All Hallows’ Eve dinner party

Intimate Halloween Dinner Party Ideas!

Many people do not know that I plan small intimate in-home dinner parties as well as large luxury lavish weddings and events. Other than a smaller guest count, I really don’t skimp on the details. I create luxury experiences for groups of all sizes! The same level of planning applies for 10 or 500. Whether it be for six, sixty, or six hundred, details matter.

For this event, I created a scary but spectacular Halloween dinner party.

Invitations

It all starts with the invitation. I went to a craft store and got a wooden box and painted it black. The invitation was glued to the front and back of the box cover. Then, I filled it with vintage trick-or-treat candy and some scary spiders.


Decor

I always say the experience on event day starts with the guest's arrival and decorating your front door and walkway is a great way to set the tone of the evening. A garland around your door frame, a floral wreath on your door along, stacked pumpkins and gourds on the ground by the door, and leaning corn stalks are all simple decor solutions to set the theme. Light up your walkway with luminaries. If you are in an apartment building, I still suggest decorating your front door with twinkle lights and a wreath. This just really sets the tone and excites guests the moment they arrive!


I think my favorite part of my job is creating an amazing Tablescape and Tablescapes Event Rentals are the perfect partner! I used the traditional Halloween colors of black and orange and added in a royal purple for a unique punch of color. Patterned orange linens from BBJ Linen make a great backdrop for the black chargers, black flatware, and black and orange water and wine goblets. Purple plates were used for serving.


The floral centerpiece from Anna Held Florist was Maccora orchids, hydrangeas, roses, and black Cala lilies! The votive candles were actual mini pumpkins carved out to hold a tea light. Menu cards and place cards were all coordinated to the invitation. I decided to use chocolate-covered apples to resemble a witches’-broom for the place card. Notice we even used a witches broom handle!



Guest Arrival

Greet your guests with a themed cocktail or mocktail. If you are doing a cocktail hour, I suggest no more than 30 minutes. Plan to serve 3 to 4 hors d’oeuvres per person or make a fun, festive-themed charcuterie station. Always make sure there is something for the guest to nibble on when they first arrive.


Menu

I then worked with the caterer, Blue Plate Chicago, to create a scary menu. I always say you eat with your eyes so we created a fun and fabulous menu. We started with “witches brew,” which was roasted winter squash bisque served in an acorn squash bowl with kale pesto and spiced pumpkin seeds, to resemble “ gook”.


The guests then moved on to a salad which was charged radicchio with hazelnuts, and roasted beets and Gorgonzola to resemble eyeballs. The balsamic glaze looked like blood!


The entrée of “internal organs” was roasted lamb chops, whipped Peruvian purple potatoes, green cauliflower, red wine pudding finished with microgreens.


I always say that a dessert course is an event in and of itself. I suggest moving your guests to another room in your home for this sweet ending, coffee, and after-dinner drinks. Note the new cake trend, called the "Faultline cake.” This cake from Cake Chicago features creepy eyes stared out of the indentation in the cake, and spiders and bugs adorn the top of the dark purple buttercream frosting.

Julia Child said “a party without a cake is just a meeting”.

If you don’t want to serve a cake, I’d suggest a variety of small desserts. These desserts from Desiree's Chocolates include pumpkin cupcakes, passionfruit Pana cotta, tiramisu chocolate “coffins” and brownie pops. All of my dessert choices keep within the color theme of the event. I like things to coordinate and seamlessly run through every detail of the event!


I paired this with a wonderful Moscato di’ Asti dessert wine. Send your guests home with a bottle of wine and some gourmet sweets in a swag bag.


Remember any event is made memorable with the out-of-the-box and unexpected details. Guests remember these forever! So go small, but still go big!


Check out the video from this event that I showcased on WGN's Daytime Chicago recently.




Elevate your event and create a real experience for your guests that they'll always remember. Contact me at frank@frankeventdesign.com if you'd like to discuss your next intimate event.


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