With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to start planning how to create a memorable experience. “I’m not one to want roses or chocolate,” says event planner Stefanie Cove.
We asked Cove to share her tips for how anyone — regardless of their relationship status — can plan a fun Valentine’s Day.
The perfect date: “I think that if a guy is planning the date, part of it is showing that he’s paying attention to what she’s interested in,” Cove notes. “Has she been talking about a trendy new restaurant or bar?” If a quiet evening at home is more your thing, Cove says planning a fun menu is key. “Something like oysters and french fries is different,” she notes. “Oysters are an aphrodisiac and they are great to combine with french fries and a sparkling wine.” Cove is currently working with Kim Crawford Wines and says she often pairs fried foods with something like Crawford’s “Fizz.”
A singles party: “If you’re going to have a party, it’s important that it’s a celebration and not a bummer,” says Cove. “Invite a bunch of single people who don’t know each other and make sure there’s enough seating. Also make sure that you have food that’s not awkward to eat.” To make sure that people are mingling, Cove recommends having a relaxed game to get people started. “With something like this, you can get little pins with a question or statement on them so that everyone has to ask each other things,” she advises.
A girls’ night in: “It can be fun just to be at home with your friends watching movies,” Cove notes. “In this busy life that we have, it is nice just to take time for friends.” Classic comfort foods, she advises, are perfect for an evening with girlfriends. “I like a mini-fried chicken paired with a Pinot Grigio. Or there are so many kinds of mac and cheese you can make with things like gruyere cheese.” To add a little color to your drinks, Cove has this tip: “I like to get edible flowers, which you can buy online,” she explains. “Then you can freeze them into your ice cubes.”
Popping the question: If you are ready to pop the question, Cove suggests that you avoid being overly formal. “It should be about comfort and being relaxed and not uptight,” she advises. “I think it’s really nice when you do something like that at home and then plan something afterward with family.”