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Planning a party or an event can be stressful. Believe it or not, you can be a perfect host or hostess and still enjoy the day that you planned – by planning it well. The following tips will help you plan the party everyone will be talking about in the weeks to come and feature some great ideas for themed get-togethers that will be sure to delight!

The most important thing, perhaps, is not to procrastinate. By starting early, there is much less room for mistakes and oversights (and the hair-pulling that can come along with it!). So first things first, why are you throwing the party? Is it for a particular occasion or perhaps just a themed fiesta for someone special? Once you narrow down the idea for the party, you can start planning all of the other items around it, from food and drinks to music and activities.



When planning a reception, pay close attention to the style of the wedding. Is it a black-tie affair or more laid-back? What are the ages of the guests?

  • Select music or a band that you know people will love to dance to. This can vary by age group, so be sure to select some classic tunes as well as current music. And if you are inviting children to the wedding, it’s a nice surprise to include a few songs just for them.
  • If weather permits, you can create lounges outdoors for people to relax. Arranging loveseats, chairs, and lots of pillows is an unexpected way to create comfy retreats for your guests. You can even hang curtains around them to cordon them off from the rest of the outdoor space for a more elegant look.
  • If the exchange of vows is more laid-back, then have a little fun. Think festive finger foods, quirky punch recipes, and lots of dancing and laughter.
  • A photo booth is always an excellent addition to any reception. People will have a ball making photos of the event that they can share with you, too.



Graduating is an extraordinary rite of passage for anyone who has worked long and hard to achieve their education goals. It is also a proud day for their family as well.

  • Don’t hesitate to ask guest of honor how they would like to celebrate. Some people might want a blow-out party with big, crazy theme. Others might prefer a quiet sit-down dinner or a casual picnic at a local park.
  • For teenage graduates, white t-shirts, and permanent markers are a great addition to the celebration. Graduates can go around getting signatures on their shirts from all of their friends and family for a memory that will last forever.



Anniversaries are special occasions that may be celebrated by just two people or become a large event with the entire family and hundreds of friends, coworkers and acquaintances involved.

  • Make it memorable by featuring highlights of the couple’s beautiful life together. This can be done with pictures hanging on ribbon strung from the ceiling, a streaming Powerpoint presentation, or even a home movie on the big screen.
  • Choose flower decorations and themes related to Anniversary Gifts by Year.
  • Pro tip – have relatives and friends speak of their favorite memories over the years of the couple and turn that into the movie!
  • Get in touch with family and friends to collect all of the images well before the date. This is even easier now in the digital age, and most of it can be done online. The person who has the picture can even keep the original!
  • Play music from each year that the couple has been together.
  • Create a memory book featuring the greatest memories that happened in the world yearly since they met.
  • Recreate the decorations the couple had at their first ceremony.
  • Don’t forget the guest book!



Just as graduation signifies the end of an era of being a student, so does a departure from a career for an adult. This celebration is not only about their past accomplishments but all the excitement that their new future holds.

  • Create an atmosphere that embraces the change. What are the person’s biggest accomplishments? What wonderful new things will they be doing now that they have more time? Traveling?  Catching up on the latest with their grandchildren? Cultivating an award winning garden?
  • One fun idea for this type of party is to have a theme tailored to the year the retiree was hired. Build the party around the fashion and music of that year. Let everyone know to dress, accessorize, style their hair, or even get a beard or a mustache, in the style of the era for the ultimate retirement send-off!



For reunions, dig out those old pictures and create a slideshow!

  • Have everyone talk about their favorite memories and produce a CD for everyone to enjoy once he or she leaves.
  • Even better, build a website that is invite-only to the guests and create an everlasting space to share on the web. Present it at the party with the login information on guest cards.
  • Even work reunions will benefit from a theme: Luaus, tropics, Mexican fiestas or even Western or patriotic themes will work well.
  • Get inspired and have a great time with the planning; just be sure to let everyone on the guest list know (and a few reminder notices won’t hurt) so that no one is accidentally left out of the festivities.


Sports Themes

Sports-themed parties are all about colors. What team are you planning the party around? Start with that and embellish with items related to that sport and team colors.

  • Think basketball-shaped punch bowls, football-shaped appetizer trays and the like.
  • If you have a lot of land, you could even make it a tailgate party with a game on a projection television outside or host your own game. Or replay highlights of your team’s best moments.
  • Don’t forget all of the party favors that the guests could take home with them too. You may consider personalized water bottles, or order special team edition candy. Any favor you can think of is likely available with your team logo.



Beautiful sirens of the ocean seem to be all the rage these days. From little girls to prom events, children and adults of all ages love sea-inspired get-togethers.

  • Go for blue and other soft, ocean-inspired hues.
  • Collect shells if you are near a beach or planning a vacation, and have those and starfish everywhere – break out the glitter and go sparkle-wild!
  • Another way to have this type of themed party is going all out with Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ decorations. A classic in the hearts and minds of little girls everywhere and it is sure to be a big hit. Party stores still carry a myriad of decorations featuring the beloved Ariel, her father King Triton, the evil Ursula and all of the rest of their friends under the sea, so decorating will be a breeze.



These parties are unique as in they can be anything you want. Just be sure to tailor the celebration to the person celebrating the birthday and you will win every time.

  • For kids, you may decide to do a princess, fairies, superheroes or even a pirate theme.
  • Teens may enjoy a costume party, tropical island backyard luau or a beach theme.
  • For adults, there are a host of options, from casino parties to reliving prom night. Many adults either did not attend their proms in high school or did not enjoy them, so you may be surprised how many of your friends would love the opportunity to recreate those old memories.

To be a successful host or hostess, you just have to do two things – plan ahead and well, and tailor the get-together for the guests of honor. In doing so, you will be guaranteed to have a winning recipe each and every time. Have fun with the theme you are creating too; it will show through and make the party a memorable one!