Halloween will be celebrated this weekend and I’m very excited because it’s one of my favorite holidays: creativity always runs wild! Several of my clients are hosting parties at their homes this year and they asked me for advice to impress and entertain their guests. Here are some of the tips that I shared.
People usually opt for the most popular style which is the scary, spooky, gothic look however, you can easily create a Halloween atmosphere without using skeletons or spiders. If you have kids, the spooky look is maybe the best solution, but if you are thinking about inviting friends over for an all-adult party, why not making it a chic affair?
You can select colors that are different from the traditional orange and black. In the past I used orange + dark red + black, red + black, all black, all white, white + black (which can be ideal for a formal affair), or more recently a muted peach + raspberry + blueberry color palette, matching more the autumn – fall colors.
Sometimes less is more and for a classy, sophisticated party you don’t need to go overboard with the decorations.
Draping can make a huge difference. You can rent pipe and drape in black or other color of your choice to cover the walls of your dining room. If you want to add ambiance, rent uplights. This is the most affordable way to decorate and enhance any space (add LED types for an energy efficient and ecologically friendly solution)
Candlelight adds drama: rent or buy metal or crystal candelabra and use taper candles with dripping wax, lots of votives scattered around the house to create a unique look.
Something that I always suggest to my clients is: Add a surprise element, something that involves other senses (and this applies to any party, not only on Halloween). For instance, infuse the house with a scent like “pumpkin pie. You can use a fragrance or oil diffuser or scented candles strategically placed in different areas of the house. Your guests will be very impressed!
Long rectangular tables are a very popular trend today. You can decorate them with rich satin linens in the colors of your choice and maybe add some layers for a chic look. A fun touch would be sheer overlays with spider webs or black gauze, for instance.
Another décor element is pumpkins. I love to decorate with pumpkins because they are blank canvas. You can carve them, you can attach gems or sequins or buttons to them, you can tie ribbons around them, you can paint them… the list of options goes on and on! My favorite choices this year are glittered pumpkins “hugged” by black velvet ribbon and finished with a rhinestone buckle, or dressed with black lace. You can find more project ideas at Better Homes & Gardens’ “Pumpkin Decorating” page HERE.
Flowers also play a very important role and, again, they don’t have to be black or silk ones. Calla lilies in a rust shade, black magic roses, and willow branches can be arranged in mirrored vases, embellished with black feather boas to embellish your table. If you want to add some more sparkle at the place settings go with gold charger plates, and use black china with tall stemmed glassware with gold rims.
If you want to use place cards to assign specific seats to your guests, cover mini pumpkins with glitter and carve your guests’ names, or you can write the name with black glitter marker on top.
If you are hosting a large party, have ushers hold candelabra while accompanying guests to the cocktail area.
FOOD & DRINKS
Create a menu that reflects the Halloween spirit by naming the dishes with appropriate names (like the examples below). Of course, you should always be careful of your guests’ special dietary requirements and make sure you have vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free alternatives for any of them.
Appetizers: Bat wings; black caviar tarts; brie bites with red-raspberry filling, etc. If tray-passed you can have them served on trays decorated with dry ice bowls in the center.
Soup: Tomato soup with cobwebs laced with cream.
Entrée: Filet mignon with bloody mary sauce; monster mashed potatoes.
Signature cocktail: Orange cosmo served with a black licorice straw in a Martini glass.
Serve “vampire” wine with personalized labels at the bar.
Hiring talent for the party will allow guests to be entertained throughout the event. Ideas? A fortune teller, a mind reader, a magician, or a caricature artist dressed up can be perfect depending on the theme of the party.
As far as music, hire a DJ or a live band – The musicians can be dressed as characters from a movie (The Addams Family or Frankenstein, for instance).
If your invitation clearly indicated you are hosting a costume party then having a costume contest is always fun. A client of mine organized a Halloween party at a local park where his friends’ pets were also invited and the highlight of the day was a pet costume contest. Needless to say, it was a very successful event! The winner took home pet treats for a month.
This is the perfect occasion for a buffet with candy displayed in apothecary jars with hand-made labels, or a scrumptious dessert table. Have your guests pick the candy or dessert of their choice, fill bags or boxes and take them home to continue the celebration.
Need last-minute ideas for your event? Let’s connect! I will be happy to assist 🙂 HAPPY HALLOWEEN!