There’s nothing wrong with the Valentine’s tradition of giving your love a bouquet of red roses and a box of fabulous fancy chocolates.
But there are there are lots of other beautiful red flowers out there – including alstroemerias and gerbera daisies; and many people prefer caviar to candy. And still others don’t need you to prove your love with gifts. Just your company and words of love are enough.
Here are 10 ways to celebrate your love without breaking the bank
1. Take the day off work
You could both book the day off work so you can go somewhere special or do something special – hiking, walking, skiing, snowshoeing. Or drive to your favourite out of town restaurant or scenic country place.
2. Dine in
Decorate the table with your best china, candles, and flowers. Then cook up, ideally together, each other’s favourite dishes, accompanied by good juice, wine, sparkling water or champagne, and an over-the-top-dessert featuring chocolate, of course!
3. Watch a movie at home
Cuddle up for a movie. Classic romcoms, with some heartache, are Valentine’s favourites. Think “Casablanca” or “Some like it hot” or “When Harry met Sally” or “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” But what’s to stop you watching a drama, thriller, animated film or action-packed thriller? It’s the company that counts.
4. Make a romantic gesture
Get creative. There are more ways to present roses than in a bouquet. Budget-wise tip: roses are not the only flowers available for Valentine’s day. Think alstroemerias (long-lasting and variegated), tulips, pinks – anything colourful, fresh and fragrant.
Write a love note for him or her to find on the washstand, or beside the kettle, or on the bedside table first thing in the morning.
5. Go shopping together for Valentine’s gifts for each other
Go shopping together for something sexy and romantic to give each other – separate to go to the appropriate stores, then reconvene at your favourite coffee shop or bar or at home to present your presents to each other. Hint: something silky and wearable is a good bet, for women and for men.
Or get something sensible – a book you know your partner will enjoy.
Or a bottle of their favourite wine.
6. Do something you’ve never done before
Go bowling, dancing, have an archery lesson, a lesson on Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, head out to the pub for a singalong or trivia quiz.
7. Tell your love story
Retell your love story to each other: how you met, your first impressions of each other, your first date, when you first realised each other was very special, when you first realised you were in love with each other.
8. Take a trip down memory lane
Spend the evening looking through old photos and videos of things you’ve done together – holidays and dates, birthdays, and other special events, reliving some of your favourite times. As soundtrack, play your favourite songs.
9. Look to the future
Plan the next big thing you want to do together: take a trip to a place you’ve both always wanted to go and never quite got around to booking; sign up for that course on Ancient Rome, Astronomy or navigation or the cuisine of Tunisia, that you’ve always thought would be fun.
10. Proposal Day
And if this happens to be the day when you propose…treasure every moment of it, and dream of spending your life together.
On this most romantic of days, you can celebrate your love in special ways that are meaningful, fun, creative and beautiful.
Catherine Kentridge, Licensed Wedding Officiant
Custom Wedding Ceremonies