Party Planning: How to Host a Monster Mash

My favorite parties are ones based around the same ideas I loved when I was young. And since no other holiday brings out the kid in me like Halloween does, it’s one of my favorite types of get-togethers to plan. This year, I put together a few tips and ideas for your own ghoulish gathering or Halloween haunt. I hope they serve as some spooky inspiration…

Party Planning: How to Host a Monster Mash
The invitations are your chance to set the tone for the entire party. You should put just as much thought into them as you would anything else. I’m a big fan of Paperless Post for easy, beautiful, and environmentally conscious invites. I also like sending my invites in the form of a poem.

Party Planning: How to Host a Monster Mash
Finger food is always my go-to for parties because it minimizes dirty dishes and the pressure of timing a meal for a large group. Take advantage of the opportunity to serve fun, Halloween-themed bites like these Mummy Dogs or these White Chocolate Ghost Cookies (pictured above). I also have been known to place saltwater taffy, jellybeans, and other festively colored candy in mason or apothecary jars for a lovely indulgence that doubles as food and decoration.

Party Planning: How to Host a Monster Mash
Drinks. Impress your guests with a spooky signature cocktail like the Ghost in the Graveyard or a Dark & Spooky (pictured above). Serve bottled beverages over dry ice or in a pumpkin cooler to add to the chilling atmosphere.

Party Planning: How to Host a Monster Mash
Decor. I like to take classic Halloween decor elements and put my own twist on them. Instead of traditional pumpkin carving for example, I like to decorate my jack-o-lanterns with alternative materials such as paint, lace, glitter and studs. I also jump at every opportunity to make my own pretty tissue garlands, which I first attempted after seeing a DIY tutorial posted by a member. Another Halloween decor idea that I love is idea of handing cutout bats (pictured above) a la Martha Stewart around the food spread and over doorways.

Party Planning: How to Host a Monster Mash
Music. Since one of my best friends is a DJ, I always ask her to put a mix together for my parties. CLICK HERE to listen to the Halloween Party Mix she put together for me. One thing sh;;s taught me is to set the mood with festive tunes like “Thriller,” “I Put a Spell on You,” and “Is There a Ghost” by Band of Horses, and then transition into fun dance music later on. To check out some of the mixes she has made me, click here.

Party Planning: How to Host a Monster Mash
Costumes. When it comes down to it, costumes are everyone’s favorite part of Halloween. Let guests know that costumes are encouraged from the get-go by making mention of it on the invitation. A fun idea is to host a costume contest and have guests vote for their favorite. There’s nothing like a little competition to fuel the Halloween spirit.

Will you be hosting a Halloween party this year?

And don’t forget to give Jilly’s Halloween Party Mix a listen!

I’d love to hear what tricks and treats you have up your sleeve…Share ideas and photos below!

XO Lauren

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