As I explained in a previous post, the decision to celebrate Halloween this year was a bit of a last minute decision, so this made putting together a costume a bit tricky. Due to this, I decided to go with a simple outfit that I could put together easily and cheaply. I have dressed up many times over the years as everything from a tiger, to a cheerleader, to a wizard, so this year I thought I’d go with something a bit more traditional – a vampire. I figured this would be a fairly straightforward choice as the clothes can be pretty much your own choosing, and it’s the make-up that creates the final effect.
The dress I managed to pick up for a very reasonable £20, and it’s hopefully a part of the outfit I’ll get to wear again. I already had the studded shoes, so that was something I didn’t need to buy, and there’s no need for breaking them in before the night. I also already had the choker, and I haven’t worn that as much as I’d like, so this is a great opportunity to wear it again. I kept the red theme going from the dress to the fake nails. I like the mixture of glitter and plain colour, and think they’ll be good to use again, maybe at Christmas time. Lastly, I went for individual fangs rather than a full set of teeth so I think they’ll finish off the costume nicely.
Just recently my fiance and I decided to throw an impromptu Halloween/Birthday party, as his birthday also falls on the 31st. As it was a bit of a last minute decision, it means we haven’t had much time to buy decorations for our house, so we’re trying to make the most of what we have found. With it being a joint celebration we also didn’t want to go to Halloweeny, so we’ve concentrated mainly on decorating the table as it will be a central part of the party, as it will hold the drinks and food. We’re also not sure if we’re going to be celebrating it again in the coming years, so we didn’t want to spend too much money.
Table runner – Rather than going with a full tablecloth, which can be rather costly, I decided to go with a cheaper alternative. The black glittery, net table runner adds a bit of sparkle but I didn’t need anything too heavy duty as the only food we’ll be serving is crisps, popcorn, sweets, etc. The table runner was too long for our table so I cut it in half and was able to lay both in different directions.
Glittery pumpkins – I kept with the sparkle theme, and bought three glittery pumpkins in orange, white and black to add an extra bit of glitz to proceedings. They only cost £1 each, so were a real bargain, but I think they make a great addition.
Ceramic tealight holders – I chose these as I wanted the opportunity to incorporate candles into the evening without needing to buy specific Halloween related ones, I always have tealights in the house, so I’m able to use ones I’ve already got without having to buy anything extra. I wanted the chance to incorporate other shapes other than just pumpkins so bought a ghost and a skull too. I think these will look great lit up.
Paper pumpkin – I’m a big fan of honeycomb paper lanterns so when I saw these, I had to get them. They were super easy to assemble, and can be easily stored after the event. Pumpkins are one of my favourite parts of Halloween so I wanted to include them as much as possible, but I may display them in the window instead of on the table, as a subtle touch as people arrive.
Regardless of the celebration, it’s always a lovely touch to personalize certain aspects of your event, maybe with names or dates, and so a small but effective way of doing this could be to create custom napkins for your guests to use while eating. It’s an inexpensive way to add a bit of your style and personality to an occasion without being too in-your-face. You can find many companies that offer this service online but my particular favourite is For Your Party as they allow you to customize every aspect of your napkin using their online editor, meaning you can match it exactly to your chosen colour scheme. I’m definitely going to be putting in an order for my wedding next year!
Getting together with those closest to you before you tie the knot is important. It’s so easy to get caught up in the festivities and forget about those who have been with you for the longest time along the way and I think it’s essential to spend some time with those people to celebrate this amazing milestone. Yes, hen / bachelorette parties are awesome (my weekend is just a few days away), but a smaller, more intimate gathering with just a few close people really is the best way to celebrate. And getting all dressed up for a small party is just the ticket for someone like me. We put on this little soiree a couple of weeks ago and I was in love with all the little details, a few sweet treats and a drink or two. Pink doesn’t feature in my wedding, so it was fun to go all out girly for this one, with added glitter for fun. We were lucky enough to be gifted some of the items featured by Cake Mart, which is really well stocked for all your baking-related needs.
My fiance and I are at the stage of sending out thank you cards to everyone who bought us gifts or gave us money/gift cards for our engagement, and I thought it would be a good chance to write a little bit about the etiquette for sending thank you notes for any event, including engagements, weddings, baby showers, etc. There’s a few key points to get the most out of your thank you notes.
1. Be prompt
Try and send your thank you notes as soon after the event as you can. We weren’t able to stick to this as much as we’d like as we wanted to make thank you notes using photos from our engagement party, which we had to wait a couple of weeks for as well as a few days for the cards to arrive after we ordered them. It helped for us to write a list of the gifts we received from people as we were opening them, as this comes in real handy when trying to remember who bought what, as you’d be surprised how quickly you can forget.
2. Be personal
Both in the creation of the card as well as the message you write. We created our notes using the photos taken by the professional photographer we hired for our party. We chose one posed and one more candid shot to capture the vibe of the night for those who weren’t able to attend. We then wrote a personal note on the back of each person’s card thanking them for the specific gift they gave and if it was a gift card or money we also explained what we were planning on spending it on. For close family and friends we also added a thank you for the help they offered for the party, so for you this could be with catering, decorating the venue, providing music, etc.
3. Be prepared
I would suggest buying a few extra thank you notes for people who may give you a gift late. If people have been on holiday, or you just haven’t got around to catching up with someone who was not able to attend your event, it’s good to have the opportunity to thank them too. I also printed an extra copy for myself as a memento for the evening.
4. Be kind
You may not be over-the-moon with all the gifts you receive but the giver of the gift has spent time and money on getting something that they thought you would like, regardless of whether you do or not, so it is important to acknowledge that. You don’t have to be too over the top with the sentiment, as they will probably see right through it, but it’s polite to recognize the thought that has gone into the gift and it’s good to show your gratitude.