From Masquerade Balls and Ghouls Night In to Boos and Booze and Hallow-wine tasting parties, Halloween has always been a time for festivity and creativity – especially when it comes to party planning. It’s the mix of my two passions: ingenuity and planning – and the perfect holiday to let my imagination run wild.
Although this year’s Halloween parties may look different from those of years’ passed – with all the social distancing restrictions in place – you can still safely celebrate the holiday. In lieu of hosting an elaborate Halloween bash this year, consider planning your spooktacular soiree’ in a more intimate setting.
Here’s a few fab-boo-lous ideas to help you host an intimate social celebration for Halloween – without sacrificing style and sophistication. Prepare to impress guests with a variety of inventive inspirations to eat, drink and be scary!
Have a Theme: Themes aid in the support of defining your event and gives guests a sense of the overall vibe. A popular in-season theme for Halloween is “Spooktacular Soiree.” This theme can be carried throughout the event in elements ranging from color schemes to cuisine. Additionally, themes create FOMO (fear of missing out), and engages your guests to be ready to celebrate prior to and during your event.
Innovate Your Invitations: The first encounter for your party will be your invitation! Make your invitation interesting in design – think about creating a video invitation (that will be emailed) instead of the traditional invitation.
*BONUS TIP* Once you send out your invitation, continue to send your guests little hints about your party to create your FOMO (fear of missing out!). Tantalizing communication builds their anticipation of what’s to come on the night of your party!
Be creative with your cuisine: The one thing that is the hot topic with guests during events is the food! Yes, guests are excited about receiving your invitation and celebrating with you, but when they arrive they are looking for something that is going to create happiness in their tummies, accompanied by vibrant cocktails. Go beyond a basic boring menu – kick it up a notch! Invest time curating your menu and think outside the box.
Your food should tie in with the theme of your event, and, when possible, incorporate food from various cultures to make it a global adventure. Your best source to research food is foodnetwork.com. Also, pair wines and/or cocktails with each serving or course.
*BONUS TIP* If budget allows, consider hiring a sommelier or mixologist to heighten the experience.
Provide entertainment to keep them engaged: As a host, you want your party to be the talk of the town. Accomplish this by keeping your guests engaged throughout the night with various activities. As a planner, I am always hiring various types of entertainment for my client’s events to keep guests moving and ensuring that they are having fun!
Besides having a remarkable deejay (because you have to have music. Cue Michael’s Jackson’s Thriller), have additional entertainment for when guests are not dancing, so that they are still experiencing various layers of your party. Photo booths, caricature artists, oversized nostalgic games, tarot card readers, cigar rollers, etc., are just a few types of entertainment I’ve had success with regarding client events.
For added flair, have costumed greeters at the door serving a cocktail upon arrival possibly giving them their first clue to a game they will engage in during the night of the party.
*BONUS TIP* If you can’t afford a deejay, you can always go to your favorite deejay’s website and play their mixes, or for a minimal fee have a deejay to create a playlist for you.
Let’s dive deeper, shall we? Here’s an inside look at how I help clients plan a Halloween party.
When working with clients to plan an event for example, a Halloween party, I use these focus areas to frame the planning process:
- WHY: What is your main reason to host the event, rather than just to have a party?
- OUTCOME: What do you want your guests to experience?
- IMPRESSIONS: What do you want your guests to walk away saying about your event?
- SPECIFICS: When, Where, and What time?
- NO NO’s: What is that you do not want to happen during the planning process and at the party?
- FINANCE: What is your budget?
After we have discussed these focus areas (plus they are a few additional), I proceed with creating their expenditure list to reflect their desired investment for the festivities.
NEXT STEPS IN THE PROCESS:
Design Board: I create a design board so that the clients have a visual of the event mood (what their event is going to look and feel like.) Then begins my work to create magic while my clients continue with their family/work-life as they trust me to carry out their vision.
Décor: I give them ‘pumkin’ to talk about. Of course, pumpkins and gourds. If you want to add a little sophistication, you can spray paint them any color you want. This is great for events with more of a formal atmosphere but want the elements of Halloween.
Keep it Simple: When hosting at home, the challenge is not to go overboard! Keep it simple. Start with your theme and focus on three main staples of your event that will tie it all together.
Stay organized: Outlining your details, create a to do list, and most importantly create a budget. If you have these things in place, you will be sure to have a successful intimate celebration at home.
*BONUS TIP* I recommend Evernotes (evernotes.com) a simple tool (an app you can download on your smartphone) you can use to store all your ideas, inspiration photos and details of your planning process.
Whether you’re in pre-planning mode for Halloween 2021 or you’re looking to host a safe celebration in the comfort of your own home this year, this guide will surely have you on your way to the ultimate, intimate Halloween experience.