Valentine\'s Day Wedding Ideas
By Joanna Cali, Westchester Wedding Guide
Valentine\'s Day is synonymous with romance and if you\'ve chosen this day to marry, you must be a truly romantic soul. Let your love of romance set the stage for your Valentine\'s wedding and inject the theme of romantic love into every aspect of your planning.
For a Valentine\'s theme wedding, think of a location that provides a feeling of intimacy. It need not be small, but will ideally provide nooks, alcoves and romantic "hideaways" for guests to rekindle their own romantic flames. A fireplace with real logs burning, candlelight and comfy sofas for guests to relax in will all set the stage. A
romantic country inn, bed & breakfast or winery are all great choices.
On the other hand, dramatic settings can work too, suggesting great historical romances – castles and historical manors would make excellent backdrops to this effect.
Red is the obvious and dramatic color of Valentine\'s romance – the traditional color of the heart as it relates to love. You can play on this color without being limited to the bright red of Hallmark Valentines. Deep burgundies and maroons are just as romantic.
You can also choose a different color to work as your basic theme shade, and just have small touches of red as accents in your flowers, bridal party attire and décor. Deep colors tend to be more dramatic than pastels – regal blues, shimmering gold, deep greens and rich ivory shades all set a lovely backdrop for strategic suggestions of
Valentine\'s Wedding Attire:
For your gown, think about what feels romantic to you. It might be a dramatic satin or velvet with plunging neckline, tight bodice and tremendous skirts with a sweeping train reminiscent of the fiery romantics of history. Or a simpler gown you might picture on Romeo\'s Juliet might speak of romance to you.
For the groom, a traditional black tuxedo with a red or white rose boutonniere is dashing. A retro look can work nicely too, evocative of the romatic leading men of 1940\'s film.
Hire a band or a DJ familiar with classic romantic dance numbers. Consider taking tango lessons with your fiancé and heating up the floor with that sultry dance at your wedding. Slow dance tunes will set a romantic mood and encourage your guests to get close. For background music, think of classical strings.
Candles burning in glistening candelabras will set the mood. Artificial lighting should be low, and fabrics should be soft and gauzy. Roses are very expensive in February, but one magnificent collection of old fashioned roses spilling dreamily from an urn in a strategic location will make an impact (not the modern hybrid teas –
look for David Austin-style roses for real old-fashioned romance in looks and fragrance).
Let the traditional Valentine\'s motif come into play at your place settings. At each seat, use a frilly Valentine\'s heart or old fashioned Valentine for a name card. Centerpieces can be overflowing with blowsy flowers and ribbons.
You might choose Whitman\'s Valentine candy samplers, Belgian chocolate roses or parchment scrolls with your favorite love poems.
Roses are the obvious choice, but budget considerations may not allow for abundance in your décor. Don\'t worry – flowers are romantic by their nature. Large collections of inexpensive blooms will set the romantic atmosphere quite nicely. If you are interested in the symbolic language of flowers, include globe amaranth, or Gomphrena,
representative of "unfading love" and Forget Me Not, or Myosotis sylvatica, a symbol of "true love."
For your bouquet, you might want to go to extremes: either a single red rose, or a mass of them. For your attendants, consider a single rose in red or white (each a symbol of unity) tucked into an ivy spray.
You can play up your romantic theme by serving reputed aphrodisiacs. Some suggestions for your menu are:
Oyster bar: The humble oyster has been reputed to have aphrodisiacal qualities for generations. Casanova, the legendary lover, is reputed to have eaten 40 raw oysters a day. Oysters are high in zinc, which has been linked to sperm count.
Tomatoes with Mozzarella and Basil: The French refer to tomatoes as love apples. Enough said.
Cucumber Salad: The scent of cucumbers is reportedly a female aphrodisiac.
Asparagus Hollandaise: French bridegrooms in the 1800\'s partook heavily of asparagus due to their reputed powers.
Caviar Topped Roasted New Potatoes: Caviar\'s aphrodisiacal reputation is linked to eggs being a fertility symbol and is probably enhanced by its rarity.
Shrimp with Garlic: All seafood is considered something of an aphrodisiac, and garlic has been used as such by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Japanese.
Chocolate covered strawberries: Chocolate is a traditional Valentine\'s Day gift to a lover. It contains over 400 different chemicals including phenylethylamine, which has been reported to arouse the same feelings that you experience when you are in love. Strawberries also have some reputed aphrodisiac effect.
Ginseng Tea: Also known as "man root," the ginseng\'s shape seems to have contributed to its reputation for increasing romantic desire.
Copyright 2005 The Westchester Wedding Guide
Joanna Cali is the publisher of the Westchester Wedding Guide, an online bridal guide that offers articles, advice and tips on planning a wedding. She also owns a web development and search engine optimization firm in Westchester, NY