Tuesday, February 6, 2018

How to Host A Romantic Valentine Dinner Party--Part One

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and even though going out to a restaurant is always nice, staying in with friends and loved ones seems a bit more intimate, romantic, and less stressful to the pocketbook.  So follow along with me, as I prepare a Valentine Dinner party for 10.  These lovely people have been so gracious as to have us to their homes in the past few months, so I felt it appropriate to have them.  Consider a small group when planning your event, as conversation, table settings, and food preparation is much easier.

Step One:  Sprucing Up

I started a few weeks before by sprucing up my home.  After I put all the Christmas decorations away, I took my time putting accessories back out.  I wanted to make sure my home was clean and glitter-free before I put things back.  Some of my accessories, especially in the dining room, are silver, so I spent some time polishing trays, etc., before I put them out or before I put them back in storage.

Next on my list was adding something to my urn that sits on a pedestal in the family room.  I had a Christmas arrangement in this, so it has been empty for a few weeks.  I decided that, instead of putting a seasonal arrangement in it, I would create something that would last through the remainder of winter, spring and summer.  So I used artificial white flowers, and a few lavender ones to add a bit of color.

Step Two:  Decor

Mission accomplished.   Next on the list was preparing a welcoming entry.  Most of my friends use my side door which opens directly into the laundry room.  Not exactly the first impression I'm looking for.  I decided on a big Valentine wreath for my front door, and possibly (depending on weather), candles and globes lining the sidewalk to guide my guests to the door and foyer.  We had some yard work done, which included trimming some overgrown bushes and the workers were nice enough to power wash the sidewalk, which had gotten quite nasty over the winter.

I searched Pinterest for inspiration, watched a tutorial, and decided on a ribbon wreath.  I have never done one of these before, but I didn't think it could be so hard.  I had a wreath form, and I got a great deal on ribbon at a local crafts store.   This wreath took a ton of ribbon and a lot of time to do.  I liked the end result, but I'm not sure I would tackle this style again.

The shiny red ribbon was Christmas ribbon and greatly reduced.  I also used tulle--black, white, red, and pink, as well as decorative ribbon with hearts and chevron black and white.  I think I should stick to flowers ...

Then, since I had all this red Christmas ribbon, I decided to make an attempt at something smaller for the side door, just in case.  This didn't take a lot of time (obviously) but at least there's something festive on the door!

It's a bit wind-blown here, since we've been having March-type winds lately.  If I keep doing these, I think I could get it down, but this is definitely beginner level.

As we enter the foyer, I added just a little basket of red and white flowers,  sorta just used what I had leftover.

This silver vase is a an old bride's basket.  It has a handle, which is hard to see in the picture.  

I also worked on the kitchen table, but our dinner will be served in the dining room.  I will use the kitchen table for dessert and snacks.  Stay tuned, as I haven't really decided what I'll put there yet!  Anyway, I decorated some plain column-type vases that you can get at the dollar store with some little red jewel stick-ons.  I also used them on the candles.  They are very inexpensive and you can pick them up at any craft store.

I filled the vase with the wiry heart garland that I found at the grocery store.  The plan is to fill with water and float a candle--which I still need to buy.

I used the same bling on the pillar candles held by my little bored cherub.

There's a backing that just peels off and you can stick it on whatever you'd like.  I think it will come off pretty easily.

Step three:  Dining Table

Romance is necessary here.  Glamour and cosmopolitan.  That's the look I want.  The only problem is that none of my decor is cosmopolitan, more vintage, I would say.  Black and red was the answer.  And lots of candles.  I used a black tablecloth as my base.  I also used a piece of wood between my table pads and cloth to elevate the center, just a bit.  I bought a piece of craft wood at the hardware store, approx. 12" wide and 48" long.  It's only about 3/4" high.  Didn't take a picture of this step, but I know you can figure it out.  Black tablecloth came next, then mirror tiles down the center.  I am using little battery-powered rice lights on the top of the mirror, then red tulle as a table runner.

You can see the outline of the board in this picture, as well as the lights on the mirror.  I like having things different heights to add interest, but not so much as to block my guests' views.

After adding the tulle, you can see the glimmer of the lights reflecting in the mirror tiles.  I will use red flowers in these vases as well as the centerpiece in the picture above.  The charger plates--two different styles--also reflect light from the chandelier above as well as the shiny hearts I hung from it.

Think I will stop here, as I've got more things to do to get ready, as you can see.  I will finish the table setting, and lastly, prepare the food.  Today I am ironing the napkins and getting all the dishes ready to complete the table.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope this will give you some ideas as far as entertaining.  I find that not many people do this much anymore.  It's something I enjoy, but if I were invited to someone else's home, I would be just as happy with paper plates!



  1. Betsy this is so beautiful and a wonderful start for your Valentine's table! Love the pretty lights shining through the red tulle. I miss you in blogland and always look forward to your posts! I changed my blog name but I'm still the same otherwise! Hugs, Liz

    1. Thanks, Luz! I have been looking at your blog but haven’t touched base. Your posts are always delightful and your pictures are so professional!! I’m thinking about moving to word press. I have material that I have been saving lol! Take care and thanks for visiting. I will post finished table in a few days!!