With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s time to kick your planning into high gear. Going to the hottest five-star restaurant with white table linen is nice sometimes, but why not make your event the hottest reservation this year? Hosting a formal Valentine’s Day dinner is a great way to bring luxury to the people you love most while pampering yourself, too. Check out these tips for hosting a classy, gorgeous and romantic evening.
Choose a Theme for the Night
Naturally, “love” is a good theme for Valentine’s Day events, but it’s expected—and kind of boring, don’t you think? You don’t have to choose pink, white and red and decorate with hearts to create a sexy event. Instead, consider using gold, blush and pearl, or use Pantone’s color of the year marsala, burgundy and cream for a more elegant look that’s still beautiful and evocative of the holiday.
Send Invitations Well in Advance
Even if you haven’t planned every last detail yet, it’s important to send out the invites early enough so that your guests don’t have other reservations at Chez Paris on V-Day. You want them to come to your event, after all!
Encourage a Formal Dress Code
Your dinner doesn’t have to be black tie, but it’s important that you express to guests that it’s more than just a casual night out for pizza. Break out some new duds and celebrate in style.
Plan a Romantic Menu
Whatever you plan to serve, it’s important to make sure that it won’t be something that could cause a mess. For instance, serving spaghetti a la Lady and the Tramp might seem like a cute idea at first, but no one will want to risk getting marinara sauce on their gown or suit. Likewise, people probably won’t be too keen on overly heavy dishes like fettuccini alfredo. Consider doing something a little more unexpected that’s still shareable and sexy, like tapas. With tapas, couples can share small plates, and you can serve a variety of different foods so you’ll have no trouble finding something for everyone’s palate.
Pair the Food with Unique Cocktails or Great Wine
For those who drink, a signature cocktail or highly rated wine will be a great addition to the meal. Find a theme-appropriate drink to mix up, or even consider serving champagne for the lovebirds in attendance. For an added touch of romance, keep your champagne and drinks chilled with floral ice cubes. Just be sure to use edible flowers, ones that haven’t been treated with chemicals
Use Luxe Linen and Décor
Use rich fabrics and unique table décor to make the dinner feel extra special. Think of heavier satins and velvets, fabrics with texture and depth to them. Use beautiful floral arrangements and candles to accent the tables, and consider dimming the lights in your event hall.
Arrange Other Activities and Entertainment
Set up a dance floor at your event and hire on a DJ or band to play great music for the couples to dance to all night long. Make the night one that no one will forget—draw inspiration from things like weddings and anniversary parties for what the playlist should be, and consider announcing guests of honor—for instance, the newlywed couple celebrating their first Valentine’s Day as a married couple, or the couple who has been together for a decade.
Send Guests Home with a Gift
Like any party, your Valentine’s Day dinner should send guests home with a party favor. These could be a gift of a bottle of the wine you had at dinner, a box of imported truffles, or scented candles for their home. Make your guests feel like they’ve had a romantic experience that is on par with something they’d seek out on their own; be sure not to pan anything too kitschy or cheesy—no piñatas or pin the tail on the donkey at this party!
If you’ve never planned a formal dinner party, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm—things may happen that can cause you stress, but as long as you go with the flow, the event will be great!
Photo Credit: Genese Richards Photography