We love parties here at Tiny Prints, including all of the details that go into making a party successful. With so many elements contributing to an event, there’s no wonder you need to stay organized and have fun when you’re putting it all together.

To help us navigate our way around party-planning, we have Courtney of Pizzazzerie with us to answer some helpful questions! Read on to see her recommendations for putting together parties, and enter our giveaway to win a set of 25 party invitations and your very own copy of her new book, Push-Up Pops! Comment on this post with your own party tip and we’ll select one winner randomly on Tuesday, April 3rd.*

How do you like to organize your tasks when planning a party? When I start to plan a party, I always break it down into décor, paper goods and food. It helps me to divide it so the party planning isn’t an overwhelming process but instead, a fun one! Usually, I choose décor first (based on colors, theme, type of celebration). Then, I look for invitations, place cards, food cards, cupcake toppers, etc. This way, they match perfectly with décor. Lastly, I plan out a fun menu to pair with the party.

Where do you find your inspiration when creating parties? Inspiration can come from just about anywhere. I read a lot of blogs and magazines where my fellow party lovers create amazing, detailed celebrations. I also like to get inspiration from the fabric store. I absolutely love patterns and colors, and I always create my own table coverings from fabric. Invitation shopping definitely gives me inspiration too—especially all the cute designs at Tiny Prints!

What kind of foods do you like to serve at parties? Easy-to-eat foods are a must. Unless you’re hosting a dinner party, bite-size foods that can be eaten while mixing and mingling will lend themselves to the best atmosphere for your party. I love to take regular dinner foods and turn them into mini treats (think sliders, taco bites, mini sandwiches). Sweet treats are always a must at any party I host. Unless I serve a cake, my “mini” theme continues with baby cupcakes, mini pies, whoopee pies, and of course—push-up pops!

What is a tip for keeping guests entertained throughout the party? To keep guests entertained throughout the party, set up lots of “DIY” bars. Serving cocktails? Instead of making them yourself in the kitchen, incorporate the bar into the party by setting up an array of mixers, stirrers, fruit and alcohol on a side console table for a make-your-own-cocktail bar. Same thing with treats! An ice cream sundae bar, make your own cupcake bar, etc! These are great ways to keep guests entertained. Also, music and lighting are important so be sure you don’t forget those either.

What is your favorite party theme that you’ve done in the past? My favorite them I’ve hosted was and Alice in Wonderland  first birthday party. The bright colors, whimsical décor, and childlike nature of the party made it so charming to plan. We had a lot of fun designing custom cookies and gave out mini alarm clocks as favors. It was a darling party.

Can you tell us your top three dos and don’ts when planning a party?

DON’T get overwhelmed by the styled parties you see on blogs or in magazines. Use them for ideas and inspiration, but do not feel like your party has to be absolutely perfect. Your guests will be thrilled to attend!

DO hand out favors. They give the guest a sweet little ending to the party (whether it’s a sweet treat or just a little gift). You don’t have to spend a lot either (think cookies, mini doughnuts, little toys, cute trinkets, etc).

DO take pictures before guests arrive! The worst thing in the world as a hostess is to try to take pictures of my tables during a party when purses have toppled on the place settings and food has been munched on. Take it before so you won’t miss a thing!

*Leave a comment below with your party planning tip. One winner will be chosen randomly next Tuesday, April 3. Keep in mind, comments may take up to a day or two to appear. We welcome everyone’s tips, but the prize can only be awarded to someone in the United States due to shipment availability.

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56 Responses

  1. Marianne Stilb says:

    I love the dessert bar. You can really please everyone – chocolate, sugary, savory all in one spot!

  2. charisse jones says:

    What a neat idea push up pops are! Can’t wait to use them!! I have so many ideas!!!!

  3. Monica Salinas says:

    Dont go all over the place with your theme. Stay focused on one theme for your event. Its very easy to start with one theme and end up all over the place and then you have to much going on.

    DO stay with atleast 3 colors of your theme and try to match them in foods, treats, decorations and favors.

    Do make yourself a budget. And keep a log of your ideas and choose which ones stay with in your budget and you can even make some things yourself to stay within that budget!

    I hope these lil tips help out and remeber making a list ahead of time helps. 😉

  4. mia says:

    Include several activities and lots of food 🙂

  5. Kerri S says:

    Start early and use the web as a great resource, blogs, pinterest, etc. Easy I know, but you’d be surprised how many people wait to the last minute. And always always have MORE than you expect!

  6. elizabeth says:

    Don’t be afraid to DIY! Many things are very simple to make and a tutorial is usually just a click away…

  7. cezanne says:

    Pick a few key ideas that you love and go with it. If you try to do too many things you can overwhelm yourself.

  8. Thanks so much! Excited about this giveaway!

  9. Vanessa says:

    I totally agree about taking photos BEFORE guests arrive. My party tip is to do as much as possible ahead of time because the day of you will be running around tying up lose ends and won’t have much time to do anything big.

  10. Sarah Spagnola says:

    I’ve been meaning to pick up a copy of Courtney’s new book (congrats on #3, btw!) but maybe I will have a little luck and win one here!

  11. Since I have been an Activity Director, turned Cater, Party Planner/Personal Chef, seems obvious but, be organized, don’t wait until the last minute and write everything down!

  12. Rena says:

    My best tip would be to keep the party decor clean. Choose no more than 3 colors to use, use clear or white vessels, and keep clean lines. Thank you and congrats to Courtney on her book! Love Tiny Prints and love Pizzazerie!

  13. sarina says:

    I LOVE Tiny Prints and Pizzazzerie! I really appreciated reading this interview. I am currently planning my sons first birthday and although I am loving every minute, it can be overwhelming seeing all the party perfection out there!! I really appreciate the tip about taking pictures before the guests arrive…I always forget that little tid bit and then I have no beautiful pictures to admire after all the fun is over.
    Thanks again!!

  14. Rochel S says:

    Write everything down! And make lists to organize everything so you dont forget!!

  15. Bianca Hammond says:

    Use printed baking cups/cupcake cups for candys in a candybar or to add to the table.

  16. Mary says:

    Delegate!! For my son’s birthday parties, I always task some of our close family members with bringing certain items or taking care of tasks (like my dad will do the BBQing), so that I don’t do EVERYTHING myself and I get to actually enjoy the party!

  17. Iisha B says:

    When making punch take some of the juice used in the punch and make ice cubes that way your punch doesn’t get watered down =D

  18. shiori says:

    I plan everything out first (with a slew of lists). It works out well for me. Even though it doesn’t happen often, I like to plan ahead of time.

  19. Brittany Fitch says:

    When I plan any type of party I always organize my tasks into when I am going to make, buy, and do everything. Then I do each task in order of what needs to be done first. I also make a list of ideas for the party and add to it when I think of another possability. When I can’t think of an idea for a part of the party I look up ideas online.

  20. Kristin says:

    I like to base parties on colors more than themes. It’s usually pretty easy to find solid color party supplies at discount places, then splurge on a couple specialty items from places like sweet lulu to make it special. The book looks awesome, congrats to Courtney!

  21. Samantha Edu says:

    My biggest tip is to plan early!!!

  22. When I plan a party, I start purchasing supplies a couple of months in advance. This spreads the party cost out so that you can do more for your party. It also lightens the load of to-dos during party week.

  23. JusikaRenae says:

    Stick to the theme and do not throw others in.

  24. Pingback: Party Planning with Pizzazzerie – The Tiny Prints Blog | Printing Invitations

  25. Elizabeth says:

    I like to use Pinterest and add little details, to make the dinner party a great success!

  26. Diana says:

    Don’t procrastinate, Also have fun activities that both kids and adults can enjoy!

  27. Amy says:

    I always plan Months in advance, have a list of Everything from A to Z. I always look for that 1 SPECIAL THING to MAKE THAT PARTY SHINE!!!! My Children always look forward to “WHAT TYPE of PARTY” can I have this year. I am very organized, have everything down to the T and on that special Day, you can see the Magic Unfold in front of their Very Eyes and I know that I have done My Job!

  28. Emily L says:

    Have food and entertainment for the kids. Do not forget about allergies and vegetarians. What a great giveaway.

  29. Jolene says:

    I love using bite-sized foods for entertaining. Not only are they perfect size for eating and mingling, but they’re also cute and fun!! You can even set up a topping bar and have guests create their own bite-size treat, starting with a base of puff pastry, phyllo cups, whatever! set out cheese, spreads, diced veggies, salsas, and dips, whatever fits your theme!
    It saves you the trouble to making tons of mini-bites and everyone can customize, it can even be a great conversation piece!

  30. Gina says:

    I like to make a list of everything I need, I begin purchasing supplies ASAP the more DIY I think the better! Don’t forget that every personal touch you make for the party is useally the most remembered after the party is over

  31. jeannine s says:

    Make lists and time table..stick to them. It is easier

  32. amy wright says:

    the best parties are in the details. attention to detail makes all the difference. you dont have to have or spend a million dollars to have a fabulous party. a little bit of effort goes a long way in saving money. the more fun you are having the more fun your guests will have. if you are frazzled and running around crazy – they will notice and be stressed for you 🙂

  33. Cindy says:

    I like to involve all the guests in an event. For example when my husband was hired on the fire department I threw a suprise party and asked all the guests to write on a slip of paper one of the top 10 reasons he would make a good firefighter. I’ve saved all those answers and plan to use them for his retirment party too. The answers will be scattered througout the pages of a scrapbook I’ve made collecting newspaper articles and accolades of his career.

  34. Christie patschke says:

    I love Pinterest for party ideas! I start planning my kids birthdays a few months in advance..and I love to make my own party favor bags to match my party theme.

  35. Lindsey Wilson says:

    Do have an awesome theme. Do have a set budget. Don’t wait til last minute to purchase that cake stand from Home Goods because chances are it is already gone!

  36. Jodi says:

    One word – Pinterest! There are so many great party ideas out there! Most of the sweet details for my daughter’s first birthday party were found by scouring Pinterest. I especially love to check out what the owner of Shop Sweet Lulu finds, then purchase tasteful decorations from her online store.

  37. Brittney Reader says:

    Always make sure there is enough food for everyone!! Including the adults! You can also find great ideas and prices online for decorations!!! Look in advance though and know what theme you want and stick with it!

  38. Alicia says:

    Using a color scheme helps parties have move than just one color yet still have sophistication.

  39. Katie Casey says:

    One thing I’ve learned about planning parties is to always plan ahead and leave yourself enough time to get ready the day of so you’re not stressed out!

  40. Mandi says:

    If your like me, and most people, you fret over the details. Making list help keep you on track and help you remember everything you need to do so you have time to worry about the small stuff.

  41. Amanda says:

    I believe it is helpful to have a couple of hosts so then you can share the cost and the planning. Makes it a lot easier!

  42. Julie R says:

    I love hosting a party with finger food and variety of dessert~ I usually search online, look at variety of books to brainstorm 😉

  43. Cathy says:

    If planning an outdoor party at a recreation park, make sure that you have a back-up space reserved. Weather can be so unpredictable!

  44. my biggest party tips:
    Research! Blogs, pinterest, etc.
    Find a theme then keep it simple!
    Delegate and make sure everyone knows their priority!

  45. Suzanne says:

    Depending on your theme for a kids party. You can incorporate a craft or item that the guests can use at the party then take home as a favor. For example, squirt guns or buy lots of inexpensive flip flops for a pool party and the kids can decorate them with fabric ties, etc. return the sizes you didn’t use. Also, give out as many jobs to helpers as you can so not to be overwhelmed with all the work.

  46. Lauren says:

    To-do lists. To-do lists. To-do lists!!!!!!!

  47. Elain Ponce De Leon says:

    i’m a huge fan of Pizzazzerie and Tiny Prints! My party planning tip would be to plan and organize so that you allocate enough time for yourself to make the decor, favors, and anything else that you will make for the party.

  48. GoodieTins says:

    Best tip is to be organized. Keep notes with numbers of all vendors and times of when everything should happen. Tuern everything into a checklist so you can keep track and cross of things as soon as they are done.

  49. Daniela says:

    Pick a theme and plan in advance. That way you can find great stuff on sale or clearance and stay on a budget. Take a lot of pictures!

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