After so long apart many of us are taking any opportunity to get together, and with spooky season in full swing I am sure many of you have Halloween parties filling up your calendars. My annual Harvest Party actually began as a humble little pumpkin carving potluck with my friends, and last week I was able to relive those memories by throwing a Halloween party for work. Here are my tips and tricks to throw a simple event that everyone can enjoy.
#1 KEEP IT SIMPLE!
Pinterest and social media tend to lead us to expect more of ourselves than is really necessary. Trust me I don’t blame you for wanting to go above and beyond, I am extremely guilty of this especially when it comes to planning events. However it is important to cut yourself some slack. Potlucks and reusable or multipurpose decorations will make your life loads easier, allowing you to focus on special decorative piece or a show stopping entree. Find one or two details that are most important to you and focus on those.
#2 Have a plan
Will your event be adults only or are you leaning towards a family friendly event. This decision will impact time, activities and menu. If this is a family friendly event you want your party to run a little earlier and include pumpkin carving or movie screenings geared towards distracting and entertaining littles allowing the adults to socialize. If you are including children you want to make sure you include a few more simple menu items. Another fun touch for a child friendly event is party favors, hit up the dollar store and put together pre-made treat bags without breaking the budget. Hosting an adults only event? This is your opportunity to try out that fun cocktail you saw on Pinterest or try some fancier finger foods.
#3 Start Early
As I mentioned above, have a plan. Focus on just a few details. Lately I have become a big fan of Dollar Tree’s Halloween decorations and their snacks and candy is always a great way to serve a crowd on a budget. Because let’s be honest after your fourth monster margarita or sinful sangria all snacks taste amazing regardless of how fancy they may or may not be. The Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby and other staples like Target and Walmart get their decorations out fairly early (like August and September). Set your budget for your food and decor and start early. If you can prep food and decorate a few days early then you will feel a million times better the big day. You don’t need to set up the entire party but do what you can ahead of time so that on the day of you can just throw together the finishing touches.
Read on for some of my party decor and detail suggestions!
Create a backdrop
Weather it’s for your food table or a photo opportunity backdrops are always a good idea. By investing in a backdrop frame and a few drop cloths or rolls of streamers you will be able to have the makings a a perfect backdrop for any occasion. If you need a little inspiration milkandconfetti.com is one of my favorite blogs. Not feeling up to the task, Etsy also sells great kits to take the guesswork and planning out of it.
My Backdrop Shopping List
I love to use PicMonkey & Mailchimp whenever I can. Both sites have a ton of services and templates that are free of charge. Below is an example of the invite I used for this year’s office Halloween party. I designed the invite mostly in PicMonkey then exported to Mailchimp where I was able to create an email layout exactly as I wanted it and export it as an HTML which can then be sent out as an email. If exported in another format such as a png or jpeg you can send the image out as a text or upload to your facebook event page. This saves the cost of a paper invite while still making a bit of an official party announcement.
Small groups like a Halloween themed girls night makes it a little easier to do a fancy themed cocktail, but if you are working with larger groups then you would be better off with a punch of some sort that can be pre-made and self served without any extra steps. Serve up in a fun dispenser and halloween themed cups or throw in some plastic eyeballs to up the creep factor! Im really big on themed dishes so I tend to put my focus on those, allowing hem to serve as a decorative piece that I can use time and time again.
Shop out of season
If you have the space to store the supplies, buy up all your wishlist items in November and December when they are on clearance for next years party! The more items you can reuse the better if you plan to make this an annual event.
If you aren’t hosting the party check in with your friend few days before the event. Offer to make something, pick up some shopping or at the very least bring a host gift. As someone who hosts a ton of events this goes a long way. I always need someone to pick up more ice on their way or an extra bottle of wine either saves the day when you run out or is appreciated a few days later after clean up has finally been completed. But my favorite offer of all time is when my friends text me to let me know they have cleared the whole day and would love to come early and lend a hand with set up. I get a little frantic in the final hours and having an extra set of hands that I can delegate little tasks to is a game changer.
My favorite Host gift this year? Gran Agave Ghost Edition Reposado Tequila
I hope this helps you with your upcoming celebrations. Remember! KEEP IT SIMPLE, have a plan, and start early. Bonus tip-take the offer of help, don’t overwhelm yourself, you are just one person. And most important of all, HAVE FUN!
Foodie & Craft Pro