Five tips for hosting a Valentine’s Day event

For your own unique Valentine's Day event, party, dinner or date, follow these five tips to help you have a great time.

10 Feb 2017

In the lead up to Valentine’s Day we asked our Ipswich events teacher, Sarah Orr, to share her tips for a themed party or romantic date.

Tip 1: Planning and preparation

Create checklists (and maybe even a run sheet) to help keep your tasks and requirements in check for your Valentine’s Day event. This will also ensure you have covered all bases.

For a themed party include items such as food and beverages, decorations and when to begin the set-up of the function. Ensure you are realistic with timeframes. Also remember to consider the pack down after the function has finished.

For a romantic date include things like reservations and bookings (as required), transport and maybe even gift purchases.

Tip 2: Location, location, location

Where will you hold the Valentine’s Day event? Have you chosen the family house, local park or around the backyard? Firstly, ensure the space is relevant to the theme of the function (fairy lights and candles are an instant mood setter for Valentine’s Day), and also consider the number of guests that will be attending. Can you comfortably accommodate guests in that area and do you have access to enough tables, chairs and areas to provide food and beverage?

If you’re planning a romantic date make sure it’s at a location that suits you and your special someone – whether that’s close by, something new and crazy, or a place that holds a special place in your hearts.

Tip 3: Theming

There is more to theming then basing the function on a colour theme (e.g. red/pink/purple/white combinations for Valentine’s Day). Be creative – think outside the box in regards to the theme.

Themes can be based on the type of function chosen without decorations being too over the top. A beautiful flower arrangement for a high tea with lots of those typical Valentine’s colours sets up an elegant atmosphere perfectly or lots of fairy lights in a backyard or park setting lends itself to whimsy. You can also theme events based on romantic movies and classics like Love Actually, Bridget Jones’ Diary or Gone with the Wind (and this gives you plenty of ideas for decorations and costumes if necessary). Just remember to think about your guest list too – if it’s all your single female friends maybe you should approach it as Leslie Knope would and throw a ‘Galentine’s Day’ bash.

If you’re not planning a party but still want to make the night special with your partner, you can theme it up in subtle ways (and if the theme is something close to your partner’s heart they’ll appreciate it even more). For example, maybe they’re a massive fan of Beauty and the Beast. An easy way to bring that into your date night is to start off the day with the gift of a single red rose under a glass dome.

Tip 4: The menu

Think ultimate romantic dishes, lots of reds and pinks and lots of aphrodisiac foods (like chocolate, oysters, honey and more). If you’re stuck for ideas on actual dishes that are “romantic” (and let’s face it, that can be hard), go for something special that you know your guests or date likes (they’ll appreciate it if you happen to remember their favourite meal).

If you’re staying in or cooking yourself, our hospitality and cookery teachers have got at least your dessert covered this year. Check out their recipes for Chocolate Mousse with Salted Caramel and Honeycomb, Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse and Homemade Honeycomb!

If you’re going out for a meal, show your thoughtfulness and check the menu in advance to make sure that your special someone can eat and will enjoy the food on offer.

Tip 5: The ultimate invite

Create invites centred around the theme of your party or date – these can be posted (ooh fancy), emailed, or sent via social media. You might even want to call that special someone, send them a singer-gram or hire a skywriting plane (just consider not only your budget but what is likely to make them happy).

If you’re throwing a themed party make sure to let your guests know the specific time to arrive. It can be quite stressful if you are still setting tables or preparing food and guests start arriving as you have told them to come ‘around lunchtime’. Provide beverages to guests as a welcome to your event, this helps to set the mood of the function and helps people to relax. Delegate tasks to willing attendees to help with cooking, serving canapes and helping to pack up after the function (but make sure you provide them with a thank-you note or gift after the function is finished).

Bonus yip: Inspiration

Stuck for ideas? Want to take it to the next level?

Check out social media for quick ideas, tips and tricks. Instagram and Pinterest are often lifesavers and endless sources of inspiration, no matter the event you’re hosting or theme you’ve chosen.

For more information about events management courses available at TAFE Queensland visit

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