The first gathering that Jax and I are blogging about is a Samhain dinner party. This is an annual gathering complete with a multi-course meal, wine and costumes. This is the first year, however, that we will incorporate overt pagan elements into the event. All of our friends know we are pagan, but this will be the first time we will wear our pagan hearts on our sleeves and throw a party that is more Samhain than secular. [Note: A discussion of what pagan elements we will include, as well as how, will be in another blog!]

Oz: We should figure out what kinda deal this is. I mean, is it a-a gathering, a shindig or a hootenanny?

Cordelia: What’s the difference?

-Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Episode 3.2 Dead Man’s Party

When Jax and I plan a party, our first consideration is scale. How big do we want the shindig to be? That depends largely on two things: (1) budget and (2) space. We are fortunate (or rather I am fortunate!) in that Jax and her Super Spouse have hosted dinner parties for a number of years. They have a budget in mind, but I’ll be adding to it this year, which will allow us to do something extra cool. What do you say, Jax? Where should I spend my monetary efforts? If you are trying to decide on a budget, we recommend selecting an amount that won’t place you in financial straits while meeting your main objective (be it food, décor, theme, music, etc.).

In regards to space, I am also riding on the coattails of Jax and Super Spouse because they also have a Super House, designed with entertaining in mind. The formal sitting area and the dining area are joined by an open arch; these areas combined will serve as the dining area. We will serve dessert in the upstairs movie room, a space that is better suited to mingling. We don’t expect everyone will be in one place for the dessert portion of the evening; friends will be free to roam about Super House.

Deciding whom to invite is a difficult task because seating is limited (as is the budget), but our circle of friends is wide. On the one hand, there is precedent for those who have been invited in the past. On the other, we would like to include other friends in our Samhain celebration. Since this is our first “pagan princess” event, we have decided to invite friends we know well and who will likely be comfortable giving us constructive feedback on their “guest experience.” We have also decided to ask the event be “adults only.” Our friends have wee ones, whom we love and adore, but we’d like to give the parental units a chance to kick up their heels. We anticipate a time when we add a kids’ table to our celebrations, but we are not there just yet.