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Valentine's Day is sneaking up on all of us quickly. It feels like we just finished spending a ton of money on the December holidays, and before you know it, the pressure of doing something outrageously memorable on Cupid's holiday is stressing you out. Don't let that happen.
First of all, it's important to realize that every single day is Valentine's Day when you're happily married. It's about being together every day, and knowing that the person you love most in the world will always be there for you, every day, for the rest of your life. If your budget is tight, or you're still paying off your recent wedding, there's absolutely no reason to go into further debt for the sake of February 14th.
This year, Valentine's Day falls on a weekend, upping the ante significantly because many couples feel like they're supposed to go away someplace romantic and fabulous to make a new memory. Sure, a cozy bed and breakfast someplace would be lovely after spending the day on fluffy ski slopes. Even better, a tropical beach someplace where nobody is wearing winter coats. But is that really necessary for a special Valentine's Day?
With a little imagination, you and your love can have a very special getaway, alone together, without ever leaving your house. In fact, if you live someplace where it's nippy right now, the goal of the romantic weekend might be to never set foot outside your front door, except to the walk the dog.
Here's how to prepare for your romantic weekend in advance.
Stock up on all of your favorite movies.
And by "your favorite," I mean movies that you both enjoy. Since you can pretty much get them all online now (do video rental stores even exist anymore?), sit down and make up a list of movies that you remember watching together and enjoying. If you remember the first movie you ever watched as a couple, that's a great place to start.
Plan out your weekend menus and shop ahead of time.
Including a trip to the liquor store for a special wine, or a visit to the bakery that made your wedding cake for something sweet that evokes happy memories. If you rarely have breakfast together because you're both in a hurry, or not morning people, a romantic weekend can include a special brunch — eaten in your pajamas (or less) — whatever time of day you finally get around to it.
Create a music playlist for the weekend with all of the music that you both love.
Include the songs that were on your wedding ceremony and reception playlists, and songs that make you think of the person you love. When you want to dance, let the moment inspire you! Grab your husband or wife by the hand, and pull them onto the living room dance floor with you. You can do as much kissing as you like without violating any societal rules when the only audience is your cat. Caution: Dancing often leads to a horizontal mambo!
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.