Party Tools

To help you in your party planning I have created a number of shopping lists for food and liquor suggestions, a drink menu that you can customize, and music lists to offer suggestions on what to play at your party.

You can also use this handy Planning Checklist tool that will help you map out a prep schedule for your big day. It's simple to use. Just enter your party date and a printable task list is created for you.

Enter the date of your party (mm/dd/yyyy):

[select date]    

Grocery Shopping List|Back to top
Full Grocery List (64kb) If you are in a position where you can splurge on your guests use my full grocery list as a guide.
Essentials (Concise) Grocery List (64kb) For those that are on a budget I have toned down my big shopping list. The full list is still there, but I’ve crossed out the nonessential items; that way if you end up with a little extra cash you can splurge on a few of those extras.

Every Party Shopping List|Back to top
Items Needed for Every Party (64kb) The following list contains the items you will need for every party. You may not be able to afford all the items at once. Look through the list and pick out the must have items first.

Liquor Shopping Lists|Back to top
Full Bar
Full Bar (64kb)

Minimum Bar
Minimum Bar (64kb)
Having the right amount of liquor and mixers is vital to the success of a party. Just remember you can never have enough Vodka; the party staple for most of your guests.

Your bar will grow and mature to match the needs of your friends. It takes a few parties to get it right.

Don’t forget to accommodate the non-drinkers and designated drivers. Have plenty of juices and sodas on hand.

Drink Menu|Back to top
Drink Menu (64kb) A custom made, seasonal or theme drink menu adds a classy and personal touch to your party. Most people drinking cocktails will make simple mixed drinks but a few will want to make more complicated specialty drinks. Having a drink menu with recipes and instructions makes this easy and insures that you’ll have all the ingredients on hand.

I recommend the New York Bartender’s Guide for ideas. That is where I found all but one of the drinks for my bar menu.

Print out the menu on colored paper that glows under a black light. Most copy shops will have pre-cut 8½ “x11” laminating sheets with rounded corners. Using scissors, round the corners of your menu to match. Laminating is not only inexpensive it makes the drink menu reusable which will bring the familiarity of your parties to your guests. If you add art to the back or the background of the menu make sure it is versatile for future party themes.

Dance Music|Back to top
Dance Music (32kb)

My Last Party (32kb)
A well-orchestrated dance mix will go with any party. Your playlist should contain at least four hours of dance music, but strive for six. What I have found works best for my parties are songs people know. When I first started playing dance music at parties I kept a list and marked off the songs that didn’t work. This also helped people figure out what song was playing and what was coming up next.

Choose songs that have a good beat so your guests can easily dance to them. Try them out on your inner circle of friends and remove the songs that don’t get them Dancing. A few drinks will be needed for this test to be genuine. Resist the urge to include any songs that have a specific dance associated with them. If you do you run the risk of embarrassing some of your guests. There is an exception to this rule and that is if many of the guests at your party are of the same nationality and there is a dance associated with their culture. In this case organized dancing is a must.

If you find a good dance song please send the name to

Party Music|Back to top
Party Music (32kb) There really is no way to know what party music everyone will be in the mood for. You just need to trust your instincts for what your friends will like. A good party mix is something that comes to life through trial and error. Try to get at least seven hours of your best songs onto your party playlist for diversity. Variety is the spice of a party.

Family Music|Back to top
Family Music (32kb) For entertaining your family, a well thought-out mix can bring everyone together. Find the old songs your parents used to play and add them to your music library. Choose the best of these songs for the Family Music playlist. From your Party Music playlist add ‘family-friendly’ songs. If you put a little effort into your choices there shouldn’t be a need for future updates.

If you have a dysfunctional family, a good family playlist may actually help bring everyone together. If your family is light hearted and fun, a strong mix may get them dancing.

Wine Party Music|Back to top
Wine Party Music (32kb) When looking for music for a wine party you’ll want to class it up a little. You don’t want the music to dominate the party. The music is there to set the tone.

Lounge Party Music|Back to top
Lounge Party Music (32kb) The music is what makes the Lounge Party stand above all the rest. It wraps the room in a vibe that screams Rat Pack, Vegas. Until now, I have never shared my Lounge Party play list with anyone.

You’ll find a lot of the songs in my list on the Ultra-Lounge collection. The last five songs on the list are perfect opening songs for your dance mix.

Holiday Party Music|Back to top
Holiday Party Music (32kb) I have a short list of holiday songs that are cool enough to stand up against your party list. Stay away from emotional classics. I lean toward the hip songs from the sixties.

Grocery Lists
Every Party List
Liquor Lists
Drink Menu
Dance Music
Party Music
Family Music
Wine Party Music
Lounge Party Music
Holiday Party Music