Planning a Valentine's Day wedding? Here's how to do it without the cheese.
First, some history on the lovers' holiday. Though exchanging hand-written love notes and cards dates back to the 1400s, Valentine's Day has been around since 496 A.D. Fast-forward hundreds of years, and you'll find that this year, Valentine's Day falls on a weekend, making the most romantic day of the year the perfect time to say “I do." Not sure how to pull off a Valentine's Day wedding with style? We've got nine tips to help you plan.
Show Your Love
To get started, think about Valentine's Day and what it means to you. Look for inspiration from your own love story and pull in details that reflect your relationship: where you met, how the proposal went down, or your favorite things to do together.
For lounge or cocktail areas, a few faux-fur pillows or throws will create a comfy, cozy mood—perfect for romance. A lounge area is also a great place to display photos of family members on their own wedding day. It's a touching way to remember and honor the love stories of older generations. For the finishing touch, if a fireplace or fire pit is an option, by all means, light it—or create the illusion of a lit fireplace with loads of candles.
Add Some Mood Lighting
Use lighting to set the mood. Soft bistro lighting creates a romantic setting, while glowing LED lights on the border of the dance floor keeps the focus on the music and dancing. And, of course, nothing says “romance" like a candlelit dinner, which will shine even brighter if you choose sequined or silky table linens. Go for ornate, flower-draped candelabras, or create a more contemporary vibe with floating tea candles in narrow hurricane vases.
Say It With Flowers
Roses on Valentine's Day are a given. But other blooms can be just as romantic and stylish. Amaryllis is one showy winter flower that's dramatic and gorgeous. For a rich contrast, mix deep red calla lilies, ranunculus or anemones. Another option, no matter your budget: Experiment with nonfloral elements, like red-tinted integrifolia (the long and narrow red foliage in the picture above), crystals or feathers for a more dramatic look.
Sips and Snacks
A Valentine's Day wedding calls for its own special signature cocktail. A sugar-rimmed pink cosmopolitan or a flute of champagne with a few pomegranate seeds or gold flakes will play up the romance factor (both are so light, they dance with the champagne bubbles!). Even the addition of red garnishes like strawberries, raspberries or cherries makes any cocktail more festive. Consider swapping out the usual bar peanuts for classic Valentine candies, like Conversation Hearts and red cinnamon hearts, for a subtle touch.
Play Sweet Music
It's more than likely your first dance will be to a love song. But if you want to keep the mood romantic all night long, ask your guests to fill in their first dance song (or simply the name of “their song") on their RSVP card. Mixing some of those tunes into your playlist is a lovely way to honor them and help them relive loving memories.
Have Your Cake
Valentine's Day is a day to indulge. Consider serving decadent desserts like individual-size flourless chocolate cakes drizzled with raspberry syrup or dark chocolate-dipped fruits. For the actual cake, a modern heart pattern embossed into white fondant is a great option, or choose a red filling (like red velvet cake or fresh strawberries) so that each slice will have a hint of color.
Give 'Em Some Sugar
Don't forget to let your guests know how much you love them. Leave them handwritten messages—love notes, if you will—in glass bottles at each place setting for a fun favor. Or send them home with something sweet: Prepackaged candies like chocolate truffles or chocolate-covered espresso beans are a total win. You can also stock a candy bar with doggie bags and let guests serve up their own favors.