St. Patrick's Day.

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Today in most Mexican-American communities, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican heritage, ethnic consciousness and community solidarity. But like St. Patrick's Day, it's been taken up by those who have no connection to the heritage of its origins at all. For everyone else, it's a fun reason to sit around with friends, eat Mexican food and drink Mexican beer. And isn't that what any good holiday does? Actually transcend its Continue reading "Let's Celebrate Cinco de Mayo!" »

Mar
31
2014
by Hannah Jackson

Celebrate the warmer weather by throwing a  party outdoors! You've been couped up this winter, so treat yourself and those close to you with some fresh air and good food. Here is how to throw a dinner party outside in this refreshing new season.


Setting the Scene

If you're in the mood for something a little fancy, break out your cutest napkins and some mason jars and host a dinner party outside. Find a favorite spot in your backyard–under a certain tree or even just somewhere where the dog doesn't visit when you let him out. If you don't have a picnic table, no worries! Haul your kitchen table outside! Obviously, that may not be possible for everyone, so you can also just have dinner picnic-style with a big blanket. It all depends on how fancy you want to get.

If you use a table, go simple with centerpieces since the scenery outside will offer as a pretty big backdrop. Grab some candlesticks and candles in your favorite color and line the middle of the table with them. You don't even have to light them. Have a couple of friends or family members be the servers and let everyone sit around the table and be served their food. This way you don't have to worry about a line at a food table taking up quality conversation time. Everyone can relax around the table and be waited on!

The Menu

For the menu, start with a simple and refreshing salad. Fresh romaine and spinach topped with  fresh sliced strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, and a poppy seed vinaigrette will have your guests so thankful that spring has finally arrived.
Grilled chicken breasts are easy, and there are so many ways you can make them your own. You can also cook them outside, which will get you in the mood for your outdoor gathering later. If you have time, you can marinade them beforehand to give them an even more intense flavor. Lemon offers a tangy flavor that compliments the spring season really well.

Keep the grilled theme going for your sides with corn on the cob, asparagus, fresh green beans, or all three if you want! Season them simply, wrap in foil, and slowly cook them alongside your chicken. It's easy, healthy, and delicious!

Don't stress over your drinks. Just offer a pitcher of ice-cold water (with lime slices if you want), and either a pitcher of sweet tea or a fruity drink like berry lemonade. There's no need to go crazy with the beverages, unless of course you have a specialty drink that you know will be a big hit!

Spring-Themed Dessert

Go with a themed dessert to finish off your evening. A cute idea is to buy however many small, clay flowerpots you need–these are usually extremely budget friendly, and base your dessert around that. Whatever you decide to make, serve it in these (washed and dried!) little flower pots for a very springtime effect.

An easy recipe I've seen online is to get store-bought pound cake or make your own, cut each piece with a circle-shaped cookie cutter, place one circular piece in the bottom of each pot, and layer with a few different flavors of ice cream. Stop between each layer and throw in a few gummy worms. Put them in the freezer after this step and let them get really firm. Then, top them off with some crushed or blended Oreo cookies to resemble dirt. If you want, you can go an extra step and stick a fake flower in the middle of each dessert. They'll almost be too cute to eat. Only almost, though!

You're outside, the wind is blowing slightly, and it's spring. Enjoy!

Mar
27
2014
by Hannah Jackson

Prom 2014 is coming up fast, and with fashion that is always changing, it's easy to not quite know where to begin your shopping spree for the perfect dress. If you're looking to be on trend this prom season, it's all about feminine details and color.

Nudes and Mint: Mint green has been a popular choice of color for clothing and jewelry for a while, but now it is making it's way to prom dresses. Nude, pink and mint are very compatible, so look forward to seeing these colors together. It seems that bright colors have almost always been popular at prom, and while they definitely will appear this season, mint and various nudes are beautiful and feminine on a gown.

Lace: While extremely popular in the bridal market, lace is finally making its way to prom. Lace is the ultimate feminine detail and will mainly show itself in overlays and in the neckline of dresses. This feature will most likely accompany the nude theme.

Overlays: Wearing a short dress to prom has increased in popularity in recent years, but what if you're not so sure you want to take the plunge? Well, this year those short hemlines may be extended with a sheer overlay, giving you the best of both worlds. This trend also really highlights long legs, which is always a plus.

Hi-Lo Dresses: This style also combines both lengths since these dresses are above the knee in the front and gradually go long as you move to the back. Hi-lo is extremely popular in casual clothing as well and does a good job of breaking out of the traditional mold when it comes to formal wear. And if you are a fan of all of the trends, you can most likely find a hi-lo dress that combines them, with lace detail at the top and in a nude or mint color.

Most of you have been shopping for your dress, if you haven't already purchased your dress, but if not, keep these trends in mind.

Mar
24
2014
by Hannah Jackson

If your kids are old enough to enjoy a good, clean prank, have some fun this year! The beginning of April is right around the corner and you have a chance to get lots of laughs out of your children by playing some fun tricks on them. Here are a few ideas.

Breakfast Surprise: Fix your kids breakfast foods that you can transform into a different color with food coloring. Make their scrambled eggs green, turn their milk blue, put red food coloring in their oatmeal, etc. They'll get a nice surprise when they wake up!

Shoes Everywhere: This will surely get a lot of giggles. Gather up a bunch of your family members' shoes and place them all around the house in odd places. You can tape some to the wall, put flowers in one like a vase, put their toothbrushes in a shoe, whatever creative ideas you can come up with to make them laugh all around the house!

Googly Eyes: This will make everyone laugh, not just your kids. Grab a cheap bag of googly eyes from the store and stick them in funny places. The face of the baby on a box of diapers, on the T.V., on the lamp shades, on their favorite DVD case, on the bottom of their drinking cup, on their school books. Basically you can replace the eyes of anything around your house. This one might get laughs for days until they are all found!

Toilet Paper Notes: If you have some time on your hands, switch out the kids' toilet paper roll with one that you have written goofy (or sweet!) notes all over. Each time they roll some out they will get a surprise!

Fake Critters: This is a classic, but it's always funny! Put plastic bugs all around the house in places where you know they will see them. You may want to only do this with your kids who aren't really scared of bugs so it won't upset them!

April 1st is a good opportunity to tap into your creativity and sense of humor for an entire day of laughs. And it will also give your kids an opportunity to use theirs!

Mar
21
2014
by Kelly Curtis

Here at Wedding and Party Network we want to give you inspiration for your wedding and party details. The details are what sets your wedding and party apart from anyone else. The colors, theme, detailing and style all creates your wedding day style and conveys your party theme. So, today's Inspirational Friday will focus on prom flowers.

Prom is just around the corner and your guys are out there finding the perfect prom flowers for you. There are lots of unique trends that emerge each year with corsages, bouquets and boutonnieres, just be sure to find the one that matches your dress perfectly and your personality.

Mar
17
2014
by Juli Jackson

What's April Fool's Day without a little fooling? As kids we lived for the day it was considered okay to run amuck and tease your sibling and classmates relentless. All while shouting "April Fools!" at the top of your lungs. Whether you are still feeling young at heart or if you have children who need a little schooling on how it is done, host an exciting prank-filled April Fool's Day Party this year!

Here are some fantastically fun food ideas that we love.

Candy Cheese and Crackers

Enjoy some cheese and crackers why don't you? Watch for surprised looks and big laughs as guests taste sweet candy instead of savory cheese or salty crackers.

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Almond Ice

Create a simple and refreshing fruit salad that includes this wonderful twist. This clear almond ice will have everyone wondering why these "ice cubes" never melt!

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Taco Cake Pops

Alright so these mini tacos won't fool anyone but they are so funny and cute. Only on April Fool's Day could you say you enjoyed tacos for dessert!

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Turkey Bread

Funny and filling, this bread is easy to shape into its turkey form and will have everyone laughing as they fight over the "drumsticks." Serve it on a carving platter for more hardy yuks.

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Meatloaf Cake with Mashed Potato Icing

And for dessert, we have our entree! This beautiful cake is actually meatloaf with mashed potatoes fashioned into icing. Now that's a real treat!

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Burger Cupcakes

This will be everyone's favorite. While they look like the cutest baby sliders you have ever seen, get ready for a fudgy brownie delight sandwiched between a spongy yellow cupcake!

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With a party food that is more than meets the eye, you can enjoy being a fool all night long with your guests. All ages welcome of course.

Happy April Fool's Day from Wedding and Party Network!

Mar
13
2014
by Hannah Jackson

Easter is the perfect time to use your family time and have something planned for the kids, as well as the adults to enjoy. Kids love Easter because there are so many activities that can be incorporated into it. Probably the most popular activity is decorating Easter eggs. Here are a few ways to spice up your egg decorating.

Decorate With StickersKeeping track of all those eggs can be challenging, which is why this step is crafty and extra helpful. Once the eggs have completely dried, let the children personalize their eggs with stickers. Let them purchase their own stickers so they can really get creative with them.

Marbleize the Eggs – The best part about water and oil not mixing is the amazing marbleized eggs you can create. Plain ones are pretty, but eggs covered in swirly shades of color add a unique flair.  Add vegetable oil to this week's shopping list and follow these simple steps.

Directions

  • Start with dry, colored eggs.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to one of the cups filled with a dark colored dye. Run a fork through the mixture.
  • Dip egg into cup and re-dye it in the oil mixture, turning the egg often with a spoon.
  • Carefully remove the egg. Set it aside to dry on a paper towel.

Paint-Splattered Easter Eggs - For a modern take on Easter egg decorating, you'll have to let your kids get a little messy. Once their dyed eggs have dried, dip a paintbrush in black paint. Hold the brush over the center of the egg and tap the handle to splatter the paint. Play around with the technique — the harder you tap the brush, the bigger your splatter marks.

Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs - Place several layers of paper towels onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Mix water with a bit of white vinegar into a spray bottle and generously spray the entire paper towel. Then, place several drops of food coloring all over the paper towel. Make sure to only use 2 or 3 different colors so it will turn out more vibrant. Place your hard-boiled egg in the middle and wrap it up pretty tight. Spray again with the water and vinegar mixture until the paper towel is soaked, squeezing out any excess. Wrap it in plastic wrap and secure it at the top. Let it set for about an hour and you'll have a pretty cool creation!

For a fun Easter activity for all, dye Easter eggs! However, you don't have to stick with just plain colors, mix it up with these fun decorating ideas to make your eggs stand out! This doesn't have to be just for you and your kiddos, you can also turn it into a fun party!

Mar
03
2014
by Ed Belly

St. Patrick's Day is coming and that means green clothes, shamrocks (still green) and … well, beer (also available in green)! I know there are reasons to celebrate St. Patty's more serious than clothes and beer, but the historical reasons for the holiday are not exactly fun per se. And aren't we talking about a party? Why yes, I think we are. So get ready for some exciting St. Patty's Day inspiration!

A Study in Green

This will probably come as no surprise, but your St. Patty's Day celebration should be themed in green. That's a simple enough concept, and the execution is no more complicated. So what do you do?

  1. Decorations – Here's your chance to use that green tinsel you've only ever utilized around Christmas. You can also buy any number of fun decoration options from some of our party supply vendors.
  2. Beer – Where do you get green beer? In recent years it's not been hard to find at all. You can go to your local corner market and find holiday themed beer, but I can't guarantee the flavor of such a brew. The best way to get green beer you know you'll like is to take a beer you already love and add some green food-coloring. It shouldn't change the flavor much, if at all and will leave your suds a lovely holiday shade.
  3. Food – A popular dish is Irish Soda Bread. It's easy to make and obtaining the green tinge you're going for is a breeze. Just use the same bit of food-coloring you dripped into the beer and you'll have a colorful and tasty snack to serve to your guests.

Popular Irish Traditions

Another way to honor the Irish origins of the holiday is to incorporate some Irish traditions in your celebrations. Not sure what kind of traditions to use? Here are a few ideas.

  1. Irish Toast – No, not bread. A "raise your glass" toast! There are a plethora of traditional Irish toasts (a quick search on the internet will yield plenty) and nothing will do more to add a bit of Irish flavor to your social interaction.
  2. Potatoes – Yep, good ole spuds. You can prepare these any way you like because Irish and potato go hand-in-hand, but if you want a traditional Irish dish, you might try boxty or colcannon. Colcannon even has a traditional song!
  3. Music – Irish music in the background of your festivities will do wonders for setting the right tone. And if you're not into the traditional stuff, check out Irish rock n roll or other genres with an Irish twist.

Overall, a St. Patrick's Day party isn't a difficult event to throw. Make sure you have plenty of beer (and I mean the Irish versions of course) and a large group of friends and it's guaranteed to be successful!

Feb
28
2014
by Kelly Curtis

Here at Wedding and Party Network we want to give you inspiration for your wedding and party details. The details are what sets your wedding and party apart from anyone else. The colors, theme, detailing and style all creates your wedding day style and conveys your party theme. So, today's Inspirational Friday will focus on spring party ideas.

Who's ready for spring? After this winter, I'm sure most people are ready to jump out the door into some warmer weather. Therefore, it's time to start planning those spring parties. Need ideas? Here are some photos to help you get some inspiration. Bright colors, pastel colors, seasonal food & the outdoors all will provide a little inspiration for your next spring party.

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