Happy Halloween! + A Party Recap

October 31, 2016

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Our annual costume party was on Saturday night, but we’re still recovering over here. I had planned to share details of the stair railing today, but since it’s Halloween, we’ll save that for tomorrow and share some details from this year’s party with all of you!

halloween shelves

It was our biggest party yet. There were over 200 people here, and by that I mean everywhere in and out of the house. Luckily, we had the best weather (sandwiched between two very rainy days) and our guests were able to spill out onto the back deck where we had our usual seating around the main fireplace, plus 6 hay bales to the left with blankets on top around an additional fire pit and the dining area, too.

Back deck with fireplace

There were also people everywhere on the first floor except our bedroom, where we pushed Faye’s crib for babies that needed a quiet place to nap during the party–it happened!. We transformed Faye’s room into the photo area. It was enough out of the way where the photo lights wouldn’t put a damper on things, but also close enough that it was convenient for most everyone to pop in and strike a pose.

Photo backdrop

I pinned up some black spiderweb fabric (we actually bought and used since our 2nd party) and draped some spooky netting over it for added texture. I pushed Faye’s rug right up to it on the floor so there would be no awkward gaps in the photograph. This year, I set up all the lights and camera settings and then had someone man the camera for me (in year’s past, I took every picture myself). It was so helpful! We have a remote for the shutter, but have found almost everybody didn’t feel comfortable using it–even with instructions. The photos are always a hit. Here are a few favorite costumes!

My parents were The Frankensteins! My dad (who’s already very tall) had a big, square ice cream container on top of his head, platform shoes and knee pads for shoulder pads. The photo doesn’t do how massive and scary he looked any justice.

The Frankensteins costume!

Hobbits! The pointed ears and hair on the feet. These two knocked it out of the park.

Hobbits costumes

Ellen and Clark Griswold! The cat food jello was the perfect accessory. It landed on the food table as a joke and someone ate some of it! Haha.

Love this Griswold costume!

Beetlejuice and Lydia! Preston (the host of our podcast) and Corine never disappoint.

Beetlejuice and Lydia costume!

The tightest pants in all the land!

I got my tight pants on! Easy costume!

I loved this vampire and victim–those eyes!

A vampire and her victim costume!

And although we couldn’t even touch the best costumes of the night, Chris and I dressed up as Wesley and Buttercup from The Princess Bride. I discovered in the past few years, a costume that I can put a wig on with is best for our parties since I never have very much time to get ready.

Wesley and Buttercup costume!

Almost all the kids gravitated downstairs, and this year we hired 4 babysitters to watch them all so the parents could socialize upstairs if they wanted. It worked great, was worth every penny and we’ll definitely do it again next year.

One thing that maybe didn’t go as smooth was the food. Chris spent 2 days shopping and making everything–4 different soups, 8 dips (sweet and savory) and a variety of foods to go with it and we ran out! Granted, only 44 people RSVP’d, we expected around 120 and there ended up being over 200 people that came, so it wasn’t anyone’s fault. The good news is, all the food was amazing and I think everyone got something to eat. Next year, we have plans to simplify the menu and just make MORE of a couple things, instead of trying to a lot of 20 things.

I always wish I had more photos of the actual party. I need to get a second camera to capture that for next year. But overall, a roaring success and our favorite thing about this time of year. Hope you all have a Happy Halloween! We’re looking forward to getting the girls all dressed up (Greta is being a dalmatian and Faye already has her Minnie Mouse costume on) and Chris taking them out trick-or-treating while I stay home and pass out the candy bars.

See you tomorrow for all the stair railing details!

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What do you think?

  1. Jennifer says:

    I look forward to your Halloween party post every year. I LOVE seeing all the creative costumes!! It looks like so much fun!

  2. Alison says:

    Those photo’s are fantastic! Looks like fun.

  3. Thalia says:

    Love the costumes, Julia! I had guessed you were Princess Buttercup from the snapchat sneak peak :) Great idea!

  4. Megan says:

    200 people is not a party. It’s a Halloween Extravaganza!! Looks like you knocked it out of the park again. Sorry about the lack of RSVP’ but hiring babysitters totally makes up for lack of food in my opinion.

  5. Carrie says:

    I know Chris loves making the food, but if 200ppl are coming then maybe it’s time for it to be a potluck event. That’s an insane amount of people to have food for. And get your house ready. And provide babysitting. I know it’s your thing, And do what you like to do. But, maybe it would be more enjoyable for you and a lot less stressful if you had people pitchin and help with some of the things since your party has gotten so huge. Looks like a lot of fun. You guys are awesome for hosting such a great with it event!

    • Angie RS says:

      Yeah, like 200 people is more than I had at my wedding. I would struggle to find 50 people to all commit to coming to a party at this point in life. For a party that size (even with just 120 people), that’s either a team of caterers or a potluck. I know some people get really nervous about potlocks (some poor old church lady here in Ohio served botulism potato salad from potatoes she had self-canned and got a bunch of people sick, killling one of them). Sounds like the plan is different for next year, but I’m still in shock that someone hosted a party that large just at their house. Yikes!

  6. Christine says:

    Even though you plan to change up the menu next year, would love to hear what you had this year!

  7. Kristen says:

    So glad you had a fun party! We had a Halloween party too and people seemed to struggle with RSVP-ing. It’s so frustrating. I can’t wait to hear all about your new railing…I’m loving it in the pictures!

  8. Elizabeth C says:

    Wow! What a party! I would have to agree…it’s rude to not to RSVP. Espiecially when there’s food involved. It takes 2 mins of a person’s life, if that, to respond. I’m curious, behind the scenes how do you have that many people inside and outside of your house at one time? Where does everyone park? Are you worried about someone getting hurt and you getting blamed? And how does nothing house wise get ruined? I give y’all props for hosting such an event!

  9. Corine says:

    You guys have set the tone for a true costume party! Every year people step up theirs game and the costumes just get better and better. Such a blast!! You guys go all out

  10. Shanda says:

    We also do a huge party and feeding everyone is insane so a few years ago we starting doing a main dish – like chili- as asking everyone to bring a appetizer- It makes it so much easier.

  11. your costumes are my favorite! and i love how expressive all the people in the photos were. 200 people? yikes!

  12. Nicole Orrell says:


  13. Meg says:

    200 people, wow! That’s bigger than a lot of people’s weddungs! Looks like fun though.

  14. Renee says:

    Only 44 people RSVP’d?!?!?!? How rude!

    • Julia says:

      Is RSVPing dying? I think it’s dying.

      • Seriously is it really THAT hard to tell someone if you’re coming or not? I say the people who RSVP get first crack at the food and everyone else can fight over what’s left.

      • Justynn says:

        I think if you put an email on the invite people have NO EXCUSE not to RSVP. So rude.

      • Lindsay says:

        I think I’d be dying if I were you and had 80+ unexpected guests! Kuddo’s, house looks great, and your blog is included in my morning routine. Love it!
        -Lindsay Wellman
        From Columbus, OH

    • Katharine says:

      Agreed! It’s such a shame that RSVP-ing has become ok to skip. It’s hard enough to plan a party without having to guess who/how many will show up! If the invitation is an evite with an RSVP button or a paper invite with an RSVP card, there is just no excuse, it’s so easy! I just don’t get why our society has decided this is ok behavior… I’m sure that you don’t have 160 rude friends!
      Great party though, looks like a blast!

      • Elaine says:

        Seriously. It’s the worst. And then people RSVP and don’t show as well. Like guys, people have invited you into their homes and are taking care of your entire evening. The LEAST you can do is give them the courtesy of an answer as to whether you’re coming and THEN honor it. I had a much smaller pumpkin carving party and had 18 people say yes and 1 maybe. Of the 18, 5 didn’t show (without a by your leave) and 1 brought a friend. “Maybe” is the least helpful answer ever. It really means “no.” Ugh. Just RSVP.

    • Jennifer says:

      I couldn’t agree more. It’s incredibly rude! RSVPing had better not be dying. Kudos to you for being so gracious about it. Hopefully friends and family will be more considerate in the future.

      If you, reader, are someone who considers an RSVP as “optional”, please host a party, with food, and don’t request RSVPs. I think walking in the hosts’ shoes will be eye-opening.

      Thanks forr sharing a few guests’ costumes! They’re terrific!

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