February is known for the month of love! With Valentine’s Day right around the corner you may be thinking of ways to spice up this love holiday. The first and most important item you need to consider is how much you are willing to spend. You should think about this before you do anything! You would be surprised how quickly your money will disappear by going from store to store buying what you want for your special dinner or party. Once you have your budget write it down and keep track of what you are spending so that way you are within your budget. Now that you have established your budget you are able to enjoy the fun part…the planning!
You will then want to figure out the following: Theme (colors), how upscale you want the party to be, who is invited (kids?), the venue, menu, decorations, and bar drinks. The following in just one example of how you can make this Valentine’s Day special!
Budget: $150 (keep it simple)
Theme: Dinner for two, Valentine’s Day
Colors: Red, white, and black
Atmosphere: Warm and romantic
Venue: Clients home
Menu: His/her favorite meal (you can be creative and make his favorite appetizer, her favorite dinner, and both of your favorite desserts). Valentine’s Day has a lot of meaning when simple, thoughtful ideas are used.
Decorations: Deep red roses, candles, vase
Bar drinks: Couple’s favorite drinks. For this example I will use mine, which is Moscato.
Entertainment: Soft music in the background
I have always been a firm believer that setting the table has a lot to say about how the event will flow. You want your guests’ (in this case your significant other) to be wowed by the dinner table. Since the dinner table is the main focal point you will want that to be set perfectly. There is a lot to be said in how even the napkins are folded. Every detail counts regardless of the event you are planning. You should have water glasses on the table as well as it adds a more upscale look. The image shown below is an easy way to spruce up the table. You don’t have to use cloth napkins for this look but it adds that extra touch.
Click here to learn how to fold this and other napkins
Since we don’t have to book a venue (because it is at home) that is money saved and can be used for another aspect of the evening. Using our theme colors of red, white, and black you can come up with almost any centerpiece. The centerpiece below is elegant yet simple. It calls for a medium vase (you can find these almost anywhere, Hobby Lobby, any craft store, target, or Walmart), rose pedals (to keep the price down we will use fake pedals), one real rose, and candles.
Click here to go to the website
The dinner table can be set without a table cloth, or you can use a black or white one. You wouldn’t want to use red, because of the red candles and the red rose pedals. If you use white (as shown above) you would want to use a black napkin, and if you used a black table cloth you would use white napkins. You don’t want to over do the color scheme by adding too much of one color.The candles will add the warm atmosphere, while soft music (of your choice) will add for a romantic feel.
The menu is probably the most important aspect of this dinner. It is great that the table will be setup perfectly, but if the food doesn’t taste right or if the choices don’t go well together the dinner may be ruined. If you are going to make the meal yourself be sure to follow the instructions carefully and to try it yourself! If it doesn’t taste right you can always call and order the meal to go. It is very important that you ALWAYS have a backup plan. As event planners we do not plan for things to go wrong, but when they do we know exactly what to do as a backup. Have your backup plan on your mind while planning your event.
The meal will include Zuppa Toscana soup, Chicken Marsala, and Red Velvet cake. When making the meal keep in mind these three simple things: keep it simple, cook the meal in stages, and start early. By following these three guidelines you are sure to be confident about your meal and have ample of time to prepare your delicious dish!
Zuppa Toscana soup will be a great starter for this meal. The recipe for this soup can be found here. To make things easier you can always buy some soup from olive garden!
For the main course I have decided to go with Chicken Marsala. Ryan, my boyfriend loves the Zuppa soup while I love Chicken Marsala. These two dishes go well together also.
For the full recipe click here
There are endless options for dessert but for this example I will be using red velvet cake. Luckily, both my boyfriend and myself love red velvet cake! Not to mention it also matches the theme of this party! You can buy this cake, make it from a box (my choice), or you can bake it from scratch. Anyway you make it you should get something like this:
Click here for this recipe
To make the meal more appealing consider making your own menus for the evening. You can make them yourself by hand or online. The image below is a card from Shutterfly.com which can serve two purposes. Not only is it a card, but on the inside you can write the menu out. This simple idea ties in the romance for the night and makes it more personable. When picking out the card/menu remember to think about your theme/colors. As you will see the card is personalized because you can add a picture of you and your lover AND it has the colors we are using. REMEMBER: Details, Details, Details. They really do make a difference.
For the bar drinks you will want to keep in mind the choice of your meal. White wine and chicken go well together, so Moscato will work. Moscato is a sweeter white wine which would match with the dessert as well. You don’t have to buy the most expensive bottle of wine either. I have found that the Barefoot Moscato is absolutely delicious and it is only $5 a bottle! You will want to use actual wine glasses, if you don’t have any you will find them at the dollar store. Again tying in the details you can even create your own wine label to fit the occasion. To take it one step further you can even personalize the wine bottles. What a perfect accent to the event! You can find labels almost anywhere online for a very reasonable price.
Click here for website info
Now that we have created the perfect Valentine’s Day Dinner we must look to be sure we stayed within our budget. Vase = $8.00 at Hobby Lobby. Fake rose petals = $10 at Hobby Lobby, Red glass candle holders .99 each (note: decorate with an odd number so you would buy 3), when rounded up it would be $3.00, white candles pack of 12 = $5.00 at Hobby Lobby. One real rose would cost you anywhere from $1.00 – $5.00. Linen napkins are 5 for $3.00. The menu cards will cost $7.00. If your buy Zuppa soup from Olive Garden it is $5.25 x 2 = $10.50. To make the Chicken Marsala it would cost you around $10 (if you had nothing to start from it would cost around $25). The Red Velvet cake would cost about $10 to make. The Barefoot Moscato is only $5.00 and the fun label with shipping is at most $5.00. Wine glasses (if you don’t have any) are $1.00 each so that would cost you $2.00, we will round to $3.00 with tax. The total for this memorable Valentine’s Day Dinner will cost you at most $96.00! That is cheaper than going out to dinner and leaving a tip!! The best part is that you are under budget AND you created a wonderful, fun, and memorable event. Now, what you choose to do with that extra cash is up to you 🙂
I hope you all have a memorable Valentine’s Day!