Valentine’s Day is just over a month away! Now is the time to start formulating your plan, and luckily you have us on your side. This year, we will be doing a multi-part series on planning an amazing Valentine’s Day, starting with Valentine’s Day dinner!
Step 1: Valentine’s Day Dinner
Have you recently started dating somebody new? Your first Valentine’s Day dinner can be a make or break event in your relationship. Trying to impress your long-standing spouse? New or old relationship, here’s how to do it. (note: we’re writing this addressed to a female significant other. Adjust as necessary!)
Take the lead, and communicate it
First things first, you are in charge of the evening. Make sure to communicate to your significant other that you have a plan for it. We suggest doing this one or two weeks in advance of the evening, so she doesn’t get nervous leading up to the event. You don’t want her to think that you are unprepared or that dinner will be a last-minute arrangement.
Find and vet your venue
If you’re new in your relationship, there are probably several restaurants you know that you haven’t tried together yet. If you’ve had good dates at one or more of these venues, use it to your advantage. Should you choose a new venue, be sure to research prior to going. Yelp is a great resource for finding new romantic spots, allowing for you to search directly for romantic dinners. You can also visit or dine there to verify the quality and experience. This is a good idea if you are going to try to plan anything custom (see below) with the restaurant.
If you’ve been together a while, you can also find a new venue as described above. Or, you can take advantage of nostalgia and go to a venue you haven’t been to in a while. Is there a restaurant where you shared an important memory, such as a first date? These can be great places to bring back fond memories from years past.
When you’re set on a spot, lock it in with a reservation. Double check that everything is still set the morning of Valentine’s Day.
Ride in style
Driving isn’t a particularly romantic activity. Fortunately, getting a limo ride is cheaper than ever. Schedule an Uber Black Car, Lyft Premier, or other similar services well in advance, both to and from the venue. This will let you focus on your significant other during the trip and avoid spending time looking for parking.
If you have trust in your ability to choose a venue for Valentine’s Day dinner, go ahead and surprise her. If you get it right, this will show that you have been paying attention and know her and her preferences well. Really looking to up the surprise? Have her wear a blindfold. This will create some excitement and preserve the surprise until you get there.
Go Private for Valentine’s Day dinner
Some venues aren’t normally open to the public or are normally closed in the evening. If you know of a venue like this, such as her favorite brunch spot, you may be able to arrange a special accommodation for you and your significant other for the evening. This will not be cheap but is sure to show your commitment to her and the relationship.
Pre-plan the dining experience
How well do you know her dining preferences? If you are on top of things and know what your significant other likes, you can plan a multi-course meal in advance. When you arrive, you will be directed to your seats and let the servers take it from there. You’ll need to clear this with the restaurant in advance, but many will cater to your needs for Valentine’s Day dinner.
Create custom dinner menus
Want to go the extra yard? You can create custom menus to go along with the meal. These will sit on the table and show the depth of your planning for the evening. Again, you’ll want to clear this with the restaurant first. If they’re willing to work with you, then you can get started. We recommend you include; your names, the date, a slimmed down set of course offerings or a predetermined menu (if you choose the above option), and any custom food options you may have arranged.
Remember the flowers
While not overly unique, flowers are an effective tool to express your love and affection. You can make them unique with a couple options and a little effort. You can have them ready in your limo if you take one. Alternatively, you can have them waiting on your table at the restaurant. Again, either method shows how far you’ve gone to express your love.
If you can’t impress her (or him) with some of these tricks, then we need your significant other to write for us! But for most, a Valentine’s Day dinner with one or two of these elements will lead to an enjoyable and memorable experience!