Sweetheart Dinner Invitation

Valentine's Day is devoted to love and romance. Look at the ads in your local newspaper and the message comes across loud and clear. You'll find gifts for everyone in your life. Besides jewelry, flowers and other gifts for the love of your life, you also see heart shaped toys and treats for your pet. Even school children share paper and candy valentines demonstrating the special day can also be about simple affection. No matter the age, everyone gets involved.

Traditionally Valentine's Day is celebrated by couples, but February 14 should be shared with people you care about even if they're only friends. So this Valentine's Day why not organize a "sweethearts dinner" and fill your dining room with couples to make it an extra special night of surprises. Set the mood for the evening following the steps below, and you just might learn things about your friends you never new.

What You'll Need For Your Valentine's Dinner

invitations

dinner menu

napkin rings

table centerpiece

music

photo frames

Guest Participation

Make or buy an invitation with a valentine theme. In the invitation, request that each guest come to the party prepared to recite a love poem, sing a romantic song to their mate, or tell a romantic story.

Julia

Everyone participates, no exceptions. Soft lighting will help with this part of the celebration. Are your friends brave enough to announce their feelings to the room? It's always surprising which people actually open up about their relationship, or share touching stories of how they met. Keep the tissues handy and prepare yourself for the loving husband who might go down on one knee and present his wife with the diamond they could never afford when they married.

The Valentine Table Setting

Make or buy a centerpiece for the table that includes roses. Red roses are the typical flower on Valentine's day, but if you're on a budget, you'll find another color rose will be much less expensive at this time of year. Follow the sweetheart theme by including a collectible or anything else that spells romance for the focal point of the centerpiece.

Table setting

Fill miniature frames with photos of each guest and use them as place cards. They're inexpensive and come in many heart designs. Let your guests take them home at the end of the evening. You'll find many sources for appropriate frames with a simple web search.

Thread ribbon through a 4-5" piece of chain to create "chains of love" napkin rings. Attach small magnets and a heart on the ends. The ribbon should match or complement the colors in your centerpiece.

chains of love napkin ring

The Valentine Meal

Plan a meal that includes little surprises for your guests, like heart shaped ravioli, hearts of palm salad, and cooked beets cut into heart shapes with cookie cutters. If you don't have time to go all out, make a simple meal, but make just one thing that's spectacular. Guests will appreciate and never forget something like a gorgeous heart shaped desert with chocolate leaves!

The Valentine Music

Gather together your favorite romantic songs and make a playlist for your iPod, or create a cd you can play as background music throughout the dinner. If you are computer savvy, plan the music far enough in advance so that you have time to create several cds with the party music. Give one to each couple to take home and enjoy during their own private Valentine's Day celebration. Make a special label for the cd with the date and names of guests.

Sources For Heart Frames, Valentine Recipes And More