October 7, 2013

Great Expectations Date Night

by

Kari-GreatExpectations-PIN

Remember back to when you were first married… you were filled with ‘Great Expectations’ for how your marriage would turn out, right? You were at the beginning of your “happily ever after” and your future together was bright. And then… real life begins. For this date night, let’s bring back those Great Expectations for your marriage. (Note: While this date was originally designed to be planned off of the classic novel, I didn’t feel that my husband would actually appreciate the theme of the novel… lol! So I adjusted the date to be more of a romantic Victorian theme. Though you would easily be able to adapt it to follow the classic novel if you so choose.)

Great Expectations is a story that everyone can relate to because at some point, everyone goes through the struggles that Pip, the main character, must battle. The moral theme of Great Expectations is quite simple: affection, loyalty, and conscience are more important than social advancement, wealth, and class.

A Formal Invitation

Kari-GreatExpectations-Invite

In true Victorian fashion, you don’t just simply ask your spouse for a date. No, everything must be a formal affair. Which is where this lovely invitation comes in to play. It was designed by the very talented Sameeha from Inked Leaf Custom Designs. Sameeha is an extremely talented custom designer who can turn any one of your date night ideas into a real dream come true! Just check out some of her custom celebration designs. Um, can you say darling?!

Print off your FREE Great Expectations Invitation HERE.

Since the theme for this invitation is from the ‘Great Expectations’ novel, the ‘House of Havisham’ is where the main characters meet and where the story comes to life. So naturally, you would want your spouse to have a formal invitation from the House of Havisham for this date night to begin in an appropriate fashion. You can also invite your spouse to dress up, if you like, in a more formal attire to suit your Victorian evening (or you dress up in a creepy wedding gown and have your husband dress up as a convict).

Tea Party Extraordinaire

Kari-GreatExpectations-Dessert

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking… there is NO WAY that your masculine man is going to put up with some frilly tea party. Well, we are on the same page with that! LOL! I knew when I started planning this date that my hubby would never in a million years put up with some frilly, high-polished, formal tea party. Um, noooo. So, I decided to adapt this fun lil’ tea party idea into a more masculine form that my husband would actually sit through. I decorated our back porch using old lace curtains as backdrops and hung up this darling ‘Great Expectations’ banner. Once again, Sameeha from The Inked Leaf Custom Designs did not disappoint! She designed this banner, and I’m definitely in love with it!

Kari-GreatExpectations-Banner

Print off your FREE Great Expectations Banner HERE.

For the rest of our tea party décor, I literally scoured my house for items that would fit in with the ‘Victorian Theme’. Grab whatever you have around your house whether it’s a candelabra, an old clock, an old book, some throw pillows, an old suitcase, etc. If you need to make a quick run to your local D.I. or 2nd hand store, do it! I picked up a handful of items from D.I. that I could use over and over that were under $10. Light some candles or hang some white lights for a very romantic touch.

Kari-GreatExpectations-Dinner

As for the tea party food, I opted for some delicious bit-sized items that would fit in with a tea party theme. My husband loves Hickory Farms meat and cheeses, so I grabbed some of those along with a few other deli items that were all finger foods. Think ‘tea party’ food when you are picking things out, but try to get foods that are actually filling. I really wanted to create an intimate dinner experience where we could sit together on our little porch and enjoy each other. This idea definitely didn’t disappoint! Instead of putting tea in our tea cups, I grabbed some yummy cream cheese filled cupcakes and put those inside our tea cups instead. They were delicious!! Included with your FREE Printables are small cards that you can either use as placecards, food cards, or use them as activity cards to map out your evening.

Print out your FREE Great Expectations Placecards HERE.

Now, where it’s getting colder outside, you might want to opt for an indoor meal. You could always dine like Dickens with a hearty and savory English Pork Pie (much like the one Pip stole for the convict in the book) and top it off with a decadent dessert like British Berry Pudding.

Parlor Games

As a fun activity after dinner, play some parlor games with your spouse! Most parlor games were designed for groups of people, but you can easily adapt some of these ideas for just the two of you. If you really want to have a good laugh, try to talk in British accents throughout the entire evening. It’s harder than you might think! We decided it would be fun to do a parlor game called, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.” You each take turns being “it.” The person who is ‘it’ is the only one allowed to smile. He or she can do anything they want to try and get the other person to smile. If the person does smile, then he or she becomes it. The person who never smiles or who smiles the least is the winner. To make things interesting, you could always wager a bet for who will be the winner. Some other classic Victorian games that would be fun are Charades or The Name Game if you are doing this date with other couples.

 Visit an Observatory

Kari-GreatExpectations-Observatory1

I’ve always thought that a romantic evening in the Victorian era would end after a big ball, out on a veranda looking up at the stars with my handsome beau. Sounds romantic, huh!? Lucky for me there is an observatory within walking distance to my house and right next to a lake. So it was perfect for a late evening stroll together along the lake side before we stepped into the observatory to gaze at the stars. It was a nice, relaxing evening activity together that was FREE. And I’m all about free! {wink} Don’t have an observatory close or a lake? Just take an evening walk together around your neighborhood or go to a local park. Do a little star gazing and have some relaxing conversation. This moment should be about being in the moment together, enjoying each other’s company, and finding tranquility as a couple.

Kari-GreatExpectations-Observatory2

Enchanted Expectations

(aka: MORE Victorian Themed Date Ideas)

Depending on where you live, you can totally incorporate some of these other date night activities: A horse drawn carriage ride, a sleigh ride, tour a Victorian mansion, go Antiquing, or wander through some beautiful gardens (if you live in Utah you could do the Red Butte Gardens or the big garden at Thanksgiving Point). You could even rent the movie, Great Expectations, if you want to stay in for dinner and a movie. There were so many amazing ideas for me to choose from, but I opted for what was inexpensive and close to home for my date night.

For later… A Fox Hunt

I always like to end date night with a little bedroom fun. It’s also great motivation for your husband if he’s leery about doing a Victorian evening… Here is a thought he might enjoy, in the Victorian era Fox hunts were a common activity for English gentleman. Inform your man that you are now the ‘fox’ and he is the ‘hunter’. Some fun items that you might want to incorporate would include: a corset, pearls, and lace. ‘Nuff said! {wink}

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