If you love getting dressed up as your favorite movie star, superhero, or pop culture icon, you might be tempted to throw a costume party in October. But you don't have to wait until it's time to say "trick or treat" -- a phrase that's been used in the U.S. since 1927 -- to throw an unforgettable affair. The truth is that any time is ideal for hosting a themed soiree that features all your favorite costume ideas. Not sure where to start? These tips will help you put together a perfect costumes-required party, no matter the season.
- Decide on a theme and date: Every good party needs a theme. Do you want to throw a masquerade ball? A speakeasy shindig? A Wild West hoedown? Be sure to choose a theme that offers a lot of variety for guests, as it's best to give them a lot of options when making their ensembles or buying them at online costume stores. The theme of your choice should also be easy to incorporate into your decor, the food, and any activities you offer. And of course, you'll need to choose a date. For larger parties, give yourself at least a few months to plan. This will also ensure better availability for your guests.
- Plan a guest list and a budget: Now that you have your theme squared away, you can decide how big of a party to throw. Your budget will likely determine how many people you can invite, so don't be too quick to invite 100 of your closest friends before you figure out what you can realistically afford to spend. Make sure to factor in other costs associated with decorations, food, music, and venue rental (if applicable).
- Iron out the details: Since you have a clear idea of how much you can spend on making your party unforgettable, it's now time to figure out your event space and how you'll decorate it. If you're throwing your costume party at home, you'll be able to spend a bit more on the decor and food. But renting a separate venue for your party can ensure you can squeeze more people in, hire a DJ and caterer, and dance the night away. If you're throwing a traditional Halloween party, you can go the spooky route for food and decorations. But if you're going with a sock hop theme, make sure everything has 1950's flair. An elegant masque should be a fine affair, while a Mardi Gras fete should pay tribute to Louisiana traditions. The more detail-oriented you can be, the better -- and the easier time your guests will have when perusing for costumes at Halloween stores online.
- Send out the invites: In the digital age, a lot of people rely on social media to get the word out about a party. While this can be effective, it may be easy for guests to overlook. It's likely that your friends and family will be delighted to get an actual paper invitation in their mailbox for your costume party. (You can always send out a "save the date" or a reminder invite on Facebook, too.) No matter how you invite your guests, be sure to do so in plenty of time, institute a real RSVP policy, and share lots of details to get everyone excited about the event.
- Buy your costume: Once you've taken care of all the other details, it's time to actually buy your own costume! No doubt, you probably had something specific in mind when you selected your theme. But as the host, you'll be responsible for setting the tone for your costume party. That means you can be as extravagant as your little heart desires. In addition to the clothing itself, be sure to focus on accessories, shoes, hair, makeup, and other details now so that you won't be stressed when it's time to start setting up.