Back when you and your partner were dating, you probably stuck to the classic Valentine’s Day plan: cards, flowers, chocolates, and a nice dinner for two. But now that you’re engaged, it’s time to step it up a notch. After all, most couples are engaged for a year or less, which means this is the only Valentine’s Day you’ll have with your fiancé(e). So, we say get unconventional! Here are eight creative ways to celebrate this love-filled holiday before you tie the knot—and to keep in your back pocket for future Valentine’s Days with your spouse!
For the Sentimental Couple
Use Valentine’s Day as a chance to remember why you’re getting married. Take a trip down memory lane (or a literal trip!) back to where it all began. Make a reservation at the restaurant where you first said “I love you,” rent a copy of the movie you saw on one of those first few dates or head back to the spot where the two of you got engaged.
For the Couple Saving for the Wedding
Flowers, champagne, and fancy chocolate can be expensive—which does not fit into any plans you might have to cut back on spending so you can put extra funds toward your wedding. Instead of splurging, opt for romance that doesn’t break the bank. Skip the flowers, pour prosecco instead of champagne, and roast a chicken (just like Harry and Meghan did the night they got engaged!) instead of splurging on filet mignon. If you still want that special date-night feeling, wait a week or two! You can still head out for a night on the town when it’s not technically Valentine’s Day and will be able to avoid those inflated prices and crowds.
For the Couple That Needs a Wedding Planning Break
If you’re getting married this summer, chances are you’re already deep into planning your wedding and could use a break. So why not turn Valentine’s Day into a pre-honeymoon? Get away for a few days, whether it’s a staycation at a downtown hotel or a cozy bed-and-breakfast, a quick trip to Mexico, or get a few days of tranquility on a camping trip (yes, you can go camping in February!). Unplug as much as you can, set an out-of-office so your wedding vendors know why you’re not responding, and focus on one another. You’ll be back to planning in a few days feeling refreshed and focused and may even have some new ideas!
For the Stressed-Out Couple
Kick that couple’s massage up a notch with a full-blown couple’s spa day. Get massages, scrubs, manicures, pedicures—and don’t forget to hit up the sauna or whirlpool! If you really need some headspace, sign up for a yoga or meditation class. You can also find some zen at home: run a warm bath, light some candles, and download a meditation app so you and your S.O. can unwind without leaving the house.
For the Hungry Couple
If the best way to your S.O.’s heart (or your own!) is through your stomach, use Valentine’s Day as a chance to show a little extra love. Whip out your favorite cookbook and choose something challenging that you’ve never made before. Turn it into an adventure as you hit up the local shops to find those must-have ingredients. Then shake up your favorite cocktails or open a bottle of wine and get cooking! You’ll wind up with a delicious meal and some new skills in the kitchen. If you want a little more guidance, sign up for a cooking class that focuses on a new cuisine or technique.
For the Family-Focused Couple
Newly engaged? Chances are there are a lot of people who want to celebrate with you, so make Valentine’s Day a family affair! Invite all of the couples in your family over for a group date night. Make it a potluck and have everyone bring their favorite dish. Ask the married folks to divulge their secrets to a happy marriage (or those hilarious tips they’ve picked up over the years!), and raise a glass to love!
For the Couple That Doesn’t Want to Plan Anything
Of course, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a huge to-do! You can celebrate love just the two of you from the comfort of your home. Whether it’s breakfast in bed, a romantic movie marathon, a candle-lit bath, or just your regular routine (plus an extra kiss and maybe a cute card!), don’t feel pressured to make a big deal out of February 14th—especially because you’ve got so much on your plate planning a wedding!
For the Couple Looking Forward
Now that you’re on the cusp of getting married, you’re probably thinking about what your lives will look like in the future. Why not take this opportunity to start a new Valentine’s Day tradition that you can continue for years to come? Whether it’s making a special meal that you’ll recreate year after year, booking a reservation at a restaurant you’ll love coming back to, or planning a romantic getaway, it’s time to celebrate your love and create new traditions.