How to Host the Ultimate Halloween Soirée
You don’t have to be a professional event planner to have a good time this holiday season.
The weakening light of the sun and the changing schedules of the night sky with days getting shorter are all proponents of a season that brings with it some of the best celebrations of the year. The dropping temperature is an early indicator of the winter months ahead but most importantly they point towards the holiday season. In India we picked up momentum with Ganesh Chaturthi but most of the western world waits until Halloween for the feeling to kick in. And when holidays are on the calendar there is nothing more exciting than throwing a party or two.
Halloween parties are a lot of fun. You can keep it simple or as elaborate as you can imagine creating the Halloween spirit, but all that will matter in the end is if your guests really enjoyed your party. Are you thinking about throwing a soirée of your own, but the only thing holding you back is not knowing where to start? Let me help you with a few tips on how to host the ultimate Halloween soirée that won’t soon be forgotten!
- Be Specific About Your Guest List
The quintessence of a party lies in its guests. So be picky about your list of guests and make sure that you have a clear idea about the kind of party that you will be hosting. Do you want to keep the party for adults only? Or would you have friends, families and kids come together for the celebrations? Knowing this will set the tone for every detail, including your choice of food, decorations and party timing.
Your guest list can also make a difference to scheduling the day of the party. There are some people who may not be able to make it to the party, but you can reduce these chances by picking a day when most people are available to attend. Halloween soirées are usually thrown on the weekend preceding Halloween to ensure that most guests are able to attend. Early celebrations also help in bringing in the holiday cheer and revving us up for the actual holiday.
Roll out your invitations with all the necessary details clearly mentioned on the invite. The three key details to remember are location, date and time. You may be thinking that I am joking about this, but it so happens that I have come across invitations that are way too vague. People can’t come to your party on time or to the right address if they are unsure of the time when the party starts or the actual location of the celebrations.
Go digital with your invitations. Unless you are truly close with that person – telling them about a party implies they will most likely forget this information quickly; also invitation cards can easily be misplaced. Create an online invitation and send it to all your guests. There are fewer chances of misplacing virtual invites. 🙂
- Select a Theme
Isn’t it enjoyable to curate a party to create a specific atmosphere? While it isn’t mandatory, it will help you set a guideline for particular colours and elements making your menu planning a breeze, and the décor can be matched to the spirit of the celebrations.
Additionally, thematic settings bring a cohesive energy to Halloween parties, as this will mean that early contenders for entertaining Halloween costumes can hit the stores; thereby adding an element of fun to the celebrations. With all your guests putting a conscious effort to match the theme, your party will be brimming with personality adding even more to that cohesive energy
Select one area at the venue that is especially strong with your stylistic theme. Here, your guests can snap their fill of hauntingly cool selfies for their Instagram, Facebook, et al posts. The bar is my muse for additional Halloween flair, but a corner table or a coffee table by the entrance works perfectly as well.
- Food and Specialty Cocktails
I’m a big fan of savoury food at Halloween soirées because I usually get too carried away shopping for candies and surviving mainly on them in the days leading up to Halloween. 🙂
Halloween food doesn’t have to be a six course meal. People love to indulge in heavy appetizers and finger foods, so steer clear of heavy meal offerings. Although if your intention is to make food the heart of your party, go light on the décor. A few tactically placed mini pumpkins and tea lights can work magic.
Also, a bar cart can be a delightful addition to your thematic décor, making for a festive place to mingle and serve up fun cocktails. To add personality, consider including colours, ingredients and garnishes which resonate with the theme. Since everyone may not be drinking liquor, remember to include a choice of non-alcoholic beverages.
BYO: When your invitation requires your guests to bring alcohol or food then you must be specific of the things that will already be available at the party. Let them know what you will be making available, as it will help them choose appropriately to either complement the food you are providing or to ensure that they do not bring the same dish.
- Don’t Overthink It
Your guests are hardly attending the party for the hors d’oeuvres or the décor. It is your presence and the time you give to them that matters. So it is okay to be kind to yourself and enjoy your party, instead of stressing over every single detail.
Once the party begins, focus on the people who have come for you. Lose yourself in the happiness of getting together with old friends and new. Let the spirit of celebration rule the party and pat yourself on the back for putting everything together and make merry!
End note: When you are celebrating a holiday as iconic as Halloween, it may be easy to condone your personal design choices and go with the décor that it is most associated with. I won’t deny the fact that I have been caught up in this muddle too, but when you let your personal design sensibilities shine through the traditional meaningfulness of the holiday, not only will you have a lot more fun planning the party, but your guests will find it to be unique from all the other parties that they are bound to attend.
Keep my tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to a stress-free Halloween party. To think of it, these tips are not just for Halloween, apply them to any party that you plan, be it birthdays, anniversaries or farewells. It really all comes down to mindful planning, keeping it simple, and letting yourself have a good time.
Happy Halloween, everyone! xx