(Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)
Don't have Hedwig at your disposal to send Owls? Use websites such as PaperlessPost.com or Punchbowl.com to get your message out instead!
Duh, these should be Harry Potter themed. Have your guests come as their favorite Harry Potter character. Ron? Hermione? Hagrid? Professor Snape? Dobby? The options are endless! Be sure to offer a prize for best costume- a gift card to your local movie theater (to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) of course.
Candy, candy, candy! It is Halloween afterall so don't forget to stock up on lots of Bertie Botts Jelly Beans, chocolate frogs, and of course, Harry Potter themed cupcakes. Ice them in different colors for each house by purchasing vanilla icing, spoon it into multiple pastry bags and dye each one a separate color. Easy peasy. Also to keep on hand: wand-inspired treats (pretzel sticks and Twizzlers are a must!) as well as the standard chips and salsa, guacamole or dip.
Gryffindor: Red and Gold
Ravenclaw: Blue and Bronze
Hufflepuff: Yellow and Black
Slytherin: Green and Silver
Optional Note: If you plan to serve dinner, choose something homey and comforting. A pot roast or roast chicken and mashed potatoes works perfectly for your wizarding friends. Plus, food to feed a crowd is always a good thing.
Butterbeer! Sounds gross, but if you're gonna hang with Dumbledore's Army at The Three Broomsticks, get used to it. Here's an easy recipe. (Alternatively, butterscotch martinis would work too!) Another drink option: pumpkin juice.
Greet your guests with a Platform 9 and 3/4 sign at the front door, followed by a Hogwarts banner as they enter. The WB online shop has lots of options to get you started!
Two Penny Option: Bunches of balloons (at least 7 in a bunch) of each houses' colors. Red and Gold for Gryffindor, Blue and Bronze for Ravenclaw, Yellow and Black for Hufflepuff and Green and Silver for Slytherin. Plant the bunches in 4 sections of your party (near the food, drinks, seating and music) to bring a bit of Hogwarts into your house. Your guests will love it, and as an added bonus, can take home balloons as souvenirs!
Since the wizarding world doesn't have Top 40 artists per se, feel free to play anything and everything to your heart's content. Here's a playlist suggestion to get you started.
1) The Constellations - We're Here to Save the Day
2) Usher (feat. Jay-Z) - Hot Tottie
3) Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
4) Jay Sean (feat. Nicki Minaj) - 2012
5) B.o.B (feat. Rivers Cuomo) - Magic
I hope your party is a magical success! Happy Halloween!!