Decide on a Theme - A great starting point for any get together is to have a theme. Don't just think of you kid's Super Hero birthday party! It can be literal or abstract. You can pick a certain culture or idea. Once you have one, the decor, food and entertainment will all come together. *Sometimes the type of food you want to fix can dictate a theme. Americana, Mexican, Middle Eastern--you get the idea!
Keep it Inexpensive - Once you know your "theme" look around your house and see what you can use to bring out that theme. From serving dishes to decor, whatever you can find at home will be less you have to spend at the store when getting together your supplies. *Maybe you have a vase that will fit perfectly or a serving platter that will be amazing. Use those in your party planning.
Be Unexpected - Use something unique to serve your appetizers or have something different for a centerpiece. Being creative will add an original touch to the average party planning. *A beautiful glass cake plate can add height to a centerpiece or a few, lovely stemmed glass water glasses could house some tea lights. Use your imagination.
Practical Fancy - Mix up some fancy textures or pieces with some practical ones. This will still give a party feel but make it also feel warm and inviting as well. *For Outdoor summer fun, use beautiful plastic stemware with colorful plastic dinner plates but with nice cutlery, serving dishes and colorful cloth napkins for a fun touch.
Sometimes just a few suggestions can get your own creative juices flowing!