Don’t have a love interest? Want to spend Valentine’s with your girlfriends? We’ve got just the solution: a Galentine’s Day Party! Today our resident Stagg Design Stylist and party expert, Melissa, is sharing one of her favorite traditions– a Valentine’s party all about the girls.
Valentine’s Day has really become more than just a romantic celebration for lovebirds. In fact, old and young, single and attached, all can find a reason to celebrate with chocolates, pink hearts, and love notes during this brief little stint of a season, which in my opinion, brings some of the best sweets and candies a holiday has to offer. Enter mini sour gummy hearts…IYKYK. And a homemade heart shaped sugar cookie with pink frosting…yes! Why do those taste better than any other frosted shaped sugar cookie?? Well, at least to me they do.
Outside of the classic date nights for couples on Valentines, we have the school parties, parents celebrating with their kids, date night-in with the whole family, even the individuals that vent out their broken hearts through an anti-valentines party – hey, ok, I can see how that would be therapeutic. But one I have seen grow in popularity in the last few years, is a Galentines party. Now what is that? A night set apart for celebrating the gals in your life. A party that my husband just patiently, lovingly obliges to with an “okey dokey”, as our house is taken over by my shenanigans in the form of all things pink, valentine, and girly. A reason to indulge in delicious food, sugar, and good company…what could be better?
Years ago, I was inspired by a friend in my old neighborhood who threw a lovely Galentines party before I even knew Galentines was a thing. Every guest was to bring a creative valentine to give to every guest that was attending…a little nostalgic nod to the elementary school days when you would come home with a valentine jackpot from every classmate, and eagerly open every one, and look way into some of the valentines messages from your secret crush(es)…only me? Hah.
My friend’s party was charming, with delicious treats, lovely people, and a filled bag of gifted valentines that made us giddy like a schoolgirl!
Well, I moved to a new neighborhood, and put this inspiration into reality, and threw my first Galentines party as a way to create more connections in my new neck of the woods. It’s since become a tradition that I love to host every year for my neighborhood girlfriends. Over the years I have carved out my niche as to how I like to throw this Galentines party. So if this sounds like something up your Valentine alley, here are some of my tips and ideas!
I do love delivering a real invitation, like the ones made of paper in an envelope, that are dropped off in the mailbox? Remember those? That is the ideal…it’s Valentines after all, and a real deal card invite feels extra special. But in the last couple of years, I have resorted to the e-vite method due to logistics, and that has worked just fine, too. What is important is to instruct the guests to bring their fun, creative valentines to your party, as the valentines exchange is the main event of this event! Calculate how many you are inviting and minus one, that is how many all are to bring…unless you would like one of your own valentines. And don’t forget, the host gives out valentines to her guests, too.
My tradition has been to create a big charcuterie spread across my kitchen island with plenty of cheeses, meats, nuts, crackers, sweets, vegetables, berries, grapes and dips. Be creative! There are sometimes heart shaped crackers or cheeses, valentine themed food items you may find at the store. I arrange them on several wood cutting boards across my island and garnish the boards with sprigs of rosemary or thyme and tea lights to make it feel fancy-ish. The nice thing about this method is there really is not much cooking, if any, involved. You could even ask your guests to contribute as well.
For this particular party, I want it to feel like a PARTY, a real deal Galentines party almost on the verge of a kids party with a little more sophistication. Like a big balloon arch over the island, an explosion of pink, white, coral, gold, or whatever color scheme suits your fancy, tying in all the garlands, ribbon, table clothes, flowers, and candles together. I have collected my decor over the years, but keep your eye out at those at party stores, Target, and online for fun decor that you can reuse. I have a lot of those items I just reuse each year.
The valentine exchange with your galentines…it’s simple, really. After everyone has had a chance to eat as much as possible from the food spread. We gather around the living room and take turns one by one sharing what we brought for our valentines, then we pass it out to all. We are all moms that just had Christmas morning with our kids not too long ago…so we will relish this time to just sit, look at the gifts and enjoy all these precious valentines everyone has brought. For the gals to collect all their valentines, I like to give each of them a cute canvas tote that I purchase with a fun print from somewhere like Etsy. Sometimes I have created my own tote design by painting right on a plain canvas tote or ironing on a screen printed design to it. You can also simplify things and just provide paper gift bags or those cute reusable shopping totes you can find everywhere.
Should you decide to further indulge, we finish off the night with dessert. For the dessert, I have made flourless chocolate cakes in little ramekins with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Usually a crowd pleaser. And feels very Valentine-esque.
The gals leave with full bellies and a full bag of valentines from their friends…and I must say, I am impressed with the creative and fun valentines all the gals have brought over the years. I wish that I had somehow cataloged them all, for sweet memory sake!
And that’s a wrap, my Galentines party! It’s one of my favorite parties to throw for my friends!