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Hosting a Valentine’s Day party can actually be pretty versatile. All you really need is to create a warm, loving atmosphere that makes your guests feel welcome and loved. It can be a couples’ party, or it can just be a fun time with a group of friends. Here are some ideas on how to make your Valentine’s party a time to remember.
Pick a Time
If you are going for a romantic love type of theme, an evening time would set the right mood. For a friendship party, you could do brunch or a late afternoon party. If you are having children, early afternoon might work best. The key is to choose a time that fits the schedule and lifestyle of the majority of your guests.
Choose the Menu
There are all sorts of ideas for Valentine’s Day food. Here are some ideas based on party themes and types.
- Couples’ party – Food at a couples’ party can be romantic and share-able, like kabobs and/or fondue. Fruits like cherries, raspberries and strawberries can be dipped in chocolate for a lovely dessert.
- Friends’ party – A buffet is a great way to welcome friends. You can decorate the buffet table with all sorts of Valentine themes, such as candy hearts and cinnamon candy scattered around on a white tablecloth, or muffin papers filled with assorted treats tucked among the food dishes.
- Children’s party * Kids love just about any excuse for a party, and Valentine’s is no exception! Have a trinket as a favor for each child, or a goodie bag with a few candies and toys. Cupcakes frosted in pink, white, red, or purple are pretty and festive, and you can decorate the tops with hearts. Arrange the cupcakes in a big heart on a cloth or platter. For healthier fare, cut watermelon, whole wheat bread, deli meats, and cheese slices into heart shapes.
Now that you know your time, place, and basic theme, you can send out invitations. It’s fun to make your own, or you can just buy ready-made ones at the store. You can also do e-invitations, which are gaining popularity. Try to choose invitations that reflect the overall feel of the party.
Now to decorate!
- Couples’ party – Votive candles, rose petals, strings of pearls, and flowers make romantic decorations. A single tulip, rosebud, or carnation makes a lovely, simple statement on a dining table, end table, or windowsill. Lighting should be low.
- Friends’ party – For this party, you can combine the favor with the decorations. Have several bouquets of flowers around such as tulips, and let everyone take one home as a gift. Use tulle on your mirrors or wall art to create swags and bows. Have you ever cut paper dolls? Use that technique to make long paper chains of hearts to hang in front of windows or from chandeliers.
- Children’s party – Go for fun with this one. Bring out the stuffed animals and arrange them so they look like they’re having a tea party. Balloons are always fun for kids; tie bunches of red, purple, white, and pink ones in bunches around the room (tie them to the stuffed animals’ “paws” for a really fun effect). Make paper heart garlands using construction paper and string, and let your kids do some window decorations with dry erase markers, cut-out hearts, or store-bought stick-ons.