Round these parts, Mandy Kellogg Rye – AKA Waiting on Martha – is a sort of celebrity. Every single girl here loves her and her easy, effortless approach to style, design, fashion, the works. She’s the kind of girl that we’re certain we would be best friends with. Which means that we’re also secretly hoping for an invite to her ridiculously chic Halloween Party – set for only the most fabulous of trick or treaters of course. Because you just know that with ideas like this…it’s going to be good.

From Mandy at Waiting on Martha…Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays, mainly because it symbolizes the beginning of the whole holiday season: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. It’s high on my list for decorating, celebrating and entertaining. So this year, I’m planning a classic, grown up Halloween gathering.

Notorious for cheesy décor, I wanted more of a classic and understated, orange-free look. Now don’t get me wrong, I adore orange. It’s actually my favorite color! But I made this decision for two reasons. One, to achieve a sophisticated look that appeals to those too old to trick or treat. Secondly, because I switch out my décor seasonally and entertain on a regular basis, I tend to collect pieces that translate in many different ways. For example, I fully intend to use the black lanterns year round. And the gorgeous mercury glass pumpkins will be perfect for my Thanksgiving table. With the addition of inexpensive moss and moss branches, candles galore, and a few crows, spiders, and chains, I was able to achieve an elevated yet haunting “Halloween” look and feel without going overboard.

My no “cheese” rule also pertains to the food, which we all know lacks a certain appeal when it is over the top and grotesque. I skipped the fake fingers and dip in vomiting pumpkins for some southern staples, like biscuit sliders, easy to eat black eye pea salad, and pimento cheese dip, of course.

PS: Grab the homemade candy apple recipe here, and the apple & bourbon punch recipe here.

Styling by Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha | Photography: Rustic White Photography

And before we go, I’m excited to announce that the winner of our Recipe Contest is Tasneem, who’s go-to recipe is a delicious carmelized onion and spinach quick bread (um, yum!). Tasneem, keep an eye on your inbox because we’ll be contacting you to let you know how you can claim your William Sonoma gift card! Thanks for playing you guys. XOX