Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.View Slideshow
Make a solemn vow to frighten your friends with a haunted wedding-reception party theme. To throw a small Halloween affair, pick and choose just a few of these creepy spins on wedding customs.
Cast a spell on your guests with a torn and tattered invitation. Printed on a vellum overlay with a ripped edge, the invitation is aged with black ink.
Keep up tradition with a guest book. Burn the edges of paper and age the pages with splatters of ink. Push a feather into the top of a pen and station it in a vintage-look stand made with paper-covered wood findings. Then finish with a welcome message on a framed piece of plywood painted with chalkboard paint.
On the invitation, ask guests to come in formerly-worn formal wear. Shop consignment stores and secondhand shops for grim get-ups at a budget-friendly price.
Typically the center of attention at a wedding, the cake table puts a spooky spin on tradition. A card table is covered in muslin and edged with black tulle gathered into swags held by ribbon loops. The "cake" is a trio of paper-covered hatboxes aged with paint. Black-painted mums, doily napkins, and nut-filled espresso cups finish off the display.
In true Hallowedding fashion, the bride-and-groom cake topper is replaced by a skeletal version. The bride's veil is fashioned from a piece of black tulle and the groom is decked out in a miniature bow tie and top hat.
Top off your spooky ensemble with a corsage that's sure to frighten all your party guests.
For a simple bridal bouquet, arrange a few black and white blooms, then wrap the stems with black ribbon.
Cast an eerie shadow over the room with this easy-to-make spiderweb lampshade.
Give baked brie the sinister treatment by topping it with "guts" made of sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and onions. Served with French bread, the soft cheese is a sophisticated treat.
Body Bits Dip is a hearty spread, despite its gruesome presentation, and pairs perfectly with the appropriately colored Red Pepper Dip. Although not Halloween-themed, the Walnut-Feta Yogurt dip equals its creepier counterparts in taste. To serve, place each dip in a glass dish and nestle inside hollowed pumpkins.
Toast the happy couple with a wicked brew. The special Coconut Snowball Martini -- concocted of white chocolate, coconut, cream, rum, and vodka -- is served with red cake gel around the rim.
Guests will do a double take with this creepy-crawly finger food. Dip large pretzel sticks into white candy coating and add "nails" with sliced almonds. Display the fingers in a cuff-covered jar.
Biting into these faux rocks will prove to be a sweet treat. The "rock" candy is made from a mix of chocolate and marshmallows.
The chicken-and-pecan salad sandwiches are cut into tombstone shapes, rolled in chopped pecans for the look of stone, and displayed in a graveyard with creepy cabbage ground cover.
Invite guests to circle around a fondue "cauldron" to dip delectable treats into white chocolate fondue.
Guests will gasp when they discover a fruited "eyeball" floating in their fruit punch.
For an appropriately creepy take-home treat, fill coffin-style favor boxes with candy bones. Give the boxes a decaying look by weathering the edges with chalk. Add rub-on letters
Send guests home with another grim reminder of your party; take their photos with the Grim Reaper behind an oversize frame. Give the pictures as unique favors.