I love a good Halloween party invitation. Sure, you can set up a Facebook event or send out an e-vite for your celebration, but there’s just something about receiving a physical invitation that feels so intimate to me.
I was thrilled with how they turned out.
Sure, I’ve totally taken advantage of the Facebook event invite in the past – especially the years I wanted to save money.
I’ve also gone totally overboard, like the year I hosted a Rocky Horror Picture Show themed party:
I called these my Transylvanian kits, and I hand-delivered 20+ to my friends. As bad ass as they looked, I don’t think I’ll ever do it again. Houston is just too damn big to hand-deliver anything without paying for a courier service, and there isn’t room in the Killer Halloween Party budget for that.
After nearly 10 years of putting together Halloween party invitations, though, I have learned the essential details that need to be included. Halloween parties aren’t quite like anything else – in addition to the basics, you need to make sure your guests know if there’s a theme, a costume contest or some other activity they might need to plan ahead for.
Here’s the 7 details you should include on your Halloween party invitations:
1. Date, time and location
We’ll start with the obvious! Make sure you include the day, time and location of your party. I’ve started putting only a start time on my invites because I’ll hang out around the fire at Halloweenie Roast until the last friend leaves.
A word to the wise: keep your personal information safe online if you do a digital invite. Consider only using something like “my house” with no address if all your guests are familiar with your home’s location. You never know what can get shared without your knowledge, and you don’t want party crashers you can’t recognize in costume showing up. (You can Google for yourself all the terrifying news articles about Halloween party crashers…)
2. RSVP details
Tell your guests how to RSVP for the fun! Since I try to send my invitations out six weeks ahead of Halloweenie Roast these days, I ask my guests to RSVP by the Monday before my party. This way they have time to figure out their schedule, and I still have time to get a headcount and do my final round of shopping for my menu.
Are you the party guest? Be kind and RSVP to your host. Yes, this is still a thing you should do in today’s world – especially if you know your host is providing a meal or drinks. A simple yes or no goes a long way in helping them purchase the right amounts of everything.
3. The theme
Does your party have a killer theme? It should. Be sure you communicate it to your guests so they get excited about the night and what you have in store for them.
I accomplish this by making my own invitations every year that fit my theme. I use Pinterest to find inspiration, and I have access to InDesign and Photoshop so I use both to create my invites. You might consider using free tools like Canva or PicMonkey to keep your party budget on track. (A friend just showed me some of the cool Halloween graphic elements and fonts PicMonkey has year-round!)
4. Costume contests
Are you hosting a costume contest? Be sure your guests know! You don’t want them showing up in their every day clothes when they have the chance to dress up. You also want to give everyone time to work on their costumes – especially if you’ll be awarding prizes!
I always include my costume contests on the invite – I do one for my theme and one for general costumes – and let guests know they’ll be able to vote for their favorites, who will receive prizes. This one detail has elevated my party from a casual backyard gathering to an event everyone looks forward to all year.
5. Party activities
Does your party incorporate a fun activity? Maybe you’re planning on screening a horror movie or hosting a pumpkin carving station. Give you guests a hint what they can expect, especially if they might need to bring something. This is also an easy way to get everyone excited about the party because you’re giving them something to look forward to – something they’ll only do at your party!
6. The food situation
Look: nothing is worse than showing up to a party that has no food. We’ve all been to one. And, in my book, nothing is more fun than party food! So be a good host and tell your friends what to expect. Offering snacks and drinks? Tell them to expect light refreshments. Preparing a full meal? Let them know to save room! And if you want them to bring something to share, that’s important to include too.
I do a mix for my party – since weenie roasting is one of the activities at Halloweenie Roast (you get the name now, right?) I let my guests know I’ll provide hot dogs, buns and condiments as well as drinks, including my annual Witches’ Brew punch. Then I ask them to bring a spooky side dish to share (which I’ve now turned into a contest) and to BYOB if they have a preferred alcoholic beverage.
I get that the rest of my friends probably aren’t quite as into Halloween – or some of my party themes – as me. And that’s totally fine. I don’t want them to feel excluded, so I always offer up a few resources to get the ball rolling.
Last year for my Tim Burton-themed party, I created a Pinterest board full of Tim Burton character costume ideas. Then I put together an extra card to drop in my invitations that included the URLs to my Pinterest boards for costume and food ideas. Giving my guests a starting point is also helpful since I’m asking them to wear costumes AND bring food to share – the least I can do is offer up suggestions!
And there you have it – everything you should include on your Halloween party invitations this year!
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