Guest post by Sarah Pease, The Proposal Planner(™) from Brilliant Event PlanningWe’ve all been there: you check the calendar on February 1 and make a mental note that Valentine’s Day is a mere two weeks away. But before you know it, it’s February 13, and you and your sweetheart still have no plans. All is not lost! There’s still time for you to create a romantic, brag-worthy day. As someone who plans marriage proposals professionally, I’m used to finding a way to create something special and romantic in a matter of days (or even hours!). Here's a breakdown of some fun, last minute date ideas (and corresponding gifts) to make this year’s Valentine’s Day one for the books.1. Charity Gala — A charity gala is the perfect excuse to get glammed up for a good cause. Give your partner the opportunity to dust off that little black dress and hit the town for a night of socializing. You’ll be partying for a greater good and it doesn’t get much better than that. Hit Eventbrite or your favorite charity’s website to find a gala near you. Extra credit: If you want to make it a fun night with friends (and you’re sure your partner won’t mind), buy a whole table and share the love!Corresponding Gift Idea: read the book A Path Appears by Kristof and WuDunn to get ideas for ways to surprise her by making a donation to a charity that she will feel connected to.2. Get Adventurous — Few things are more romantic than sharing a scary-exciting experience with your partner. Paragliding, skydiving, late night snow skiing/tubing or even a day on the roller coasters at your local amusement park will all get the adrenaline flowing. And, because these aren’t the typical “romantic” type of dates , you’ll be able to book it last minute. Extra credit: prepare an adventurous meal after your activity that pushes your limits like a tasting menu, dinner in the dark or, if you want something less formal, a spread at home of crazy foods that you’ve been afraid to try until now.Corresponding Gift Idea: Get a backpack and fill it with all the things she’ll need for the adventure on Valentine’s Day and for future adventures: a GoPro camera, hat, mittens, scarf for cold weather or a cute Lululemon outfit [Julie note: ladies **love** Lululemon!], hiking or snow boots and fun snacks like Clif Bars and Gatorade.3. Virtual Getaway — Does she talk dreamily about taking a trip to Paris? Bring France to your house with a virtual getaway: transform your home with twinkle lights and posters of Paris, pick up a classic French wine, baguette, some fantastic cheese and macarons for dessert. Throw some Edith Piaf on your playlist or download a French 101 podcast and learn how to say I love you in French. If Paris isn’t her thing, you can do a virtual getaway anywhere in the world, no reservations required. Extra credit: purchase a travel guide to your dream destination and spend the evening planning your perfect trip together. Seal the plans with a (French) kiss!Corresponding Gift Idea: The possibilities are endless! Travel hacks like passport covers or a new suitcase, classes to learn a new language together (and continue the romance for weeks to come), or even splurge on plane tickets to your dream destination for a future date! [Julie note: if you choose Paris, get her some French lingerie! Great brands I recommend are L'Agent by AP, Agent Provocateur, and Kiki de Montparnasse.]Sarah Pease, The Proposal Planner™ is recognized as the foremost expert on marriage proposals and is the pioneer of Marriage Proposal Planning. Based in New York City, Sarah and her team at Brilliant Event Planning and sister company Proposal Ideas have designed and produced dream engagements for countless lucky couples from across the world and are the go-to source for all things regarding "Will You Marry Me?" Sarah is available for press, speaking engagements and appearances as a subject-matter expert on marriage proposals and wedding planning.
Valentine's Day is this Friday -- are you ready? Don't worry, I've got you covered. Here's how to look dapper on your date, gifts and must-do's to delight Ms. Right, and five genius date ideas to help you stir up some romance.Enjoy!Julie
Today's article is courtesy of the queen of romantic planning, Sarah Pease, The Proposal Planner (TM). Whether she's taking over the flight deck of the Intrepid for an epic proposal, or organizing the perfect picnic in Central Park, Sarah knows what's what when it comes to making romance happen.For some, Valentine's Day is the most romantic day of the year filled with love, red roses and candlelit dinners. For others, it's a commercialized, manufactured holiday rife with cheesy teddy bears, silk boxer shorts and exorbitantly priced prix fixe menus. Regardless of your opinion, it's a great excuse for organizing a fun date with your loved one (even if it's just your most-loved friend!). Here are five of my favorite ideas for Valentine's Day:1) For the Wallet-Conscious: Create your own wine tasting. With a little research done online or with your local wine shop, select 2 reds and 2 whites and pair them with cheeses or chocolates. Using a scarf from your closet, conduct an official blind tasting by candlelight. Not only will you expand your knowledge of wines, but you'll also enjoy the flirty part of blindfolding each other! Budget not an issue? Hire a sommelier to do a private tasting!2) Starry Night: Research the hours at your local planetarium or night-sky observatory and arrange to have a private tour. Whether you're strapped into an IMAX seat watching the latest space-themed movie, or gazing at real stars in other galaxies, you'll be in a romantic mood under all those stars.3) Love is all Around: Plan an entire evening around love. Meet your sweetheart at the Museum of Sex near the Flatiron Building - who says a museum can't be fun? Once you've explored all the newest exhibits, head to your favorite cocktail bar to sip on the cocktails she loves. From there, treat her to her guilty-pleasure food - is it cheesy biscuits from Red Lobster? Coconut Invasion cake from Asia de Cuba? Tonight is the night to indulge. End the evening by sharing three reasons why you love each other.4) Futuristic Love: Want to know what the universe has in store for you? Do a psychic reading together! Make an appointment or stop in to see what the crystal ball or tarot cards say. If you really want to tempt fate, try a few different fortune tellers to see if their predictions overlap.5) Ice Skating and Hot Chocolate: Strap on your skates and join the crowds for a lively spin around the ice rink. If you're in New York, you can blend in with the tourists in Central Park, Rockefeller Center or Bryant Park, or discover some of the smaller rinks around the city. Reward all of your activity with a cab ride to City Bakery and test out the "drinkable chocolate" of the day. Got a sweet tooth? Plan to come back every other day for the rest of their Hot Chocolate Festival which runs the entire month of February. That way you can try a new flavor every night.Many thanks to Sarah for sharing her fantastic ideas. For more info on Sarah, check out her website. And now that you've got the best date ever planned, read here for what to wear.