I am delighted with the way the details and decorations turned out for the party!
My friend Gwyneth is a wedding photographer in New Hampshire, (how’s that for Google-friendly link text?) and she is also a basically awesome friend. She drove down from NH for the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows party and offered to shoot the party in addition to helping me decorate and clean up. So most of these pictures are from her. (I did bring my good camera, but I didn’t even take it out of the case. I did take a few pics with my cheap-but-durable camera. Any of the crappy pictures in this post are mine.)
Gwyn isn’t big on playing dress-up, but she likes me enough that she has agreed to a rule of “I wear a costume for Becky once each year.” I played that card last year for the Half-Blood Prince opening night, and forced her to accompany me to the theater dressed as Rita Skeeter. (I was Tonks.) She broke out the cat-eye glasses and quill pen again this year for the Deathly Hallows party.
Most of my friends are quite good sports. It’s basically a requirement for being my friend: must be willing to put up with my shenanigans, most of which involve costumes of some kind. (Two of the other party guests admitted after the Quidditch relay that they hadn’t brought brooms on purpose, because they didn’t intend to play, but they actually ended up having a lot of fun.)
The one thing I WISH I had a picture of is me and Gwyn trying to finagle the trunk into her car. Without the aid of “wingardium leviosa,” that thing was heavy and unwieldy. A kind stranger driving down my street took pity on us and pulled over to help us load it into the car.
After stress over lost keys and forgotten items that required a trip back home, we finally made it to the hosts’ house over an hour later than planned. I was very thankful for the help of the host family, Todd and Ann, and especially their daughter Elizabeth, and Gwyn, in setting up and decorating. We turned the dining room into the Hogwarts Great Hall. (Fan site The Leaky Cauldron has some great Potter Party decorating ideas.)
We made the entryway into the Owlery/the Potions classroom/the Gryffindor common room/Harry’s closet in the Dursley’s house.
Gwyn brewed up potions and filled the Potions cabinet while Elizabeth created Harry’s closet. You can’t see it in this picture, but she hung spiderwebs and spiders. I worked in the dining room and baked cookies.
Todd made the railway station signs and lit a roaring fire while Elizabeth painted the Chamber sign.
We had everything ready before the guests arrived and ran to get into our costumes. I don’t think I got a picture of the hosts’ guest book, which is a shame, because everyone signed with their character names and in-character comments. Meet the distinguished guests:
Part two coming soon…the sorting, the games, the feast, and THE LIBRARY!