Everything you need to know to make your magical event a success!
How do I book a party?
You can contact Costume Teacher via this website, email, by phone, or over a message on Facebook (I recommend a Facebook message for the most prompt response). I am a teacher, so if you contact me during business hours I will return your message/call in the early afternoon/evening hours within 48 hours of you contacting me. Once we have agreed upon a date and time, I will put you in my calendar and consider your party booked and your date reserved. I will contact you again the week of your party to make sure all details about time/location/services are finalized.
Do I need to pay in advance?
If you are going to pay Costume Teacher in cash, you can pay the day of the party. If you wish to pay by check, payments need to be mailed at least a week before the party, with the check made out to Anna Collins-Walker. I am working on a pay online option, look for that soon.
Do you have a weather policy?
Yes! In Northern VA, weather can be a factor for outdoor parties. The costumes that I wear are elaborate and expensive, and not exactly 'heat friendly' to wear, and are be easily damaged by dirt/mud. If part of your celebration is outside, please have a shaded area for your princess, with an option to go somewhere inside with the children periodically. If the heat index is above 90 degrees, please move the entire princess portion of your celebration inside. (No one likes a melty looking princess!) If it is excessively windy, please also make arrangements to have your princess inside- the windblown look works for Beyonce, but not so much a princess. ;) Outdoor pictures are very pretty- if it is a hot day, please have a shaded location in mind where we can take a lot of pictures at once with the guests as well as some with just the birthday star. If the weather is completely undesirable (for example, road travel is difficult) then please communicate with me the day of the party to make alternate arrangements.
What else can I do to ensure my party is awesome & amazing?
Please reserve a parking spot nearby for your princess. If you have asked for backdrops/additional props, please have someone meet me at my car upon arrival to help carry everything inside. It is easiest to take pictures closer to the beginning of the time I am there, before heat and dancing/playing start to kick in. ;) If you would like the kids to do a sing-along, I can bring a speaker to connect with my phone if you request so ahead of time. It is also fun to turn on the movie for a sing-along to the hit songs, because the kids look back and forth from the tv to me- and they love that the character is 'really there' as well as the familiar cartoon form. I really can sing, but let's be honest, I'm not Idina Menzel, so I'd rather not just bust out into song solo. If you would like me to bring the movie with me, please let me know in advance, I have all of the movies for the characters that I play. (I also happen to know 'Let it Go' is 31 minutes into Frozen. I've cued it up a few times. ;) Please try to have all major parts of your party (pictures, games, cake) in the time frame I will be there. I mingle with all of the children at the party, but I make sure to pay lots of extra attention to the special birthday boy/girl.
What do you bring with you to a party?
Included in the price, I can bring along a story to read, a speaker to listen to music geared to your particular princess, as well as the DVD for select scene watching/sing-alongs. If you would like me to bring along games, backdrops, or cardboard cutouts- those are extra, and prices can be found on the 'packages' page under 'add-ons.'
How far do you travel?
I am located in the Gainesville/Warrenton area. I charge an extra fee if the party is more than a 30 minute drive from my location. The costumes are challenging to drive in (not kidding), so if the party is a long drive away, I can also make arrangements to arrive discreetly out of the children's view (already in hair and makeup) and change quickly at your location.
Do you book more than one party in a day?
No. I do not want to worry you with cramming your event into a time frame so I can make it across town to another party. I only book one event per day.
What age would you recommend is the best for having a princess at your party?
This of course is different for every child. I have found that some children at age 3 are thrilled with me when they see me, and some are a bit taken aback/almost scared (it's just too real!). Ages 4-6 especially love it, but the enjoyment really spans across the ages. I have done parties for boys and girls, and can cater to both and their personalities. If you aren't sure how your child is going to react, I strongly recommend going to my Facebook page or on this website, and showing your child pictures of me as the character you are going to have visit- that way they are prepared for what the 'Real Elsa' or other princess of your choice is going to look like. I will remain in character while at the party to maximize the fun for the children. Some children understand that I am merely 'in costume', whereas others buy the charade completely, which is so delightful and magical. :)
After the party- can we send you pictures to put on your website?
Yes! Please do! With your permission I will post a cute photo from the party. After the party, please email me any pictures. I will edit a couple (if necessary) and add it to my page/website. Also, feel free to leave a written review on my Facebook page. A few weeks later, I will send your child a card in the mail from the character that they met- just to make sure they remember that special feeling of attention from a princess all over again! :) I will also bring along some business cards for you to pass on to any interested guests or friends- your word of mouth recommendation keeps my business going!
What if I need to reschedule my party?
I am flexible with this. I understand that something may happen to make your day not go the way you planned- especially when little kids are involved! Please contact me as soon as possible to reschedule for a day that I am available. I am quite a healthy person, and I do not get sick often- but if for some reason I happen to be ill the day of your party, I will make arrangements to have a special visit with your child another day. (This has yet to happen, but being a one person company, I am sure at some point it just might!)
Can a princess come to a celebration other than a birthday party?
Of course! You can make any day magical with a princess visit! Having a character come to a daycare, restaurant, staff party, bbq, holiday get-together, movie theater, bookstore, clothing store, toy store, hotel... you name it, if you want people to come to your party, just tell them a princess is coming, and you will instantly have families interested! The cost of having a princess be at your gathering will be worth it for the positive social media buzz it will create for your event.