Forget overpriced prix-fixe menus and avoid the throngs of couples out on the town sharing molten chocolate cakes. Instead, take the pressure off the big day and throw your own chic party at home. What better way to spend Valentine's Day then to celebrate with all the people you love?
Here are five tips for making your Valentine's Day party festive and fun:
• Think sparkle. Try mixing metallic accents with traditional Valentine's colors to add some sparkle to your party. Fill vases with metallic candies like gold shimmer gumballs or gold-covered chocolates. They look great as part of a food display, like the dessert table pictured below from Sugar Style Events, but they also work grouped together in the middle of a dining table as a centerpiece.
• Printable party décor. There are so many great resources online for party printables, including this great invitation suite from WeddingChicks.com. Though it was originally created for weddings, the text and colors can easily be customized to match your party. The printable "love" sign would be adorable in a simple frame on a buffet table, and the favor tags work perfectly too.
There is also a wealth of charming prints available on Etsy that make great party décor, like these from Tessyla which you can order in any color. Just add a simple frame and you've got an instant focal point for your table or wall. And as a bonus, they double as wall art after the party is over!
• Conversation Cocktails. Incorporate grown-up versions of traditional Valentine's Day treats, like conversation hearts -- but with a twist. Print sayings like "I'm Yours" or "Kiss Me" on card stock and cut them into hearts. Then attach the hearts to straws or drink stirrers and voila, you have conversation cocktails.
• Love note place settings. Instead of place cards, put small mailboxes at each person's place at the table. Then, provide blank valentines so your friends can write messages to each other. You never know what kind of romance you might spark!
• Breakfast in Bed. Send your guests home with breakfast for the morning so they can have a romantic breakfast in bed the next day. A pretty package of homemade scones or muffins works nicely!