Halloween Costume Parties are so much fun! I think one of the reasons is because people who would never wear a costume anywhere can be coerced into wearing a costume for Halloween.
Be sure to let your guests know, in plenty of time, that they should come in costume.
You may get some guests who arrive out of costume, and say "this is my costume" and they are wearing their regular street clothes. Have something on hand for them to put on - such as a flower lei or mardi gras beads. If you make it fun and minimal, you'll be able to get them to join in as well without feeling silly of self-conscious.
One great incentive, and something to keep in mind when planning Halloween costume parties - you'll want to include costume awards!
You can announce on the party invitation that you'll be hosting a Halloween party with costumes and giving out awards, and that may inspire people to "up the ante" on their Halloween costume planning.
There are many popular ideas for awards, and all can work well for your Halloween party.
One idea is to give out trophies for different costume categories. These are a few examples of a Halloween costume trophies available thru Amazon.
Other ideas for costume party awards are to give out ghoulish treats.
How about something that you might find on the Halloween candy aisle at the party store, Target or Walmart?
You can also give out cash prizes.
Really, anything Halloween related would do.
There are several options for picking a winner of a costume contest at a Halloween party.
You can pick the winner yourself, or create a "panel" of 3 or more people who will disqualify themselves from the contest and be willing to act as judges. (This is a great way to get that person who didn't want to dress up involved...)
You can also make it even more fun by letting guests vote.
If guests will be voting for the best Halloween costumes, have a box set up with pieces of paper and pencils so they can make a secret vote during the party.
Select a per-determined time to hold the contest, such as 9:00, and only allow guests who are there at that time to participate. That will keep it fair for everyone and encourage people to come to your party by a certain time and stay thru a certain time.
Decide before the party which costume categories you would you like to award. Some of the most popular ideas for costume awards are:
There are many more, such as best homemade costume, but these listed are the basic ones that you might find included at any Halloween party. Remember to let your guests know that prizes will be awarded, and this will encourage great participation!
Be sure to have a few extra prizes on hand in case of a tie or for a "special" prize, awarded when a costume just has to have some extra recognition.
Need some inspiration yourself?
Here are some of my favorite fun Halloween costume party pictures that I have collected over the years.
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