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Host a Halloween Dinner Party That is Hauntingly Beautiful

Host a Halloween Dinner Party That is Hauntingly Beautiful

  • By Alexandra Churchill
  • Photos by Billye Donya

A chandelier is draped in wispy greenery, the table is set in rich rose gold details, and a haunted grand piano is brimming with balloons. Now, take your seat... if you dare.

A Spellbinding Soiree

A night of mystery and intrigue begins with this cordial invitation. The dark, dramatic stationery — courtesy of Bliss and Bone — depicts romantic blooms in the color palette of the party. Just remember: "Once you accept, there's no turning back."

Meet the Hostesses

Enter our elegant duo: Royale Ziegler of But First Party and Rachel Huntington of Bonjour Fete. For them, the inspiration for this dinner party came from a single Meri Meri plate. "When Rachel and I were looking at samples, we instantly fell in love with the colors, especially the rose gold," Ziegler says. "So, we decided right then and there that our Halloween concept would be centered around all things rose gold."

And what better place to host such a soiree than the historic Ebell Long Beach in Southern California?

Conjuring Up Cocktails

For the cocktail hour, the empty frames mounted on the wall gave it the eerie feeling of a haunted house. Royale says that it was an off-the-cuff, yet brilliant idea from florist Theresa Anderson of Petals and Pop: "Theresa, being the visionary florist she is, saw them as an opportunity to play and popped the flowers in and took it to the next level!"

Another tip? "Make sure to wear gloves when handling the dry ice, and for smaller portions, use an ice pick. Skull shot glasses are tailor made for serving spooky cocktails, when you drop in the dry ice, the bubbles look like brains!"

Dripping in Decadence

For this dinner party, the décor is all about indulgence. In this vignette, matte black and white pumpkins are seemingly doused in rich metallic paint.

A Sinister Spread

An epic charcuterie and cheese board spreads across a side table. All of the food from Haute Chefs LA was exquisite yet playful, cheese dripping with red berry coulis to resemble blood, and pomegranates and figs halved with the flesh exposed. The florals were a synergy of life and death. "The blending of the fresh and withered blooms gives it the dark romantic, Victorian feel that is in each piece," Anderson says. "I also focused on using darker varieties, richer color, along with the hints of neutral blush tones, with the lighter blooms enhancing the overall dramatic contrast."

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Ready to Play?

A Halloween party is the perfect time to surprise and delight your guests. Take notes — musical notes, even — from this grand piano. It's "haunted" with over 200 mixed black and metallic balloons, and a mysterious cold front of fog underfoot.

Swarming to New Heights

A group of ravens is called an "unkindness" or "conspiracy," which seems fitting, particularly at this party. Here, a swam of mylar balloons ascend to the high rafters before a majestic fireplace (with the help of helium, a little fishline, and painters tape secured on the mantle).

Take Your Seat

And remember that inspirational paper plate? It makes an appearance here, intermingled with luxury tableware. "In keeping with the high-low concept, there was really an opportunity to play with some of the more traditional Halloween elements, but to make it very glamorous at the same time," Ziegler says. Other touches to the tabletop? Lace chargers from Casa de Perrin, rose gold flatware, and natural fiber gauze runner akin to a mummy's wrappings from Adorn. Treats like chocolate-crusted cherry and cream tarts, and toasts of blackberry and goat cheese were served. And the floral arrangements were filled with Spanish moss, garden roses, bittersweet, dried white amaranthus, mist, smoke bush, heleborous, and fuzzy-to-the-touch leaves of lamb's ear. 

Creeping Vines

And that showstopping spider-like floral chandelier? It was carefully installed using Spanish moss and bittersweet vines, attached using fishing line to create movement from the top of the chandelier down to the center of the table. The arrangement was then created to bring in varieties of roses, mist, proteas smoke bush, and other rare blooms. Both romantic and gentle, the blooms blend dry textural varieties such as the white amaranthus and mist. 

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Sink Your Teeth

And for a sweet ending to a spellbinding night — a cake by Elise Cakes. Every detail of this mouthwatering tiered dessert was carefully given a Halloween spin: matching the dripping rose gold to the Amalfi Decor cake stand, the smokey cement-like gray (reminiscent of a headstone), not to mention the juicy toppings of fruit and honeycomb that were featured on the graze board to create a cohesive menu.

Parting Goodbyes

As a thank you gift, these skull bottles by Crystal Head Vodka are filled with the finest vodka.


Event Styling & Planning: Royale Ziegler of But First, Party! | @butfirstparty 
Photography: Billye Donya | @billyedonya
Cake: Elise Cakes 
Invitations: Bliss & Bone
Balloon Installation & Party Goods: Bonjour Fete | @bonjourfete
Venue: Ebell Long Beach 
Florals: Petals and Pop  
Catering: Haute Chefs LA 
Dinnerware: Casa de Perrin 
Linen Table Runners and Ribbon: Adorn 
Skull Vodka Favors: Crystal Head Vodka 
Rose Gold Cake Stand: Amalfi Decor
Design Assistant: Nina Fehren