10 Sweet Ways to Sneak Valentine's Day Details Into Your Wedding
A winter wedding on or near Valentine's Day definitely calls for a sweet nod to the most romantic holiday of the year. But don't worry, your nuptials don't need to be fully Valentine's Day themed (unless you want them to!)—a few subtle touches will do. Want to spread the love without going overboard? Here are 10 stylish ways to infuse Valentine's Day into your wedding.
1. Share your love story.
To get started, think about Valentine's Day and what it means to your relationship. Look for inspiration from your own love story, like where you met, your proposal story or your favorite things to do together (side note: this is great inspiration for weddings any time of the year!).
2. Play with classic colors.
Valentine's Day is basically synonymous with pink, purple and red. Depending on your style, you can go with those traditional hues or do something unexpected. For example, choose a classic black-and-white palette and add subtle pops of red or pink in the florals, signature cocktails, napkins, favors or wedding party accessories. You could even give the slightest nod with pink satin ribbons around the tiers of an all-white cake. Another way to make these romantic hues stylish is to go for contrast. Think deep crimson paired with ballet-slipper-pink and some chic metallic accents.
3. Create cozy places to chill.
Set up cozy, romantic nooks throughout your reception space. For lounge or cocktail areas, a few faux-fur pillows or throws will soften and warm the mood. A lounge area is also a great place to display photos of family members on their own wedding day—such a sweet way to honor all the love stories from generations before you. For the finishing touch, if a fireplace or fire pit is an option, by all means, light it—or create the illusion of a lit fireplace with loads of candles.
4. Make flowers the star of the party.
Roses on Valentine's Day are a given, but other blooms are as romantic and stylish—if not more so. Amaryllis is one showy winter flower that's dramatic and bold in color. For a rich contrast, mix deep red calla lilies, dahlias, ranunculus or anemones into the bouquets and centerpieces. Another option, no matter your budget: Experiment with nonfloral elements, like red-tinted integrifolia (the long and narrow red foliage), tassels or feathers.
5. Don't forget the mood lighting.
Use lighting to set the mood. Soft bistro lighting creates a romantic setting, while glowing LED lights on the border of the dance floor keeps the focus on the music and dancing. And, of course, nothing says "romance" like a candlelit dinner, which will shine even brighter if you choose sequined or silky table linens. Go for ornate, flower-draped candelabras, or create a more contemporary vibe with floating tea candles in narrow hurricane vases.
6. Spread the love with your cocktail.
A Valentine's Day wedding calls for its own signature cocktail. A pink sugar-rimmed cosmopolitan or a flute of champagne with a few pomegranate seeds or gold flakes will play up the romance factor (both are so light, they dance with the champagne bubbles!). Even the addition of red garnishes like strawberries, raspberries or cherries makes any cocktail more festive. Consider swapping out the usual bar peanuts for classic Valentine candies, like Conversation Hearts and red cinnamon hearts, for a subtle touch.
7. Play meaningful music.
It's more than likely your first dance will be to a love song, but to keep the mood romantic all night long, ask your guests to fill in their first dance song (or simply the name of "their song") on their RSVP card. Mixing some of those tunes into your playlist is a lovely way to honor them and help them relive their favorite memories.
8. Go heavy on the treats.
It's Valentine's Day—time to indulge. Serve decadent desserts like individual-size flourless chocolate cakes drizzled with raspberry syrup or chocolate-dipped fruits. For your wedding cake cake, a brushstroke pink and red cake or a graphic heart pattern embossed into white fondant would be gorgeous. Or choose a red filling (like red velvet cake or fresh strawberries) so that each slice has have a hint of color.
9. Send them home with something sweet.
Don't forget to let your guests know how much you adore them. Leave them handwritten messages—love notes, if you will—at each place setting as a fun favor. Or send them home with something sweet: Prepackaged candies like chocolate truffles or chocolate-covered espresso beans are a total win. You can also stock a candy bar with assorted chocolates, candy hearts and cellophane bags and let them serve their own for the road.
10. Incorporate private, heartfelt details.
If more obvious Valentine's Day décor isn't really your thing, infuse a few private details into your wedding look. Something like heart-accented shoes, a Cupid's arrow bowtie or a secretly inscribed ribbon bouquet wrap adds holiday spirit without taking over your entire wedding style.