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The thing under the bed
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those that have annual parties do your guests expect everything to be different from the previous year? I have heard that some of our guests are already asking how things will be this year. Is it difficult to change everything each year? this will be only our second year and I am just curious as to what I have to look forward to ? I have a feeling that as soon as this one is over I will be planning next year's party.
 

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for my party I'm not sure exactly what people expect. They are always really pleased with the outcome, but I think they enjoy not knowing what to expect when they come. I keep some of the same things (like some of the decorations) but I also like to change things up a little bit with different games and food.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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This year is only the 3rd year for our party.

That being said, we do change stuff up. First year we didn't really know what we were doing, second year added some games and door prize with a theme, this year we're doing a loose theme with same basic decor - but lots of new stuff added.

I'm always making new decorations, so that changes up every year. This year, we're doing "funeral" and last year's theme was "surreal estate." The invites for last year were in the form of an open (haunted) house, sent out with a skull keychain with a key on it and I had a real estate sign out in the yard, and I was a surreal estate agent (zombie real estate agent) and the door prize was locked in our hall closet - we had a time where everyone tried their keys to see who was the winner.

This year, with the funeral theme, I'm going to probably be a black widow (still have to get a big hat with a veil), the invites are shaped like a coffin with spiderwebs and spiders all over and the door prize is going to be a random drawing of names for the reading of the will, with the winning "beneficiary" to open the deceased's coffin to get their prize.

Our first year, there was no theme. Just a generic haunted house look. Most of the decor is recycled from this original theme. It pretty much is ALWAYS going to be a haunted house... just the bits and pieces that change out.

We always change up the bathroom, tho. It's too much fun listening to the screams and seeing folks that have to have their buddies go with them because they're too freaked out to go alone. :D I don't think it would get the same effect if we did the same thing in there every year.

We're inviting at least half of the guests as newbies this year - never been to one of our parties before - so I doubt they'll have much in the way of expectations. Most parties we've been to with our friends do very little in the way of decor, and nothing in the way of theming the party. I'd like to think we blow everyone away with the effort we put into it, but we're fine if they just have a good time. :)
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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For those that have annual parties do your guests expect everything to be different from the previous year? I have heard that some of our guests are already asking how things will be this year. Is it difficult to change everything each year? this will be only our second year and I am just curious as to what I have to look forward to ? I have a feeling that as soon as this one is over I will be planning next year's party.
This will be our 8th!! (geesh where did the time go??!!) halloween party and all I have to say to you is yeah, start planning for next year hahahaha OR, invite different people each year :D

Last year we made a haunted organ with skeletal organist with a 3 axis skull....our theme to go along with it was 'macabre theater'. In order to use the organist again, we are now doing a funeral theme and he will be playing funeral music. Next year, in order to use him again, we'll change things up and have him playing wedding music and have a wedding theme.

MsM
 

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This is only our second year. I am not sure what people expect, or even how they felt about last year. Of course there were compliments. They only Halloween parties other friends throw are just a typical get together with drinking, while wearing costumes, so I hope ours makes a better impression.

We try a few new recipes each year, a different punch or themed drink, and a costume contest. I try to come up with creative prizes.
 

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This will be our 4th year and honestly nobody really asks us before the party what we have going on. They usually just come in great costumes, offer some food or booze, and just have a great time.

Our props are kind of limited due to budget and space (apartment dwellers) but we do like to add a few new things every year. This year its a mummy, zombie emergency box, a peppers ghost, and I'm revamping the menu a little. With a small crowd, I'm always trying to limit how much food I end up making, don't want to waste anything.

I just care that everyone shows up, admires what we've done, and have fun with our costume contest and the food and drinks. Giving everyone a fun night is more important than the small details.
 

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This is my second year too and my friends keep asking to make sure I'm having a party, but not about any changes. Last year I started with a haunted house theme so this year I'm just taking it up a notch and changing things up a bit. I've added some handmade props this year (i.e., PVC Candles and paper mache pumpkins) and also purchased a few new things. My new purchases make it easy to change things around; so each year as you add props you will create a different feeling and your guest will always be looking for what is new. For example, last year I purchased a black coffin that I just stood by the stairs. This year I'm adding a life size mummy to stand next to or in the coffin (haven't made up my mind yet). I'm also going to put it in a different location with better lighting (maybe a red light in the coffin or something). I've added new lighting and moss to the graveyard which will change that up. Simple little things will make a big difference. I'm also adding prizes to this year's party. I'm setting my bathroom up as a spider room with webs and spider's everywhere. I'm going to ask each guest to guess how many spiders are in the room and the one who gets closest will get a prize....that kind of thing. Easy to do but lots of fun and drama!
 

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This is my 3rd year and we've drastically built up each year. I started with generic halloween, last year did a lot of basic Halloween + Hollywood theme, and this year its a wicked wonderland. I'm leaving a lot of the black & orange stuff in storage in favor of the theme, but I figure I'll mix it up from year to year. I'll probably try to sell some of my Wonderland sspecific tuff after this party and put the $$ towards whatever comes next, but a lot of it is generic enough to apply to many themes - bloody black roses, black lights, etc.

First year it was just bon fire/food/drinks, last year we added shot luge, this year we trade that in for arcade DDR game. I figure each year I'll get some sort of "************** that is different, and I do like pushing the envelope to find something new and amazing.

This year I'm LOVING hearing other people getting excited about the party - every day I get a facebook message or blog comment of someone looking forward to the day, and that makes all the hard work (and $$$) worth it. As soon as I sent out the STD message back in March I had people saying "HELL YEAH, I WOULDN'T MISS IT" and that feels AWESOME :)
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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This is my 3rd year and we've drastically built up each year. I started with generic halloween, last year did a lot of basic Halloween + Hollywood theme, and this year its a wicked wonderland. I'm leaving a lot of the black & orange stuff in storage in favor of the theme, but I figure I'll mix it up from year to year. I'll probably try to sell some of my Wonderland sspecific tuff after this party and put the $$ towards whatever comes next, but a lot of it is generic enough to apply to many themes - bloody black roses, black lights, etc.

First year it was just bon fire/food/drinks, last year we added shot luge, this year we trade that in for arcade DDR game. I figure each year I'll get some sort of "************** that is different, and I do like pushing the envelope to find something new and amazing.

This year I'm LOVING hearing other people getting excited about the party - every day I get a facebook message or blog comment of someone looking forward to the day, and that makes all the hard work (and $$$) worth it. As soon as I sent out the STD message back in March I had people saying "HELL YEAH, I WOULDN'T MISS IT" and that feels AWESOME :)
Yeah, its nice when your hard work is rewarded isn't it? I sent out our invites last sunday. It was a letter from a lawyer's office informing them of the death of their long lost rich uncle and requesting their presence at his funeral and reading of the will since they may be a possible beneficiary. HA! I got the first rsvp back today and laughed my ass off! They replied in the same lawyer's jargon that I used! He even changed his wife's maiden name to the name of the deceased haha Makes it all worth while :)

MsM
 

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Well this is our SIXTEENTH year, but actually we moved 35 miles farther away in '04, and virtually no one comes from our old neighborhood any more.

Our guests have always really appreciated what I go through and I don't think there is really an expectation for changed stuff.... but fact is, we never to "the same thing". Yes, a few favorite props are always used, like my full size casket cooler, and the booby trapped bathroom closet. This year we are doing a haunted hotel them that I think people will really enjoy.

In '06 I made the whole front of the house a walkthrough with frankenstein lab and only opened the main family room after the big blackout event. But it was a TON Of work and not sure I will ever do that again.

My thing every year is some kind of SFX "event" usually around 10pm where the whole look of the house changes. Off with the normal incandescent lights, on with the shimmering green light, black lights, lightening strobes and the music kicks in. Guest love it and really anticipate it now...
 

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Holy cow....I'm feeling OLD....this is my 13th major party! Maybe it will be extra lucky ;) Who knows. I have done murder mysteries, dance/fun, themes.....sometimes I repeat things, I always reuse props...but try and change it up. Honestly - I don't care WHAT the guests expect. They are invited to come for free food, free booze, fun and friends. I have never had anything but compliments, people always dress up amazingly, and I always end up with more things than I started out with. "If you build it - they will come"......they really will. And your family and true friends will just be happy to be a part of it. That is one of the beauties about Halloween....You don't have to share it with EVERYONE>.....IE CHRISTMAS. No competition....just lots of good fun. Make the most of it and do your best - you can't go wrong!
 

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The thing under the bed
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone. That relieved some of the stress even though personal pride is going to kill me.. lol. At least this year I have gotten smarter and started earlier, last year we did everything in a week and I was so exhausted that I was tired for my own party.But we will be ready this year. I have received word that my guest count will be double of last years with everyone saying " ohh yeah i'll be there" or "Already took the day off count me in" it does fel good to hear those words.. So here is to hopefully a great party this year and good luck to the rest of you.
 

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this will be our 3rd year, our first yer was set up in 2 days and very cheap, cutesy decorations but we still had fun and got very creative with costumes. last year we had lots of deorations in the kitchen and loungeroom and it was great everyone had fun even though we forgot to do the costume competition..lol. this year while i have had lots of people asking me what i'm doing and that this year will be better it does sometimes feel as though there is a lot of pressure bu honestly as selfish as it sounds i dont decorate for anyone else i do it for me...lol. this year there are a lot of things that i'm doing because i have wanted to do them for a couple of years and while it will make the decorations bigger and better it's not to impress anyone else.
i think so long as you enjoy what you are doing and decorating then others will enjoy it too.
 

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Thanks everyone. That relieved some of the stress even though personal pride is going to kill me.. lol. At least this year I have gotten smarter and started earlier, last year we did everything in a week and I was so exhausted that I was tired for my own party.But we will be ready this year. I have received word that my guest count will be double of last years with everyone saying " ohh yeah i'll be there" or "Already took the day off count me in" it does fel good to hear those words.. So here is to hopefully a great party this year and good luck to the rest of you.
I'm sure it will be great - wishing you all the best at a late hour ;). I only just got my theme for this year settled last week!! And it's nothing I've done before. I think I will be too tired for mine too this year ;) But that is ok. Like I said, there aren't a bunch of people with deluxe halloween parties that you have to compete with. It's fun, probably free....and you get to see everyone in a costume you would NEVER expect to see them in! Keep up the great work....and post some bragging right pics for us!! ;)
 
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