So all the Halloween decorations, cool weather and full moons have inspired you last minute to throw a Halloween Party, that's great but you need to get started this minute, you don’t have much time left. Don’t worry, with careful planning you can throw together a great Halloween party at home, but if your deciding to reserve a venue, you better get on the phone right away to see if there is anything available! Intimate parties at home can be more budget friendly while offering a safe place to crash after too many drinks, downside is your left with all the preparations and clean-up. Before you take a step further you must decide on a night to have this party. Halloween falls on a Saturday night this year, so you might want to consider having it on a Friday since most people have already made plans to party or be with their families Halloween night. A to-do list will help you orchestrate your event not to mention let you know what your up against, so if your up for the last minute challenge, here goes.
Step One: Home or Venue?- With less than 3 weeks away you need to quickly decide if your party with be at home or at a venue (if there’s any left), another idea is hosting a Halloween dinner party to die for, making costumes mandatory. Decide on a Budget and stick to it. Choosing a venue, if still available is great because most handle decorations, catering and clean-up. Write them a fat check and all you have to worry about is invites and your costume at that point. However, more affordable there are small restaurants that have party rooms available that also come with the works. Better hurry because most venues have been booked far in advance.
Step Two: Party Rental Supplies- Chairs, table or props can be rented as well. You will need a table for the food, dinnerware and punches, so if you don’t have these at home and chances are you will need extra seating, call and reserve immediately for pick up the day before your party. Also, don't forget that hay bails serve as extra seating and adds to the ambiance of a Fall setting, quite affordable as well. Setting up a day before and decorating is always a good idea, there will be plenty to do last minute aside from getting yourself ready!
Step Three: Invitations & Invites-Make your invite list and if it’s a sure thing than go ahead and send E-Vite's or emails letting them know their invitations are on the way. E-Vite's are the most affordable & quickest way to get the word out along with the easiest to R.S.V.P. to! If you still want to pass out invitations at work or to neighbors, there are adorable multi-packs, Halloween Print paper and ideas at your local craft store to hand make great invites…..but remember you don’t have time to get crafty, maybe next year when you actually pre-plan ahead of time.
Step Four: Food & Drink Menu- Make a list of food to serve at your party, you can make quick finger foods that look like severed fingers, eyeballs, spiders and monsters or just plan on picking up party trays from your local grocer (they will run low closer to Halloween so pre-order them at the deli). Based on RSVP’s received you should know how much food and drinks you will be needing, however there are those that show up last minute or don’t show at all. Buy extra of everything just in case, you don’t want to run out of anything that night. Don’t forget snacks and candy, adults enjoy them as much as the kids. What about the drinks? Make sure you have plenty of soda, water and not a bad idea to have coffee for the end of the night. If there's going to be alcohol than decide if your springing for beer, a Keg, wine, cocktails, or supplying it all, if it's more of a get together than no shame in printing BYOB on the invites. Based on your guest you will know what types of drinks to serve, buying drinks now is a good idea, liquor store lines seem to get out of hand the closer to Halloween it gets. You can designate an area for mixing drinks but you will need a bartender all night so it’s a good idea to rent one so you can actually enjoy your party rather than work it! Having drinks chilled over ice and severed fingers in party tubs is easiest along with making Jell-O shots the night before. Over buy for drinks, you don’t want anyone making a beer run while intoxicated. Play it safe and responsibly and collect keys at the front door, putting them away so that the guest must collect their keys before leaving, assuming they are sober to drive.
Step Five: Decorations- You have to create an ambiance so it feels like a Halloween! If your not up for making monsters, spooky sets or spending a bunch on animatronics than go for orange and purple lights. String lights around the area where your guest will be, although a Halloween party should have the appropriate decor to suit the celebration. Hay stacks, pumpkins and cornstalks are also an affordable decor suitable and the hay bails provide extra seating.
Step Six: Music- Set up a sound system that won’t blow the neighborhood away but loud enough to get everyone dancing, make sure there is an area where your guest can sit while enjoying conversation away from the loud music. Invite your neighbors and check with local noise ordinance to find out cut off times, which will help you set times for the party to mellow out. Greet your guest with suttle sounds of spooky music and once they reach the party area have your pre-selected music playing. Setting up a play list of a variety of music styles that keep the energy high is best, program a play list for an hour or so after the party is expected to end and have those songs more mellow. An I-Pod is easiest since you can compile this list starting now while making careful considerations to what your guest will find entertaining. DJ's have thousands of songs available and are experienced in extreme party music, for under $500 you can pick a great DJ to keep the party going and your guest will be able to make special request.
If anyone offers to help with your party…..TAKE IT!