Halloween is the perfect excuse to invite some friends over for some sips & bites, so why not host an after dinner drinks night? If you’re not into the Halloween decor fuss, this is the perfect hostess setup for you.

An after dinner drink, also known as a digestif, is a beverage served, you guessed it, after a meal to help aid digestion. Digestifs are usually higher in alcohol since they’re consumed on a full stomach, compared to apéritifs (served before a meal) They are typically served neat (no ice) in a small glass and savored. Some digestifs include whiskey, bourbon, brandy, tequila, liqueurs, and fortified wines such as port and sherry.

I picked up a bottle of a ruby reserve port wine by Morgadio da Calçada made in Portugal, and truthfully I thought the dark bottle went perfectly with a Halloween theme. It’s smooth on the palate with notes of ripe red fruit and a touch of dark chocolate and pairs very well with chocolate dessert, so I made sure to fill my pretty West Elm Fishs Eddy trifle glass with dark chocolate covered raspberries and Hershey kisses. I included some desserts with links that go lovely with a ruby port wine and they all happen to be vegan and gluten free: chocolate mouse, chocolate cherry tart pieberry tart with date caramel, raspberry chocolate chunk bars.

I never pass up a moment to decorate, but no need to feel overwhelmed when it comes to decorating for a party or even a casual dinner with friends. Little touches can go a long way like flowers, candles or beautiful linens. I knew I wanted to embrace a more elegant vibe with dark colors so added black licorice Twizzlers and glued black and gold chevron ribbon to glass bottles and sprinkled confetti stars everywhere. I happily used my West Elm Fishs Eddy gilded platter to station the glasses. I served the wine in these beautiful West Elm cordial glasses adorned with vintage inspired metallic detailing (I’m all about the details!) Tucked under is a beautiful embellished bohemian pillowcase handmade in India and added sparkling lights for a touch of glimmer. A black glitter mask completes the look.

Taper candles are a must for an elegant spooky vibe. Be sure to light your candles and allow the wax to drip for some extra ambiance. I happened to find confetti bats tucked away in my closet (I mean, who doesn’t have confetti bats?) and with just a dab of elmer’s glue, these pumpkins are ready to party!

I always love adding elements of nature when decorating and had so much fun making this black wreath using boxwood garland from Home Depot and steel metal wire. I spray painted the boxwood black, which actually dries beautifully and will last you for months. This whole set up came together while imagining this exact wreath in my head and then planned everything else around it. Isn’t it pretty magical how things can inspire us? I’ve included a step by step DIY guide below for you to create this wreath yourself!

Halloween Wreath
What you’ll need:
  • any kind of greenery (I used fresh boxwood from Home Depot & allowed them to dry first, but fresh will work too)
  • 16 gauge galvanized steel wire (you can choose whatever size you prefer)
  • 24 gauge green floral wire (what I used, but 16 gauge silver wire works just as well)
  • pliers
  • dark green floral tape (optional)
  • black spray paint (I used Krylon Colormaster in black flat)
  1. Cut the steel wire any length your prefer (This will determine how big or small your wreath will be)
  2. Form into a circle and either use pliers to twist the wire ends together or secure ends with green floral tape (the tape will be covered with greenery)
  3. Position the circle so that the tied ends are at the bottom and the circle is symmetrical. Start adding greenery on left side of tied ends & allow them to overlap. Secure greenery to steel wire with floral wire and do your best to cover green floral wire with branches.
  4. Follow Step 3 with the right side (You can either cover half of circle  like I did, or keep tying boxwood around the metal circle to create a complete wreath filled with greenery)
  5. Now that you have your branches tied securely on the steel wire, cover the exposed steel wire with tape (that way when you spray paint the branches, the wire doesn’t become black. If you prefer it to be black, then don’t cover with tape)
  6. Spray paint the branches and allow to dry (Always follow directions on spray paint bottle)
  7. After it dries, remove floral tape and your wreath is ready to be hung!
 Notes: I decided to form a small circle from a loose branch and tied it to the top of the wreath to allow for east hanging. The best part is that if you decide to not spray paint your branches black, you can stop at Step 3 and keep it a natural boxwood wreath to decorate for the holidays! I actually have a natural one hanging all year long & absolutely love it!
I would love to see your wreaths! So be sure tag me with your creations on Instagram at @hostedwithlove and hashtag #hwlDIY

It all tied perfectly together to create a spook-tacular evening. I hope my bewitching affair inspires you to host a party filled with love + boos! (couldn’t help it)


With love,