How to Host an Irresistible Valentine’s Gathering

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Create a festive, love-filled atmosphere with these top tips. 

Romantic lovers shouldn’t be the only ones merrymaking this Valentine’s Day. Though the occasion is often thought to be a celebration of couples’ romance, it’s also the perfect opportunity to gather loved ones and friends in your home.

 I call it the “Gathering of Love.” And since I adore the prep-work of fixing up good eats and creating a festive, love-filled atmosphere, I’m sharing some of my favorite hosting ideas so that you can start a heartwarming Valentine’s tradition of your own.

The Invites

●       Weeks before the gathering, create handwritten invitations with a festive design. You can do it yourself or leave it to another family member.

●       On each invite ask your guests to bring a hand-written statement about what love means to them. They can read these off during the gathering. 

●       Mail or hand deliver the invitations to your guests, including family members who live with you.

The Home Décor

●       Deck out your home with a red and white color scheme. You can start by temporarily replacing pillows and throws.

●       Set up some bowls of chocolate and sweetheart candies around the room for guests to snack on.

●       Add red and white handmade or store-bought wreaths, tied with satin ribbon, to the back of each chair in the dining area.

●       Arrange an eye-catching centerpiece and color-coordinated serveware on the table.

●       Place fresh flowers throughout your gathering space.

The Good Eats  

●       Make it buffet-style. This approach gives everyone the chance to mingle and enjoy one another’s company.

●       Use small plates; finger foods are essential.

●       Create a spread with a variety of sweets (macarons, bite-sized cakes, cream puffs) and savory foods (antipasto sausage skewers, cheeses, crackers and peppery bites).

●       Provide a selection of signature cocktails, mocktails and cider.

Entertainment Time

●       Gather in a circle, and have everyone share what love means to them (as indicated on the invitation). Your family and friends will love catching up in this way.

●       Consider playing games or putting on a movie toward the end of the night.

This Valentine’s Day, I hope you put the above ideas to use and create your own unique “Gathering of Love.” Happy hosting, and happy Valentine’s Day!