At my pumpkin carving parties, I like to create an inviting, rustic look in warm autumn colors. I also allow guests to pick their own pumpkins. By your front door, hang a “Pick Your Pumpkin” sign on a wheel barrel, then fill the wheel barrel with pumpkins and scatter the remaining pumpkins around it.
If you have access to hay or corn husks, liberally disperse around your walkway, and light all of the candles you have for mood lighting. Then, set up pumpkin carving stations: Cover the tabletops and counter spaces with several layers of old newspaper, arrange pumpkin carving tools and knives, and place paper garbage bags near each station where guests can dump the pumpkins' insides.
If you own any cheesy Halloween decorations, be sure to place these decoratively around the party space. Pick up or arrange with flair a Fall medley of orange and rust-colored flowers. Fill a big bucket (or cooler) with ice and instruct guests to chill beer there. Serve the food and drinks in black serving ware. Get fun Halloween-themed paper cocktail napkins from your nearby party supply store.
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When everyone has carved their pumpkins, have guests take them outside for a ceremonious pumpkin lighting. Give each guest a votive for their pumpkin and pass around a few lighters. Be sure to have your camera handy, as the lit pumpkins glowing on your front porch always makes a great party pic. Let guests take their pumpkin home or leave them, whatever they prefer.