Halloween Party Planning Tips from the Pros

Halloween Party Planning Tips from the Pros

It may not technically be known as “the most wonderful time of the year” like that OTHER holiday a couple of months later, but for many, Halloween is certainly one of the most fun. Opportunities for creativity (and comedy) abound when people are given the chance to come up with fresh ideas for costumes. A chill fills the air, the leaves turn golden and fall-flavored lattes replace iced coffee as the order of the day as autumn kicks into full gear and brings with it a night of revelry and fun, from simple trick-or-treating expeditions to spooktacular spectacles. If you’re planning a party for a few close friends or a full graveyard’s worth of guests, read on for a cornucopia of Halloween party planning tips sure to please a crowd.

Dream up a theme

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Halloween isn’t Halloween without candy, so blow the roof off everyone’s expectations with a bountiful, serve-yourself candy buffet, or set up s’mores stations where guests can roast marshmallows over an open flame and build their own sweet treats with chocolate and graham crackers galore. Drop dry ice and a couple of rubber snakes in the punch bowls for added effect as you serve up a special blend of witches’ brew. If you’re serving a limited cocktail menu, dream up fun names for each pretty poison on offer — a snake blood sour, a candy corn cosmo, and a jack o’ lantern & coke, for example — or go grotesque with concoctions like “liquified brains” (actually a white Russian), “fresh blood” (a run-of-the-mill michelada) and “gut juice” (anything green).

Bring the drama

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Halloween isn’t Halloween without candy, so blow the roof off everyone’s expectations with a bountiful, serve-yourself candy buffet, or set up s’mores stations where guests can roast marshmallows over an open flame and build their own sweet treats with chocolate and graham crackers galore. Drop dry ice and a couple of rubber snakes in the punch bowls for added effect as you serve up a special blend of witches’ brew. If you’re serving a limited cocktail menu, dream up fun names for each pretty poison on offer — a snake blood sour, a candy corn cosmo, and a jack o’ lantern & coke, for example — or go grotesque with concoctions like “liquified brains” (actually a white Russian), “fresh blood” (a run-of-the-mill michelada) and “gut juice” (anything green).

Bring the drama

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There’s no better time of year to promote some silliness and drama at the same time, so don’t be afraid to crack open your imagination and think of ways you can turn the party up a notch at the midpoint. If you’re hosting a three-hour event, about an hour and a half in would be the perfect time for a few well-practiced guests to take over the dance floor for a full-on Thriller routine, or for the lights to mysteriously flicker out and a spooky, commanding voice to take over the microphone, directing guests to “save themselves” from gloom and doom by following ridiculous instructions: “Hop on one foot!” “Hug the person next to you for dear life!” “Sing the chorus of Despacito all together now!” “Everybody dance!” In the interest of not being eaten by zombies, most guests will happily comply.

Tricks and treats

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All in all, the most important rule of thumb for any gathering is for guests to feel comfortable, welcome, and able to kick back and relax. As our own founder, Natalie Kennedy, told Brit+Co about hosting a great gathering, “That’s often the best kind of party, really — one where everyone gets to relax and let their hair down a little.” In whatever way you choose, just be sure to give your grown-up trick-or-treaters a fun, full-sensory experience with great music, great food & drink and great company, and you’ve got yourself an occasion fit for kings, queens, ghouls and goblins alike.

Want a cracker jack team to help you plan your next big event? Get Kennedy on the case and watch it all come together perfectly.

all images from stocksnap.io

Halloween Costume Inspiration in Austin and Beyond

Halloween Costume Inspiration in Austin and Beyond

Kennedy Conversation with...Brooke Greer of Contigo Catering

Kennedy Conversation with...Brooke Greer of Contigo Catering