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Party Ideas, Tips, and Trade Secrets

By an Award-Winning Professional Party Planner

learn how to plan your next party like a pro


If you're tired of the same old clichéd party ideas, and are looking for something more inspiring or just a little bit different, this site is packed with original and creative party ideas.

I'm Matt James, an award-winning professional event planner. I've produced events for a number of celebrities, including Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, Stella McCartney, Kevin Spacey, David LaChapelle, John Waters, Elvis Costello and Diana Krall, and a range of brands, corporations, and charity clients, including Canon, Barbie, Montblanc, Chopard, Credit Suisse, Christie's, Selfridges, and The Red Cross. (Read More)

On this site I'll share professional tips, advice, and trade secrets—that anyone can do—in order to add some creative touches to your party or celebration; whatever your budget.

matt james

Tips & Trade Secrets

Plan Your Party Like a Pro

Check out the 'Tips' section of this site where I'll share some simple tricks and trade secrets used by professional event planners to help you:

  • Create unusual & attention-grabbing party invitations
  • Learn food presentation tricks used by professional caterers
  • Style dessert tables like a professional party planner
  • Pick tasteful & sophisticated party decorations
  • Transform tired old buffets into modern food stations
  • Serve stylish looking party drinks

If you're fed up trying to recreate all those immaculately-styled parties you see on Pinterest (and wondering why yours turn out more like a 3rd grade arts & crafts project!), then be sure to check out these tips.

buffet table ideas

Kid's Parties

You Don't Have to be Martha Stewart

The purpose of this site is to show you the most creative way to use regular, store-bought party supplies that can be found online.

Not everyone has the craft skills of Martha Stewart, or the time to spend all day with a glue gun making things from scratch. It's fine to use store-bought decorations and supplies—as long as you know the right ones to choose, what to avoid, and the best way to put them altogether.

Party themes include:

  • Star Wars
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Carnival
  • Sesame Street / Elmo
  • Superheroes

And lots more!

alice in wonderland party ideas

Adult Parties

Avoid the obvious!

When it comes to milestone birthdays and other adult parties, it's so easy to fall back on all the obvious ideas and rely on those cheap and tacky decorations with '50 Blows!' or 'Over the Hill' printed on them.

My advice is to avoid that approach and strive to make adult birthdays—especially milestone parties—as personal and meaningful as possible.

Check out the adults section of this site for:

  • Milestone birthday party ideas tailored to the honoree
  • Ways to style food, drink, and decorations for a milestone birthday
  • Alternative celebration ideas; group activities & experiences
  • Funny & unusual party themes
  • Creative party invitation ideas


50th birthday party ideas

Fantastic Finds

Keep Up With My Latest Ideas

Follow me on Facebook or Pinterest for new party ideas, including:

  • New trends
  • Inspiring ideas from professional events
  • Party food & drink recipes
  • Discount coupons & special offers
  • Fantastic finds


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  • Party Ideas, Tips, and Trade Secrets

    by an award-winning professional party planner