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Wow! Autumn is here and we can hardly believe the month of October is upon us already (it will soon be Christmas! Arrrgh!). The nights are getting darker and the summer almost feels like a fond and distant memory. Of course, October also means it is only a matter of weeks until we herald in the most bewitching time of year…Halloween. If you are thinking of hosting a Halloween party this year but dreading the cost involved, fear not! The Brilliant Hum has put together eleven top tips on how to host a Halloween party to remember on a budget. Read on!
- Eerie Lighting. One of the easiest ways to create a sense of eeriness is to stick some red lightbulbs in the lamps throughout your home. This will transform your walls instantly from dull and boring to dark and creepy.
- Smokingly Spooky! Ask around and see if friends or family members have a smoke machine you can use for the main party room. Together with the change of lightbulbs it will add an element of spookiness to your Halloween party games and dancefloor shenanigans.
- Cobweb calamity! String cobwebs are available to buy from many Fancy Dress party shops or card retailers and are usually quite cheap to purchase. These can be used very effectively draped over doorways, your hallway bannister or fireplace hearth.
- Ghoulies Delights. Don’t forget to have a hunt for household items you can reuse and put to good effect. Shredded black dustbin bags and old white bed sheets make for cheap and cheerful ghouls and table décor.
- Halloween Creative. Get creative and create your own scary creatures and monsters with the use of black cardboard and/or tissue paper. Scary shadowy figures such as bats, witches and black cats are easy to draw and effective when placed on bare walls or across doorways, lamps or mirrors.
- Pumpkins Galore! The obligatory pumpkin is of course a must have on Halloween night. Create a pumpkin display to remember by grouping together pumpkins and squashes of all sizes and shapes; carved and uncarved either in your entranceway or perhaps on your fireplace. Add in some spooky cobwebs, lit votive candles and sprigs of autumnal leaves and berries to decorate the hearth or doorway.
- A Spooky Centrepiece. A Halloween centre piece for your food table can be a great focal point. Cluster together Halloween inspired objects and party props. A plastic skull, old hardback books, candelabras, magician’s wands, witches’ broomsticks and hairy spiders for the ultimate spooky display.
- Halloween Paper Lanterns. Cheap and cheerful paper lanterns that are currently all the rage for parties and events are an easy way to add a pop of Halloween colour to your home. Why not buck the trend and opt for spooky red and black or even purple and green to ring in the haunting theme? String alongside some coloured festoon lighting if decorating your outdoor spaces for the perfect Halloween party vibe.
- Yukky Food and ‘Poisonous’ Potions. Of course, if you are hosting a fab Halloween celebration, themed food and drink will be expected. A quick search online will bring you to lots of Halloween themed party food to recreate. If like us, you are not too hot in the kitchen department just cheat! Lots of big supermarkets now offer up themed party cupcakes and sweet treats to add a spooky feel to your buffet table. Add in a bobbing apple cauldron for some after dinner fun.
- Spooky Playlist. A spooky playlist is vital if you are hoping to create that scary vibe. There are more tunes to choose from than you may initially think. Songs from Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, Ghostbusters, The Rocky Horror Show and of course, the famous Monster Mash are all perfect for the occasion.
- Party Games. No Halloween Party would of course be complete without taking part in some fun party games. There are lots of games to choose from but amongst our personal favourites are:
- The Mummy Wrap. A classic but a good ‘un! The best thing is all you need is oodles of toilet roll. A toilet roll per team and away you go. Best toilet roll Mummy wins a prize!
- Witches’ Broth. Concoct a yukky witches’ broth with a combination of noodles, pasta and green or red food colouring. Add a touch of water and lots of plastic Halloween toys for the ultimate sticky broth. Team members are blindfolded and take turns to fish out the Halloween objects. The first team to collect five Halloween spiders amongst their collected items wins the game.
- Halloween Trick or Treat Box. Your party guests are blindfolded as they place their hand in the Trick or Treat box. Each person must correctly guess what the Halloween item is they are holding to receive their treat. Beware! Wrong guesses receive a Halloween trick!
You are counting down to the big day. The venue is booked, the dress is hanging in your wardrobe and the champagne is virtually on ice! With a matter of months to go you may be turning your attention to how you will look your very best on the day. Read our three key tips on just what you need to do now to ensure you look shmazing on your wedding day.
- Few months to go:
Two of the key beauty treatments not to underestimate that will guarantee you look your absolute best on the day are your brows and teeth. Beautifully defined brows and clean, white teeth will both help to define your facial features and make your wedding day makeup really shine.
Allow two to three months before the big day to ensure both these areas are in order.
For perfect brows, there are a variety of treatment options. A combination of waxing, threading and tweezing can be applied by your local beauty salon to achieve the perfect HD brow shape for your facial features. A brow tint applied a couple of days prior to the wedding itself will lift and illuminate your browbones and emphasise your beautiful eyes.
Sparse brows and thinning brows? Have you considered more permanent options such as tattooing? For such an option, allow 4 weeks between top up treatments and two weeks between your final top up and the day itself for any healing to take place, and scabs to disappear. It is really important here to go with recommendations received. The last thing you want is permanently tattooed eyebrows that make you look consistently surprised!
As with your brow treatments, to achieve whiter teeth for your big day you will need to commit to a sustained treatment plan overseen by your registered dentist in the months leading up to your wedding day. Your dentist will need to take a specific mould of your teeth and prescribe whitening solution; to be applied either for a couple of hours a day or overnight, depending on the solution. Planning this in ahead of the day will allow any potential sensitivity to die down in time for the wedding.
Skin Care: With at least a few months to go, or more if possible, a regular skin care routine must be adopted. At a bare minimum, it is essential that you cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin to ensure it is in tip top condition for your day. A weekly exfoliator to cleanse and refine any large pores and remove dead skin cells will reveal the glowing skin beneath.
- Last minute appointments:
Reserve any key beauty appointments such as your manicure, pedicure, hair removal and fake tan until a couple of days before the big day. Allowing a couple of days’ grace between these final beauty appointments and the day itself will ensure the look you have selected not only looks natural but will last throughout your wedding day and well into your honeymoon. And remember, if you are thinking of opting for a fake tan for your wedding day, do ask for a trial run first, to be sure you are happy with the end colour.
- On The Day:
Maybe you are opting for the natural, classic look with a slick of eyeliner and the emphasis given to beautifully defined lips. Or perhaps the look you are aiming for is sexy and sultry with smoky eyes and a barely there pout. Whatever your choice, remember your wedding makeup will be captured in all its glory in your wedding photographs for years and years to come. You want to be sure it is a look you are happy with! For this reason and this reason alone, if you are having your bridal makeup professional applied, we can’t stress enough the importance of a trial run.
Even if you are opting to apply your own makeup on the day, have a few practice runs with your bridesmaids first, test it out on one another, and seek feedback. Consider your skin tone, choice of wedding colours and how these all naturally blend together to create a seamless look. Remember, you may well need to add a little more colour than usual to add balance to the white or cream of your wedding dress.
Placing emphasis on the key elements that will define your beautiful facial features will ensure a look that will last the test of time. Pay attention to creating beautiful defined brows, investing in a quality skin primer, foundation and highlighter applied to the cheekbones to give your skin that beautiful, dewy bridal glow. Avoid the caked on look. It will quickly look very dated and is simply not necessary.
Both your choice of wedding makeup and hair should reflect who you are as a person, and not transform you into someone ultimately unrecognizable in years to come.
1. First rule of thumb – de-clutter. Avoid the temptation to fill every available living space and book shelf with ornaments, books, media files and bits and bobs. Organising each room to have planned empty space alongside your stuff on shelves and flooring in particular will be a great deal easier on the eye.
2. Think creatively. Utilise every so-called ‘wasted’ space. Cleverly concealed under stairs storage crates are an in genius use of available space and could hold a great deal. Over door fabric shoe or spice racks can be utilised for a variety of storage issues. For example, stow away your various bathroom cleaning products neatly on the back of your bathroom cupboard and they are placed in the perfect location for ease of access for cleaning also. Room alcoves either side of your chimney breast offer up the perfect opportunity for inbuilt bookshelves or display cabinets; rather than freestanding units that can swallow up more of your precious floor space.
3. Maximise the space. Space saving furniture such as fold away beds and tables and sliding worktops can increase the space available to you in key areas such as your bedroom or kitchen. A window recess is the perfect place to construct a built in window seat with hidden storage.
Choose one classic piece of statement furniture for your lounge area to create a key focal point and to minimise the amount of floor space consumed by furniture.
To maximise the feeling of space, try to keep your décor clean and simple – opting for pull up blinds instead of draped curtains can open up a space.
4. Multi-functional furniture and utility pieces. Opting for furniture and household items that have multiple functions is a clever use of space. There are now many types of lounge furniture that offer up storage options also. For example, coffee tables that double as storage for your magazines or family board games; pouffes that boast hidden storage solutions for blankets; divan beds with under bed storage and slide out drawers; bunk beds with under bed study areas; display cabinets or shelving that includes beautiful wicker crate baskets to house your various household items.
Better still, with the wide variety of furniture choices now available on the market, as well as working hard to meet your storage needs, your furniture piece can look damn pretty too!
5. Wonderful Wardrobes. Short on hanging space in your small wardrobe? Double your available hanging space and hang clothes together by hooking an aluminium can ring pull over your existing clothes hangers.
In smaller bedrooms, fitted wardrobes with sliding doors are a more space effective solution and sleeker option for tight spaces.
6. Kitchen Aids to the Rescue. Any functional working kitchen needs a considerable amount of ‘stuff’ to keep the cogs turning and the fires burning. For the spatially challenged living space, make today’s kitchen appliances work for you. Useful kitchen aids such as Lazy Susans concealed behind kitchen units are great space savers. Many large household appliances now come with space economy in mind, such as washer-dryer combos and compact in-built ovens rather than freestanding cookers or ranges.
7. Trick of the eye. Use tried and tested methods to ‘trick’ the eye into viewing your living space as larger than it really is. Opting for lighter paint colours on your walls and ceiling to open up your living space really is effective combined with carefully chosen lighting to illuminate dark corners and give the illusion of a much larger room. Introduce a pop of colour with statement furniture pieces such as these fantastic red occasional chairs and colourful wall art.
Placing a large floor length mirror opposite natural light can bounce light back into a small room very effectively. As well as keeping clutter to a minimum on your work surfaces the same rule of thumb should be applied to your wall space too. Mounting a large art canvas on the wall at eye level in a room can really draw a person’s attention and is more pleasing to the eye in a tight space than many smaller frames cluttered together.
8. Lofty Living. If you are lucky enough to live in a lofty apartment or old Victorian terraced property, then certainly make full use of the extra head room by installing a mezzanine level to your room of choice. This could be used to create a nifty sleeping area above a living room or could even be utilised for an office space or much needed studio.
Marquee letter lights burst onto the wedding décor scene with aplomb a few years ago, with the emergence of giant sparkly LOVE wedding letters and the popular MR & MRS letter lights. Fast forward to 2017 and the options are now endless! With several companies now offering the whole alphabet in beautiful illuminated letters, they provide the perfect way to bespoke your wedding day and inject something different and unique into your special day!
Spell it Out!
Here at The Brilliant Hum, we love wedding couples who choose to think a little differently. With companies now offering lots of options to choose from, your options really are endless. Of course, if you are a traditional kind of gal, illuminated LOVE letters continue to remain popular for romantic wedding celebrations. However, if you would like to add a touch of fun to your day how about spelling out something a little quirkier? Perhaps ‘BOOGIE’, ‘LETS DANCE!’ or even perhaps ‘WEDFEST’ for a festival themed wedding?
The sentimental amongst you could take inspiration from popular romantic movies or beautiful and memorable phrases. You could spell out romantic phrases such as ‘MEANT TO BE’, ‘TRULY YOURS’, ‘FOREVER’ or ‘ALL I NEED IS YOU’. Whether you spell out your initials, select something more bespoke, choose a gigantic light up glowing heart or hire out your newly married surname, these fantastic props provide a perfect lighting solution for weddings and special occasions. Beautiful in the daytime, these hire props really come into their own when the light fades and your night time celebrations get under way. Using soft ambient LED lighting technology, they provide a great focal point for your dancefloor and of course, are a wonderful backdrop to your wedding day photographs.
What type of venue do they suit?
Pretty much any really. Available in neutral colours such as satin white or metallic silver, with a choice of classic and contemporary letter fonts, they can look as equally at home in a festival themed marquee or tepee wedding as they do in a traditional country stately home, lighting up a contemporary industrial inner city wedding or decorating a pretty country barn.
Buy, rent or do it yourself?
Although marquee letter lights are available to buy this can prove to be an expensive option. Also consider what you will indeed do with the letters post wedding – they can take up considerable space back home in your living room! If you are on a wedding budget and need to watch the pennies, then there is of course, the option to handcraft your own homemade letters. This marquee lights tutorial from Urban Bliss is a good starting point and should give you a good idea of if it is something you would like to tackle.
Of course, with the advent of summer just around the corner, the popularity of outdoor festival style weddings and the hiring of wedding marquees and pretty boho tepees to host your wedding reception remains ever popular. If you are looking for further inspiration and style edits of just how to use these lovely lights at your own wedding take a look at this boho/festival inspired wedding article featuring marquee letter lights. With ideas on just how to rock the boho trend to the max, this blog post has some great starting tips for planning your special day to perfection.
With the popularity of this choice of wedding décor continuing to rise, and signs of it now infiltrating both the corporate arena and wider events market, we predict this trend is here to stay! Remember though, if you are thinking of having an illuminated sign lighting up your wedding day, remember to enquire early. Many of the top companies get booked up months, even years in advance; especially for the popular summer months.
You have been warned ?
Darren and Claire’s laid back Spring wedding just oozes love, romance and sheer femininity! Determined to keep the proceedings simple and relaxed from the outset, the couple deliberately chose the locations for their wedding ceremony and reception based on the beautiful architecture already in place.
Claire told The Brilliant Hum, “Our local church is stunningly beautiful and rather than spend hundreds on flowers decorating the inside, we knew all it really needed was some simple floral pew ends and romantic pillar candles to let its natural beauty shine through. All our guests were blown away on the day.”
Following their wonderful day, Claire and Darren have kindly shared a few of their highlights from their special occasion with the team at The Brilliant Hum:
Preparing for the big day, Darren was excited but understandably nervous as to what lay ahead, most notably the thought of his forthcoming wedding day speech playing havoc with his wedding day nerves!
Darren says, “I hate public speaking at the best of times, so the thought of making what was perhaps THE most important speech of my life infront of all my family and loved ones was very nerve wracking!”
Helping him through on the day however, was his trusted right hand man and best friend, Neil who, was close by to offer some sage words of advice, help Darren dress for the day ahead and offer a cheeky pre-wedding celebratory whisky to calm the nerves!
The local Anglican church provided the most stunning backdrop to their marriage vows. We were blown away by the beautiful architecture of the church roof and the most amazing window in any church we have seen. With the sunlight streaming through this most amazing window, it is quite easy to see why Claire and Darren fell in love with this place.
We love this shot of Claire and Darren on the steps of the church – their first picture as a married couple! Here at The Brilliant Hum we love those shots that move away from traditional images of the bride and groom and this is such an unstuffy and relaxed image of the happy couple just simply enjoying themselves in the moment!
In keeping with the informal approach, Claire wore a beautiful strapless gown with tulle overlay and chose to do away with the tradition of wearing a bridal veil. Her beautiful gown featured delicate crystal beading to the bodice and Claire accessorized her look with dainty crystal and pearl teardrop earrings with matching bracelets and dusky pink lip gloss. Her beautiful blonde hair was curled and swept into a classy half chignon. Delicate floral bouquets of dusky pink roses, gypspholia and green fern were a romantic and girly choice.
Forever a magpie here at The Brilliant Hum, we were certainly all a quiver when we clapped our eyes on this little beauty. Claire’s stunning platinum and diamond square cut pave wedding and engagement rings are both classic and unique and certainly something of a show stopper! We have ring envy!
We love Darren’s choice of morning suit. Influenced by his love of music and The Beatles in particular, Darren chose a suit which both reflected his sense of music style and added an element of fun to the occasion. In a lovely royal blue, his suit was edged in black piping; this detail was then picked out in Darren’s choice of tie and shoes.
Claire’s bridesmaids work dusky pink three quarter length floaty gowns complimentary to the theme and carried bouquets of pink, purple and ivory roses.
Claire’s niece Sophie was her youngest bridesmaid and was super excited to dress up like a princess and be asked to perform bridesmaid duties for the very first time! We love the look on her face in this shot of her posing with her friend in the Reception area of the Grand Hall! The grandiose gilt mirror and beautiful brickwork forming the backdrop of this image makes for an interesting shot.
Continuing the pink colour scheme through to the Wedding Reception, Claire and Darren chose accents of gold to add contrast, detail and a sense of understated luxury to the scheme. This can be seen expertly in the stunning cake décor. We love how Claire has chose to incorporate a variety of textures and elements into the different layers of the cake. The very on trend gold marbling of the bottom layer is expertly contrasted against the gold pebble effect of the middle layer; all offset beautifully by the addition of delicate piped pink and peach sugar flowers wrapped round the outside of the wedding cake.
Keeping things simple, Claire and Darren chose to hand make all their table décor. With crisp white table linen and burlap hessian table runners and cutlery holders, the décor was kept simple and allowed the beauty of the couple’s floral displays to take centre stage. Lighting up the room and adding a further touch of romance were strategically placed pillar candles and an abundance of twinkly fairy lights.
Perhaps our most favourite shot of the collection and the one we choose to leave you with is this stunner! They say a picture can tell a thousand words…well, the one that springs to mind is divine. If ever an image could convey true love and devotion than this must be the clincher. Your wedding day is a moment in time where you and your loved ones come together to celebrate and mark your marriage to one another…But what we think this image expertly captures is the one thing that truly matters – your love and the commitment you make to share your lives together as husband and wife.
One for the boys perhaps? If you are itching for your man indoors to do the deed and pop the big question but he is lacking in serious motivation…pop this little edit next to his morning coffee and hey presto, bobs your uncle!
I Do Love To Be By the Seaside
Set a date for a romantic day trip to your favourite seaside retreat. Make sure it is a quiet beach away from the madding crowds. As the sun is setting over the horizon, take a walk down the beach and spell out your proposal in the sand. Be sure to take a bottle of the bubbly stuff to celebrate her acceptance!
Flying High on Romance
Take to the air – a romantic hot air balloon flight over the beautiful countryside would be the perfect romantic setting to propose and would make for the most beautiful images of your proposal. Just be sure your partner has a head for heights and that you don’t drop the sparkler over the side!
Alternatively, if your partner is on the adventurous side, how about organising a joint experience day? Taking to the skies in a glider can be an exhilarating experience you can both enjoy. When you touch down on the runway afterwards, why not have a red carpet ready with flowers and a bottle of champagne on ice ready for your big moment?
It’s Written in the Stars
Rent your favourite hotel room or even better, a room with a beautiful view. This could be a romantic retreat in the heart of the countryside or a stunning city centre view in your hometown. String romantic fairy lights around your balcony and light it up in style – large letter lights spelling out ‘MARRY ME’. When the sun goes down and the stars come out, pick your perfect moment to pop the question under the starry night sky. Remember to check the weather report for clear skies. The last thing you want is a rainy night to spoil your romantic proposal!
Take a Hike
If you and yours love to get out into the open and take in the country air, what could be better than proposing on one of your favourite countryside hikes. Choose a memorable spot or favourite location, such as a waterfall or hillside monument with a beautiful panorama and ask her to marry you. Remember to pack a picnic with the champagne glasses for when she says yes!
It’s Music to their Ears
Get her favourite radio DJ to ring her up at work and propose for you over the airways, in front of all her colleagues. When she says yes, be outside her office door with flowers, champagne and of course, the ring to seal the deal! Whisk her off for a romantic meal for two at your favourite restaurant to celebrate your engagement.
Moments To Treasure
Create a beautiful memory scrapbook of your time together. Pictures, special moments shared, favourite things you like to do together as a couple. On the last page, leave it blank except for the one line ….’For the moments we are yet to share…Will you?’ When she looks up inquisitively, drop down on one knee with the engagement ring box at the ready. Not only will she have a lovely proposal but a beautiful keepsake of your time together.
Love By Candlelight
If your partner is the shy and retiring type, she may not thank you for a flamboyant and public display of your love for her. Sometimes keeping it simple can be just as effective. Choose your night and create the most perfect romantic ambience with soft candlelight, a room filled with flowers, your favourite CD on the stereo and a delicious homecooked meal. A classic but still a winner.
Back to Nature
Rent a secluded log cabin in the woods. Even better if you book in the autumn time, the wood will be alive with colour from the beautiful autumnal leaves and will create the most romantic backdrop for your proposal. Look to hire a cosy log cabin with traditional log burner and an outdoor jacuzzi. Get the champers on ice, take a dip in the jacuzzi and pop the question underneath the stars. When she says yes, you can retire to the cabin and get yourself warm again with cosy blankets, toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate by the fire.
Vintage/Boho versus Industrial Glam
With the vintage theme remaining popular we predict brides of 2017 and beyond continuing to support this popular trend. One of the major advantages of this theme is that it is relatively easy and cost effective to recreate. Search your local thrift stores and you can be sure to find hidden gems. Old chinaware, worn leather suitcases, and old pushbikes decorated with your chosen floral displays and chalkboard signs work really well here. Add in some romantic fairy lights wrapped around the tree trunks of your venue’s garden and the scene is set for a perfect country house wedding.
Of course, if boho isn’t your ‘thang’, you may be searching for wedding day styling with a tad more of an edge. With the upwards trend to renovate and restore old city centre industrial units, the expectations of today’s modern bride have moved beyond tired and run down city centre hotel spaces to something with a shed load more style. Large warehouse spaces with exposed brick, concrete and metal beams and cracking views of the city look amazing adorned with fairy lights, trained spotlights and lots of bling!
Weddings with the W factor
Forget the X Factor. 2017 weddings will be all about the ‘W’ factor….W for WOW that is! Creating that sense of occasion and immediate impression for your guests will be key to defining your wedding with style. That first impact for your wedding guests is always important and can be created in several individual ways. The right location or venue chosen for your wedding can of course provide the initial dramatic entrance and impression you look to create.
In addition, or if your venue is lacking a sense of drama, you can infuse the wow factor into your wedding reception or ceremony with the use of carefully planned wedding decorations. 2017 will be all about the glam. Create the glamourous with plenty of different lighting effects – a combination of different types of candlelight, trendy Edison bulbs, spotlights and uplighters will bring your venue alive. The use of different coloured metallic such as rose gold, bronze or silver to decorate your tables through the use of table linen, dramatic floral centrepieces, and beautiful napkin rings will add to this look.
Rumbling around on the 2016 scene in certain wedding day elements such as cake decoration and guest invites, marbling is a theme that could well go mainstream this year. Perfectly suited to the trend towards the glamourous and decadent, we predict this is a key trend to watch out for in 2017!
Watch this space!
Alternative Bridal Gowns
For brides who want to be a little different and stand out, 2017 will be all about embracing the unconventional. The fashion runways saw bridal collections moving away from the traditional and the recent emphasis on lace towards the introduction of wedding dresses with capes and even gowns in alternative pastel colours as a shakeup of the traditional wedding dress of cream or white. Our favourite and perhaps most flattering of colours has to be blush pink. Complimentary to any type of complexion or wedding style, this colour works amazingly well with the other in colour of the moment, rose gold.