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How to Throw a Valentine’s Day Party

Planning a Valentine’s Day party? Today we challenge the notion that all Valentine’s Day gatherings must feature a perfectly arranged combination of pink and red decor. While some people stress about filling a party table with embellished treats in matching hues, take note that there are other ways to pull off a great event. Two strategies to consider: Go for the unexpected and go for the classic. In other words, catch your guests off guard with unique flourishes, but don’t hesitate to use timeless basics like the Sweethearts candy you ate as a kid.

There are no rules that say your Valentine’s Day decor has to be filled with red and pink hearts. Or that every item you serve has to be sweet. Think about what decorations best reflect your personality. Consider the food you truly want to eat. Then blend your ideas into a festive display. Let the images below inspire you…

Valentine’s Day Party Decor

Your party decor is the backdrop for the event. It welcomes guests. It sets the stage for a memorable gathering. And there are different ways to approach it…

Go for the Unexpected

While this first decoration may not be the easiest to pull off on your own, we reference it as a reminder to think outside of the box when it comes to Valentine’s Day decor! A balloon creation that makes a bigger statement than most pendant lights? What’s not to love! Perhaps a smaller version of this hanging centerpiece could be crafted with the right balloons and a little bit of patience… Balloonatics created the dangling decorations in the image below for a Valentine’s Day party at the Performing Arts Center in Denver:

Valentine’s Day balloon decorations

What’s so unexpected about the heart garland in the next image? It’s made from paint chip samples, which can be yours for free at your local home improvement store! All you need is a heart paper punch and some thread. Check out the full photo tutorial at Grace and Light.

Paint chip garland

We’re loving the fresh, green blossoms in the image below, grouped in a container surrounded by the Hot Pink Vase Corset from Social Couture. This vase embellishment is crafted of hot pink stretch velvet so it can fit a variety of container sizes. Playful and fun, it sets a clear Valentine’s Day tone while leaving the door open for flowers in non-typical colors. Yellow and orange, anyone?

Valentine’s Day corset vase

Go for the Classic

What could be more festive than heart-shaped balloons? A simple, non-metallic finish in shades of pink, red and white screams “Valentine’s Day,” yet the balloons  create an old-fashioned feel that keeps things simple and chic. [from Rip + Tan]

Valentine’s Day balloons

Valentine’s Day decor does not have to be expensive to be eye-catching. Paper doilies can be used on tabletops, in crafting activities, and of course, as garland supplies! This super affordable creation from Eat, Drink, and Save Money is achieved with doilies, ribbon, and scotch tape to secure the overlapping hearts.:

Valentine’s Day doily decorations

There’s nothing like the crisp juxtaposition of red and white! Yes, flag banners have been in the public eye for awhile now, but we love the way this DIY Valentine’s Banner adds hearts to the mix. Along with supplies like burlap, felt and yarn or twine. Get all of the gorgeous details at Finley & Oliver.

DIY Valentine’s Day banner

Don’t forget that Valentine’s Day classics like a box of chocolates can serve as an edible centerpiece for your gathering. There’s nothing like a heart-shaped container of delicious treats, especially when surrounded by curled ribbon that adds color to the display! [from Bright Hub]

Valentine’s Day chocolates

And speaking of classics, who doesn’t adore the candy-colored brilliance of conversation hearts? Relive the magic of childhood by putting a few scoops of these message-filled candies into a heart-shaped container, then place the eye-catching decoration on a table so guests can have a nibble. [from Plotting Princess]

Conversation hearts for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Party Food

Brownies, cookies and cupcakes are in order, right?! Yes and no. You should definitely  feel free to defy expectation when it comes to the edibles at your gathering…

Go for the Unexpected

Wait, we thought candy apples were for Halloween! As it turns out, they make amazing Valentine’s day treats as well, especially when dipped in a bright red glaze. Check out the recipe at Social Couture[photo by Crafty Sisters via Social Couture]

Valentine’s Day candy apples

Throw in some goodies that reflect the latest trends. Like cake pops! Below we see an arrangement from And Everything Sweet. Another bonus: this heart-shaped creation (and the goodies inside) can be purchased for an affordable $8. Who says beautiful edibles must cost a bundle?!

Valentine’s Day cake pops

Don’t think that all Valentine’s Day nibbles must be kid-friendly. Add some elegance to your party by trying a gourmet recipe, such as this Coeur a la Crème with Raspberry Coulis by Emeril Lagasse. Check out the full recipe at Blount Today.

Elegant Valentine’s Day dessert

And don’t forget the salty! In an amazing Valentine’s Day party video from Camille Styles, we see an assortment of cheeses, along with figs, crackers and marcona almonds on a simple, modern platter. You’ll want something substantial and filling to accompany all of those sweets…

Valentine’s Day cheese plate

Another unexpected treat? Cocktails! For a grown-up party, of course. Below we see a beauty shot of the Romeo and Juliet cocktail, complete with cherries and an orange rind garnish. For more info, check out HGTV.com.

Valentine’s Day cocktail

Go for the Classic

Roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, hearts… These classic symbols of Valentine’s Day are instant crowd-pleasers. Plus, they can almost look retro, thanks the many years they’ve been relished. One way to give these classics a modern twist: use them as cupcake toppers. Check out the recipes at cupcakeninja, and discover why frosting roses, chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate hearts and conversation heart candy never go out of style…

Valentine’s Day cupcakes

Here’s another homage to the chocolate-dipped strawberry! With the right sprinkles and squiggles, these decadent treats are transformed into true works of art. Arrange them on a cake stand for a centerpiece-worthy display. [from Shari’s Berries]

Dipped strawberries

We all love Rice Krispies treats. Take this classic and make it contemporary and festive with some pink detailing, as well as a  popsicle stick “arrow through the heart” effect. Check out the full recipe and tutorial at Cookies & Cups

Valentine’s Day dessert treats

Oh how we love macaroons! Combine them with a chocolate dessert, such as the heart-shaped cakes below. Both goodies are featured in a fabulous Valentine’s Day video from Camille Styles. Watch it here.

Valentine’s Day sweets

Valentine’s Day Party Activities

We end with a quick reminder that your party can include a bit of crafting for some Valentine’s Day fun

Go for the Unexpected

Below we see a neon twist on a Valentine’s Day celebration for kids, complete with a crafting table that’s perfect for creating cards and other artistic wonders. [from Alice G. Patterson Photography via The Sweetest Occasion]

Neon Valentine’s Day crafting

What unconventional bookmarks! Yes, those are paint chips–good thing these crafty items are easy to make! To simplify the process for your guests, add ribbon to each paint strip before the party begins. Now all guests have to do is use a heart-shaped punch to put a “Valentine’s Day stamp” on the bookmark. [from Inhabitots]

Paint chip bookmarks

Go for the Classic

Our final image is a Valentine’s Day crafting table, created by the talented Camille Styles. Markers, scissors, glue, paper, stamps, and other interesting glue-on supplies inspire creativity. Guests can craft their own unique cards for the loves of their life!

Valentine’s Day crafting

Have you ever thrown a Valentine’s Day party? Did you have the party before Valentine’s Day, or on February 14th? What colors, styles and foods did you use to welcome your guests? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below…

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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