Halloween has evolved a lot over the centuries, but the human fascination with the occult and supernatural is as enthusiastic as ever. Halloween parties are hugely popular, from masquerade balls to horror film nights between friends. This festival is one of the most creative, with plenty of opportunities for you to stand out from the crowd by creating a new way to experience Halloween. When organising a party think what Halloween is all about, considering your deepest and darkest fears.
Halloween asks the question: What are we afraid of and why? Whether you are intrigued by the costumes, the trick or treating tradition or the horror genre as a whole, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Book Your Venue
When organising a Halloween party, it is important to plan ahead and select your venue before making any other preparations. It is often best to book a few months in advance so that you can send out invitations early. This ensures that the friends and family members you have invited have time to clear the date and arrange their travel plans. Many venues will be booked on the 31st October months in advance. However, other nights can work just as well – especially the Friday before and the Friday following Halloween.
Why book a venue? A venue will have beautiful function rooms, as well as experienced staff who can help you set up and plan your event. Always discuss what your chosen venue offers in terms of the number of guests they can host, and the base style of the function room will have an effect on any other plans you make regarding the menu, décor and games that you can organise.
Invite Your Guests
It is important to send out invitations well in advance of the party, so your guests have enough time to make travel arrangements and send back confirmation of attendance. This means you won’t be arranging too many or too few meals or drinks and can cater specifically for the number of guests attending. It is generally better to go a little overboard with catering – if you have a few nibbles or bottles of wine left at the end of the night you can take them home with you, but running out is another matter!
Consider whether you are inviting only your adult friends, or their children as well. Either is fine, but be sure to specify whether or not children are invited with your guests and the venue. This is to ensure that arrangements for children’s meals and activities can be planned ahead of time.
Halloween is a holiday where you are not only encouraged but expected to go overboard with the spooky decorations. Don’t be afraid to go all out; whether you are buying your decorations or renting them there is a wide variety of décor opportunities.
Halloween decor can be interesting to play with, and creating your own decorations can help your family get involved. Here are a few options for you to consider trying:
- Autumn leaves, seed pods and bare branches can be used to create a wonderful table centrepiece for your party decorations. If you use materials from your garden to create them yourself, you can cut down significantly on costs.
- Synthetic spiders’ webs can give even the brightest and most inviting room a spooky ambiance; with fake spiders secreted around the room you are bound to hear a few screams!
- If you are feeling creative, making your own table decorations by carving pumpkins and adding candles can give your party a fantastic ambiance.
Asking your guests to arrive in costume is a mainstay of Halloween, and the array of fun costumes often helps to keep the atmosphere light and informal. If you and your friends have a particular passion, selecting a theme, such as literature and asking your guests to come dressed as famous literary characters can add another level to your party. Designing party games centred around this theme, a quiz for example, can lean into the theme and ensure all your guests have a fabulous time.
Costumes bring magic to an event. The picture presented by the hoard of party goers dressed in costumes can create a wonderful atmosphere, whether your guests are dressed as Wolverine or Gandalf.
Plan the Menu
When planning your Halloween menu consider what time you are throwing your event – will your guests be served a full meal or will you be offering light refreshments and crudités instead? Be sure to mention this in your invitation, so guests know to prepare a meal beforehand or to come without eating first. Whether you will be serving your guests a meal or light bites, be sure to ask if they have any dietary requirements, such as a nut allergy or a vegan diet, so that your venue can be prepared.
Drinks should also be a consideration when planning a party. Will you have an open bar, or will you be offering only a few select drinks such as wine for guests? You will also need to consider whether a non-alcoholic option should be available.
In order to plan a party to remember, it is important to set up some activities for your guests to enjoy throughout the evening. These activities can act as a fantastic icebreaker and help your guests get into a party mood. There is a wide variety of traditional activities to try, such as apple bobbing or holding a pumpkin carving masterclass. However, more contemporary games such as a quiz or card game can work just as well and will often create a lot less mess to be cleared up when the activity is finished.
Here at Salomons Estate we have a wide variety of function rooms for you to consider for your Halloween event. If you are interested in using our estate as a venue for your function, please contact us here.