Tying the knot sometime during the Halloween season? Lucky you! You get to time your rehearsal party right around this theme—and plan a really fun gathering. A perfect way to dispel some of those pre-wedding jitters, wouldn’t you say?
With much of the Halloween hullabaloo centering around the yummy treats you can gather, we suggest setting up a grown-up snack and candy table as the center of your rehearsal party. And by grown-up, we mean a spread of wines, cheeses, nuts, fruits, and of course candies! Guests will just love the chance to do some in-house “trick or treating,” as they take their pick of goodies right from this snack station. Ready to wave your magic wand? It’s that easy to set up this festive spread of gourmet and sweet treats!
Turn a Small Table into Your Snack Station
Have a towering “haunted tree” double as your snack table centerpiece and a handy favor display! Then, surround it with a spread of gourmet goodies.
Setting up this Halloween snack and candy station is (almost) as easy as saying, “Abracadabra!” The inspiration for our design was inspired by a wicked forest, while we chose to add a more whimsical tone to the color scheme. Here are the highlights:
- Take any small table you have on hand, and cover it with a black table cloth. We chose lace for dramatic effect, but any solid fabric would be just fine.
- For a centerpiece, stand several bare branches painted black in a large pot or planter, and cover this container with fabric. Position this atop your table. Hint: Any tall potted plant could work as well—though with a less creepy effect!
- Hang colorfully-wrapped bundles of candy, popcorn, and other goodies on the bare branches as extra take-home treats for guests.
- For a more eerie or Halloween-ish look, you can add tea lights or candles amidst the snacks setup and dim the venue lights!
Next, let everyone know this isn’t your ordinary appetizer spread. Offer up a selection of 2 to 3 kinds of wine—nothing too costly, just pleasant to the palate!
For some budget-friendly choices (all under $20 a bottle), consider these wines that come highly recommended by Mary Gorman-McAdams, DWS, a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant:
- NV Punct Genau Brut, Weinvertal, Austria – Mildly sparkling Grüner Veltliner, $16
- NV Domaine de Montbourgeau, Crémant du Jura, France, $17.99
- 2008 Chateau Pajos (Pajos Angtaloczy) Dry Furmint, Tokaji, Hungary, $10.99
- 2009 Kallisto, Regional Wine of Ilia (Pelopponese), Greece, $15.99
- 2009 Elena Walch Lagrein, Alto Adige, $16.99
- 2008 Channing Daughters Rosso Fresco, North Fork of Long Island, New York, $16.99
Display a Savory Selection of Cheeses, Nuts, and Fruits
To go with the wines, impress guests with a delectable selection of gourmet cheeses, nuts, and fresh fruits. Vintage “depression glass” serve ware shows them off in style!
Continue the gourmet slant of your snacks table with a variety of cheeses, nuts, and fresh fruits. For cheeses, offer an interesting selection with at least a couple of the soft variety (boursin, brie, camembert, feta, goat cheese, mascarpone, or gorgonzola) and a couple of the hard variety (edam, gruyere, emmentaler, parmigiano, cheddar, or gouda).
Nuts are an easy addition. Just choose your favorites from among walnuts, pistachios, almonds, hazel nuts, cashews, and pecans! And for autumn season fruits, apples, pears, grapes, and citruses like lemons, limes, and oranges should be readily available at your local farmer’s market. Then, present these all on special serve ware—vintage “depression glass” would be lovely—in honor of the special occasion!
Bring on a Bountiful Variety of Halloween Candy
Not just for kids! Offer up a tempting array of childhood Halloween favorites in a candy display using sorbet cups and wine goblets.
Now, for the candies! Here’s where you and your guests can really get into the Halloween spirit. Set out glass sorbet cups and wine goblets brimming with sweets you’ve never quite outgrown—brightly colored M&M Peanuts, bite-size chocolate cups, saltwater taffy in pretty pastel wrappers, foil-wrapped chocolate balls, jelly beans, licorice sticks, lollipops, gummi candies, gumballs, Hershey’s miniatures, and the all-time Halloween staple candy corn! And for a gourmet spin, you may include decadent chocolate truffles filled with liqueur.
Guests can munch on these treats throughout the party or as desserts. But remind them that you’ve also got pre-packaged candy bundles ready for them to pluck from the “haunted tree” centerpiece (above)!
Serve a Filling Savory Dish or Two
To satisfy hungrier guests, you can also whip up your specialty pasta dish and serve it along with crusty fresh-baked breads.
In case the rehearsal run-through worked up some guests’ appetites, you may also want to have a heavier entree or two on hand. Something easy to prepare like a pasta dish would be great! Some choices to consider? Why not angel hair pasta with basil pesto sauce, creamy chicken carbonara (see recipe), extra-cheesy mac and cheese, or a nice and spicy arrabiata (see recipe)? Place single-serve portions in ramekin dishes along with mini appetizer forks, so guests can help themselves with ease.
Where to buy
To help you source food items and supplies for your snack table, here are some links to visit:
For bulk candy
For budget wines
For vintage wine crackers
- American Vintage – http://www.americanvintage.com/
For mini ramekin dishes
- Pier One – http://www.pier1.com/