When I was growing up, Halloween was one night a year, you’d carve a pumpkin or a turnip and wear a makeshift witches outfit and off you trotted trick or treating. Now we’ve gone ALL American about it and it practically lasts a whole month with decorations and fancy dress taking more preparation than the BREXIT negotiations. I am ecstatic at the change, mainly because Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker had shown how me how Halloween SHOULD BE DONE as the Sanderson sisters in the Oscar Award Winning *not really* Hocus Pocus – with amazing witchy costumes (SJP: I am beautiful! Boys will love me!) and overindulgence in this spooky time of the year.
BUT kids, it ain’t just fun, it is also about cash, in 2015 Halloween overtook Valentines Day to become the third biggest ‘event’ after Christmas and Easter with Briton’s spending a staggering £400 million on Halloween related products – and that’s just ME! Anyway, in a SJP way, I got to thinking about how to throw the perfect Halloween party in a marketing sense? So here I am with my tips for a running a spooky party as if it were a PR event.
Max: But everyone here knows that Halloween was invented by the candy companies it’s a conspiracy!
Allison: It just so happens that Halloween is based on the ancient feast called ‘All Hallows Eve’ It’s the one night of they year where the spirits of the dead can return to Earth.
SET THE DATE
Duh like we all know it is 31st October right? Wrong! Like all good celebrations, this guy now stretches out over a week period. Every year will differ so it is super important to plan accordingly. For example a Friday night might mean more people can come, Saturday is a great time but you’ll face heavy competition from others, and you can always consider mid-week if that is when the 31st falls. Word to the wise though – DO NOT attempt to dress up on 1st November – me and a friend tried to go out once and in the words of Craig Revel Horwood, it was a DISASTER darling. No one wants to be the only one dressed as a runaway dead bride in the middle of Dalston.
Decide nice and early and get the event listed on Facebook so it reminds/annoys everyone and you can start to work who is in or out. It is always good to take your costumes out for a spin so my favourite is a house party/local pub hybrid. As with Christmas, you want LOW expectations and HIGH fun factor. So keep your plans simple with minimal travel required.
“The only two choices for women; witch and sexy kitten.” Miranda, Sex & The City
Who will you be? Forget the supermarket outfits and get creative, especially with celebrities like Heidi Klum pushing the boundaries with her epic creations enabled by a team of makeup artists! Pinterest and t’internet is a great place to browse and let your imagination run wild! I recommend planning in advance so that you can order wigs and accessories from Amazon if you can. I rustled up Jessica Rabbit this year and am going to see if I can channel the Mother of Dragons this year.
HAIR & MAKEUP
For makeup – more places and more freelancers than ever are offering professional makeup for Halloween so you can indulge if you want to spend the cash which creates a super professional look, perfect for Instagram. If you’d rather freestyle, YouTube is the place to be – makeup tutorials are addictive and you can watch people transform step-by-step and then pop to Boots to get cheap and cheerful products to replicate on a budget.
Oohhhhhhh my favourite!!!!!! Working in London and especially near Chelsea, you get to see amazing decorations on pure beautiful white houses. I stumbled across this beauty last year near DONNA IDA in Belgravia and Chrissabella took this snap near Selfridges. Oversize decorations are great but be careful spending stacks of cash because where are you going to store your oversized spider all year? I love the simplicity of the pumpkins (usually around £2 per pumpkin), police caution tape (so fresh and modern) and the webs with spiders (also about £2 per pack). I want to go crazy, and buy tombstones and spider shaped sweets but common sense is telling me to keep it simple. Wilkinson’s has the best selection I’ve seen and is great value for money.
Help me I’m struggling with this one! I’ve so far got Taylor Swift ‘Look what you made me do?’ and Michael Jackson aka the BEST HALLOWEEN SONG EVER ‘Thriller’ and Spotify thankfully has a pretty good selection of playlists to set the mood. I once went to The Phoenix pub in London and they played old horror films on the screen in the background (on silent) to create the Halloween atmosphere.
Lols. Well you could set a hashtag to group together all your Halloween posts from friends…but this may be ever so slightly overkill – mwah ha ha 😉 Ensure you have plenty of drinks (add red liquor to prosecco to make them bloody) and leave out a dressing up box of halloween guises for your guests to play with and snap away wearing. That way, the whole world will know your PARTY is AWESOME.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN GANG!