For many of us the start of fall means one thing: Halloween season. What was once a popular holiday for young children has grown into a celebration for all ages. Whether you’re planning a Halloween party for children and families or an adult-only costume ball, there are a few rules that you must follow to ensure that your event will be a success. Before planning your celebration, read Guastavino’s Guide to Hosting a Costume Ball: Go All-In on Decorations The key to a great costume ball is to take your guests on a journey to a place far from home. The moment that they enter your party they should be transported to a distant land, another time period, or a fantasyland based on a favorite movie or book. The last thing you want is to have the “spell” broken by underwhelming or out-of-place decorations. Choose a theme and take it all the way. Hosting a costume ball at a venue like Guastavino’s opens up your decorating possibilities beyond your guests’ wildest dreams. The building itself seems to have been transported from another time and place, and our expert event planning team is equipped to bring even your most over-the-top decorating ideas to life. Make Costumes Mandatory Whether you request that your guests dress to fit your party’s theme or allow them to run wild with their own designs, be sure to require that they wear a costume. One or two guests dressed as “Guy in New York City” can sour the mood for partygoers who have gone all-out to look amazing. Make it clear on the invitation that costumes are mandatory and those who don’t dress up will face the consequences. Depending on the crowd and your sense of humor these “consequences” could range from the silly to the absurd. Our suggestion is to have some silly, non-offensive costumes on hand. If a guest arrives without a costume, give them the option to pick one out of a bin or miss the party all together. They may feel silly in the moment, but a fun costume will give them a perfect conversation starter and keep the other guests smiling all night. Offer a Menu Full of Treats A costume ball presents the perfect opportunity to treat your guests to a variety of sweet treats. However, masks and full costumes can present some unique challenges to your diners’ eating abilities. Stick with hor d’oeuvres, quick bites and easy-to-eat desserts. No need to force guests to sit down for a three-course meal when they really want to be up and dancing or playing a party game. Our culinary team will be happy to treat your guests to classic party food or create custom, themed items to that will take your party’s menu to the next level. Plan Over The Top Party Games While a dance floor covered in colorful costumes may be the main attraction, planning a few side games will keep the attention of partygoers that may need a quick break from the action. While we don’t recommend bobbing for apples, a few classic carnival style games should fit almost any theme. For extra fun, hire a fortuneteller or palm reader. Your guests will love getting a quick peak into their futures, even if it’s just for laughs. Hold a Costume Contest No costume ball is complete without a costume contest. Many hosts will hold the contest off until the end of the evening, but we recommend crowning winners a bit earlier in the night. Give enough time for latecomers to arrive, but hand out the prizes early enough that tired guests aren’t sitting around waiting to call it a night. The rules for the contest are up to you. You could determine a winner with judges, with a secret ballot, or simply go by applause. You can have one award for best costume, or many awards ranging from best to worst costume of the night. The prizes depend on the theme and tone of the event. Top prize could be a gift card or bottle of wine, or a mini trophy and Miss America style sash.
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