For many, Valentine’s Day can bring unwelcome pressure. At least, it’s true for me, whether it was the nervous anticipation of whether I’d receive a valentine from a special someone in grade school, the thought of not having a date in college (though my girlfriends always more than sufficed), or feeling like we have to live up to expectations put forth by commercials and romantic movies.
Too often, February 14th can become a stiff routine of roses and candlelit dinners rather than an authentic celebration of those we most value most. To help you get out of the box, below I’m sharing unique ideas for how to spend Valentine’s Day together. And while I treasure quality time over gifts, I included 5 ideas for him and her in case gift-giving is something you love!
Co-Create the Date
The responsibility tends to fall on the guy, but why note plan your ideal date together? Try perusing Yelp, Timeout, and the newspaper for ideas. Alternatively, if you love surprises, you can each plan a different stage of the date: one plans cocktails and dinner, the other plans dessert and an activity.
Make your favorite meal & watch a rom-com in. Pile tons of pillows and blankets on the living room floor, pop homemade popcorn, and cozy up for a movie night (Hitch and My Big Fat Greek Wedding are two favorites).
Wine & Walk
For a simple date night, leave your phones at home, bundle up, pour 2 glasses of wine, and enjoy them on a long walk around the neighborhood. Try Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc or Meiomi Pinot Noir, a crowd favorite.
Recreate Your First Date
Head back to the spot where your love first sparked or recreate a favorite date from several years ago. You can even recreate the outfits for some added flare! For us, this would mean splitting a savory hot pot from Buku, wine in the park, and a late night movie at home.
5 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her
Crystal Ring Stand // A dedicated place for your wedding rings or other fine jewelry. I’m proud to say I’ve never lost my rings with the help of this stand.
Cozy Pajamas // These PJs have stellar reviews (over 1,000 five star!), and I love the seasonal color and the feminine swing top.
Jo Malone Perfume – Peony & Blush Suede is perfect for transitioning into spring.
14K Gold Ring // Understated jewelry is so timeless and chic to me. You’ll never go wrong with a thin gold band.
Dyson Hairdryer // When I told David this could cut my get-ready time by 50%, he was all ears!
5 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him
Anker Phone Charger // For the guy who loves techie items. You rest your phone on it to charge your device. So cool and tidy.
AllBird Sneakers // David loves his pair & wears them at least twice a week.
Phone Wallet // I’ve seen more and more men carrying these in lieu of a separate wallet fold. David loves his and would vouch for the switch!
Leather Sneakers // Vince makes the best sneakers; David and I both own pairs. I love how the brown leather makes the lace-up style more put together.
How are you spending Valentine’s Day? I’d love to hear if you use any of these ideas – or fresh ideas of your own – in the comments or on Instagram.
All photography in this post by Elisa Bricker.