Love is in the air, and Valentine's Day is just around the corner -- are you ready? There's no better time of year for a romantic, enchanted evening with your girlfriend, wife, husband or boyfriend. However, with all the expectations of Valentine's Day comes anxiety and nervousness. Worry not; as long as you don't wait until the last minute to start planning, you can easily plan a memorable night out and sweep your date off her feet. As you start planning your Valentine's Day extravaganza, ask yourself the following questions to make sure you've got the finer details covered.
When planning for Valentine's Day, most people only think about the evening... but remember, Valentine's Day is an entire day! Why not set the tone for an awesome evening by surprising your date in the morning? You don't need to do anything over-the-top; a little note tucked into her bathroom mirror or a single long-stem rose on her purse will do the trick. You can also consider leaving little heart-shaped chocolates where you know she'll find them. These little things show that you care, and the little things matter greatly on Valentine's Day.
Can I choose my table?
If you're going to a restaurant that has a nice view -- such as by a river or on a hill -- ask for a table that allows you to be near a window. You can even visit the restaurant in advance to ensure you get seating you'll be happy with.
Where will your date be during the day?
Knowing where you date will be on Valentine's Day can help you plan some cool surprises. If your significant other is at work during the day, you can have flowers sent to the office. If your date is enrolled in classes, you can show up for a surprise lunch. Knowing your date's schedule will also help you make dinner reservations and plan other important details.
Should I send my date flowers?
The question isn't whether to give your date your date flowers -- of course you should -- but whether you should have the flowers delivered. Only do flower delivery if you know for sure where your significant other is going to be; otherwise, you'll be better off buying a bouquet from a florist and handing them to her yourself. Especially if you're planning a date for your wife or girlfriend, then the importance of giving her flowers cannot be understated. If you plan on sending flowers, make your delivery request several days in advance, as most florists become completely booked up on Valentine's Day.
How much can you spend?
Take a good look at your budget before making plans at the most expensive restaurant in town. It can be tempting to go all-in when trying to impress your date, but you also don't want to spend the whole night worried about money. You and your date will have a better time if you stay within your means.
Can I make dinner at home?
A romantic date is the product of how much thoughtfulness you put into your evening, not about how much money you're willing to spend. With that in mind, it's totally possible to have a perfect, romantic date without even leaving the house. However, if you plan on staying in for Valentine's Day, don't use that as an excuse to go light on the planning. If anything, a stay-in date requires even more attention to detail. In addition to finding a delicious recipe that you can prepare reliably, you also need to think about which music you'll play during dinner, what kind of wine you'll be drinking or what you'll have for dessert. You can get flowers for your table, and perhaps dine by candlelight. The more you can do to transform your dining room into a fine dining establishment, the more your date will feel that you've put forth thought and effort to impress her.
Can I leave special instructions with this reservation?
When making dinner reservations, ask if you can leave a card, rose or gift at the table before you arrive. You can also ask if your server can bring gifts to your table along with different courses, or perhaps a bottle of your date's favorite wine waiting when you arrive. If a restaurant is willing to take specific instructions with your reservation, then this opens the door for you to work some surprises into your evening.
Should I go someplace else for dessert?
A great way to extend your Valentine's Day date without adding extra costs is to go someplace different for after-dinner drinks and dessert. Nothing tops off a romantic evening like a decedent dessert, and most restaurants don't specialize in high-quality treats. However, most cities have restaurants, bars and chocolate shops that specialize in delicious desserts more than anything else. Going elsewhere for dessert can conveniently add more variety and excitement.
Should I give my date a massage?
The gift of massage is a great way to wind down, especially after a romantic night on the town. You can buy scented candles, lotions and massage oils at various bath and body supply stores; these products warm and soften the skin, making the experience even more indulging. However, this is a better idea for those who are already experienced. In other words, don't plan on giving your date a Valentine's Day massage if you've never given a massage already. You could, however, give smaller massages throughout the year in preparation for your next Valentine's Day event.