If you’re planning to spend a lot of money on your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone. In 2018, one projection had each person spending an average of $143.56, which is no small amount.

Flowers and chocolates are the old standbys, but they’re also a little played-out by now. It’s fair to wonder if there’s something else to do on Valentine’s Day. If you really want a February 14th to remember, it’s worth planning a Valentine’s Day party for your beloved. Here are some tips on how to do that.

Examine your history

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been together for two years or twenty years; you’re bound to have happy memories that spring to mind when you think of your significant other. While you can’t recreate those moments, you can make certain objects from the past a significant part of your Valentine’s Day party. Your sense of smell is strongly connected to your memory, so maybe you can wear the perfume or cologne that you wore back on your first date. However, that assumes that your partner likes that particular scent, so skip out on this step if you applied a gallon of something cheap before going out to dinner.

Party favors can also speak to your past in a couple of different ways. If you met at a club while you were both holding glow sticks, then buy some glow sticks. Party supply companies like Premier Glow also let you make personalized party favors with a date, phrase, or logo on them. So you might want to get your two names, or perhaps even the date you first met, on shot glasses or something similar. You don’t necessarily have to explain such party favors to other guests, but they should have an immediate meaning for both you and your partner.

Create a meaningful menu

You want to celebrate your relationship with friends and family members present, since there’s not much point to hosting a two-person party. So that means you can get romantic, but not so romantic that other guests feel uncomfortable. That means your menu should consist of romantic dishes which remain classy.

If you aren’t sure what romantic dishes would work, then you can’t go wrong with comfort foods like pasta and cheese. Valentine’s Day is in the middle of winter, which means people often want to hibernate and eat dishes like macaroni and cheese anyway. A macaroni and cheese bake isn’t sexy, but it is comforting. And there’s definitely something romantic about comfort, especially if you’re in a long-term relationship with someone whose mere presence makes you feel reassured. You should season your food, but try to avoid any really strong spices that will upset the stomach.

Don’t forget the wine, either. If your sweetheart has a favorite Chardonnay or Merlot, then there’s nothing wrong with buying that. You can also go into your local winery and ask for a slightly fancier version of a favorite, since this is a special occasion. But if you both prefer beer or cider to wine, then you can serve that as well. In fact, that is a much better option than buying a bottle of wine that you’ll barely touch. If you watch a lot of movies and TV shows, it can seem like you absolutely have to buy wine on Valentine’s Day, and any couple who doesn’t must not really love each other. That’s not true, thankfully. Drink whatever you want, even if that’s grape soda in a plastic cup.

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