Chocolates, romantic movies, bouquets of flowers, toasting to love…there’s an array of special ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re getting together with friends and family or just the girls, throwing a festive brunch is sure to make the holiday even sweeter. So we tapped event pros for their best-ever Valentine’s Day party ideas that won’t break the bank.
“For this brunch, we chose the prettiest of shades of pink to highlight Valentine’s Day in a feminine way,” says Lauren Ferrara of Jack & Grace Events (JackAndGraceNY.com). “Then we accented it with touches of gold.” To get the look of Ferrara’s spread (above), top a long table with a white cloth, then add cake stands filled with rosy treats like pink macarons, donuts and cake. Next, decorate with fresh rose accents (like the modern bouquets made by Fani Flowers), pink and white balloons and pink confetti party poppers. To finish, hang a rosy-pink pennant banner on wall above table. For more simple and smart Valentine’s Day party ideas — from cocktails to place settings and more — continue reading!
Welcome loved ones with a bubbly signature sip
Kissed with raspberries and dotted with bubbles, this pink drink is almost too pretty to sip. To make each, fill a champagne flute with chilled pink sparkling wine, then add raspberry liqueur or raspberry syrup. Spear raspberries on a pick for an easy garnish. For more cocktail recipes, check out these sweet dessert cocktails!
Brighten up any corner with a pretty-in-pink floral mix
From the plush blossoms to the soft hues, this bouquet adds a lovely touch to any tabletop. To make: Pick up a mixed supermarket bouquet of blooms in shades of pink, cream and purple (like the roses, snapdragons and chrysanthemums shown). Fill a vase halfway with water then insert stems one by one, forming a soft, rounded mound. Add greenery to fill in any gaps. Tip: Supermarket roses should last for up to a week or more if they’re cared for properly, but if a few of your blooms start to look deflated, simply remove any discolored or shriveled outer petals from the roses to reveal fresh petals underneath. Also smart: Recut stems, change water and add 1⁄2 tsp. to 1 tsp. of sugar to the water every three days. This will provide nutrients and perk up blooms fast!
Serve up adorable sweetheart cupcakes
For help-yourself ease, showcase cupcakes kissed with Valentine’s charm on your dessert buffet. To do: Mix up chocolate cupcake batter and pour into a cupcake tin lined with heart-themed paper liners. Pop a chocolate-covered cherry or chocolate truffle into each; bake and let cool. Top with pink- or red-tinted frosting and heart-shaped sprinkles. For sweet toppers, cut hearts from scrapbook paper and tape to toothpicks; insert into cupcakes.
Beautify place settings with hints of pink and gold
Layering gold chargers and white plates with a playful napkin display creates a cheery-meets-chic setting, like this one photographed by Shaina Lee Photography. Guests will be greeted in style as they find their seats! To do: Top a gold charger (Buy at Amazon, $14 for 6) with a white dinner plate and a small white appetizer plate. Fold a polka-dotted napkin into a rectangle fold and place atop plate vertically, as shown. For a cute napkin band, snip a piece of pink scrapbook paper into a long rectangle (cut to fit around napkin). Wrap paper band around napkin and secure with a glue dot or piece of tape. To finish, jot down a guests’ name with a white paint pen.
Amp up the ambiance in your space in no time
For another Valentine’s day party idea, try this tip for repurposing faded blooms! If you have a few less-than-perfect roses in your bouquet, put them to beautiful use by making potpourri from the petals. To do: Remove petals and place on a paper towel-lined plate; microwave for a minute at a time until dry (about 4 to 5 minutes for 1½ cups of petals). Let cool, pour into a bowl and add drops of rose fragrance oil for an extra boost of fragrance.
Dazzle with an ombré cake
To make this ombré dessert showstopper: Set a 3-layer cake on a plate, spreading a thin layer of white icing between layers and over the cake. Spoon purple, pink and white icing into 3 zip-top bags, snip a corner off each and pipe 3 purple rings around the cake, 3 pink and 1 white. Smooth a knife around the cake to blend. To finish, pour ½ cup of warmed heavy cream over 1 cup of chocolate chips, mixing until smooth. Spoon over cake’s edges to create drips. Let cool; top with berries.
Enhance the fun with a game of ‘secret admirer’
Take a moment to appreciate each other with a game of heartfelt compliments. To play, jot each guest’s name on the side of individual paper bags and place on the table next to a large handful of paper slips. During the party, ask everyone to write a compliment about each guest on a slip of paper, then place them in the appropriate bag “mailboxes.” Have guests open their bag at the end of brunch!
Send them home smiling with prettied-up presents
Show your friends how much you care with a favor wrapped with flair. Head to the dollar store to pick up indulgent gifts like scented candles, soaps, bath bombs and manicure kits, then package in a small gift box. Next, snip a large piece of white paper and use a butterfly-shaped stamp to create an allover pattern with red ink. Let dry, then wrap the box with the paper. If you have extra stamped “gift wrap,” create 3-D toppers by using a marker to color in details on the butterflies, then cut out the shapes. Gently fold the butterfly’s wings up and attach to the gift with a glue dot. Set one present at each place setting.
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