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Itching to throw a Halloween party, but don’t know how to pull it off in less than a week? Relax, there’s still enough time to host an amazing Halloween soiree even with limited funds, assures ‘hostess with the mostest’ Bevy Smith, creator of “Dinner With Bevy,” intimate, invitation-only dinner parties for celebrities and socialites. Black Voices enlisted the expertise of Smith and event planner Jamahl King, CEO of Atlanta-based S.T.E.P.S. Event Planning Firm, to create a must-haves checklist needed for a fun gathering. “A good party should be no less than four hours because it will take an hour for people to get there and warm up and lose some of their inhibitions,” Smith notes.



With Halloween a few days away, sending out an Evite is probably the fastest and cheapest way to invite guests to your bash. An Evite lets you be more imaginative with creating your invitation by offering options to add animation, audio, personal images or select from various designs. Invitees also can respond online, giving you a better indication of your guest count. If you want to go the traditional route and mail invitations check out Target’s tasteful stationery selection. “Target is probably one of the best stores that have nice paper that you can probably just print out from your computer,” King says.

Guest list

When it comes to throwing an unforgettable party, the most important thing above all else is the guest list. “A good party comes down to the people who are the guests,” Smith says. Invite a complementary mix of people, especially those with more engaging personalities to help your introverted guests loosen up. Limit the guest list to 50 people if you want to throw a more intimate party, which would allow you a chance to socialize with everyone, Smith advises. If you have a bigger space, then invite more people. “Make sure you have your friend who’s a party starter get there earlier because they will act as a de facto host,” she says.


Now that the guest list and invitations are complete, know that the biggest expenses will have to do with food and beverage. “Nothing spoils a party quicker than flat food and bland drinks,” King points out. To avoid that, he suggests whipping up a signature martini made with dry ice that will give the appearance of fog floating from the glass. Skip menu items that require a knife and fork and serve finger foods. Think mini-burgers, bite-sized cupcakes or vegetarian spring rolls.

“It’ll be easier to mingle,” Smiths says. Place an order and pick up a tray of finger foods at Costco Wholesale, Whole Foods Market or a grocery store like Publix. “You may be surprised but if you go to some of your more popular restaurants and ask the manager to do a tray of say mini-burgers or a specialty item, they will do them,” King says. Make sure to have enough food that’ll allow guests three servings of each item. Budget tight? Don’t fret, consider throwing a BYOB party, where guests would bring their own beverage. “It’s obviously the cheapest way to do it,” Smith says






 If you decide to use decorations for your Halloween soiree choose a theme that isn’t too cliché. “A cute idea for adults is a sexy haunted cocktail party. Decorations should also be appropriate for the age of your guests,” King says. Take a trip to Party City for Halloween must-have ornaments and Pier 1 Imports for unique seasonal sophistication. “The mix will help offer the perfect balance of what you need,” he says.


Karaoke and games are fun, interactive ways to get the party started. Otherwise music will be essential to setting the right mood. “If you’re not going to have a deejay, you’ve got to have your playlist together,” Smith warns. Have songs playing like ‘Thriller,’ ‘Monster Mash,’ Freaks Come Out at Night,’ and other tunes that keep in step you’re your party’s theme or the holiday. If you don’t have time to put a playlist together, ask your favorite deejay for a Halloween mix CD. Also consider having movies with a Halloween or horror theme playing in the background like The Rocky Horror Picture Show,’ Blacula,’ or the 1920s classic ‘Nosferatu,’ Smith suggests.


There are various kinds of costume options for adults, from donning a full head-to-toe look or creatively working with items from one’s everyday wardrobe. “Halloween is very popular for the grown and sexy because it’s a great opportunity to have a touch of fantasy in your everyday humdrum life,” Smith explains. With that said, guests should be required to wear costumes, even if it’s something as simple as a pair of bunny ears, she insists. It’ll help keep everyone in a more festive mood.