Listen, I love the hubs more than anyone but I spend literally 24/7 with him nowadays since we both work from home. We will certainly do some sort of date night thing for Valentine’s Day to acknowledge that we love each other and so that I can post a cute pic to Instagram, BUT what I’m dreaming of doing this year is hosting a Galentine’s Day party.
I never have any problem with arranging a girls’ night, but when Leslie Knope appoints a specific day to bond with your gal pals, you jump all over it. The only problem is that I’m one of the few people left that loves cheesy, immature parties. When I used to throw a Galentine’s Day get together it was more of an “anti-Valentine’s Day” affair with black hearts and everyone swearing off men. Now, most of my friends are married or in serious relationships, so they’re not too keen on that messaging. I’m also pretty sure it’d be hypocritical for a married women to throw that party…
This year I’m opting for a (relatively) classy evening that brings the ladies together without being too boring and serious. One that says “yeah, I know you love your fiancé more but I was still here first.” Obviously alcohol has to be involved because ahem “party” so the other piece of the puzzle, the activity, is board games.
You know why? Because adults play board games too! They just play them under the influence. Plus, if you’re drinking wine, you don’t want to have your friends jumping around all over the place because that just leads straight to spills on your “adult” furniture.
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My wine and board games night + six other genius Galentine’s Day ideas are below. If you want to go extravangant and really spend some money, I’ve got some ideas, but if you’d rather save and have everyone just bring stuff- that’s cool too. In fact, I tried to save you a little money by making you a couple free printables, but you’ll read about that soon enough.
Read on, and remember “Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”
1. wine & board games night
Decor: My goal with this decor was to stay as subtly Valentine’s Day-ish as possible. I skipped the pinks and purples and just decorated with red, polka dots and the occasional heart. I recommend that you just make a station for them to grab their wine and then set up a table where you can pile up the board games.
Don’t forget that both printables below are available for free (they will pop into your inbox on Friday), so be sure to sign up to get them here!
Activities: When it comes to board games, it’s all about what guests are coming and what they like to play. You can have some that encourage a lot of catching up in between turns (like dominoes or Cranium) or make something a little more strategy-based (like Werewolf). and Have lots of choices, but definitely think of one or two you want to recommend to start with. For some reason, when the first board game sucks it totally kills the vibe of the party…
Here are some of my favorites:
- Game of Things
- Cards Against Humanity
- Speak Out
- Pass the Pig
- Phase Ten
2. DIY bouquet night
Decor: This is one of the more elaborate decor ideas. I love this whole post on Lenzo, but the below image gives you a general idea: balloons and flowers in every shade of pink and pastels. They also used the mantle in this image to store the bouquets each person made. I love that! You also want a large table with vases in the middle filled with different flowers. Make sure there are ample scissors for cutting the stems and that each place setting has a vase with a ribbon and a name tag tied around it.
Activity: Basically, just what the title says: everyone gets to make their own bouquet. In order to draw it out and make sure this activity doesn’t take five minutes, I’d purchase some coffee table books or magazines that have some floral inspo (maybe wedding ones) that everyone can flip through. You should also make a fun playlist for the occasion to play while you all chat and make your bouquets.
3. galentine’s day dinner party
Decor: It’s your stereotypical dinner party, just with a few more hearts. You can decorate however you want, but I love the elegance of this black, white, gold and red tablescape. I love a table with a lot of candles, a statement runner and place cards. Again, totally up to you with how much you want to spend on decor or how much you want to make and just use what you’ve got. I would even recommend you ask your friends to dress up (take it a step further and say black and red only, if you’d like).
Activity: Eating! Feel free to make it a potluck dinner or assign people to at least bring the drinks and the dessert. For the main course, you’re welcome to make whatever you like best, but definitely start with an app and finish with a dessert so it feels decadent.
4. champagne and sweets
Decor: The decor really sets the tone with this one. It’s so elaborate and has such specific colors that it makes the event feel luxurious and wonderfully feminine. From stunning table arrangements to bunting to balloons, just make sure everything is in the pink, red and salmon tones. I would suggest you make this a color coded affair too with casual dresses in those colors only. Lay out sweets and fruits that are also in that color scheme, and serve rosé and/or rosé champagne.
Activity: Eating, drinking and socializing. This is a cocktail party, so there’s lots of time to just catch up and invite a lot of women. You can also create a photo booth wall so that everyone can take photos in their color coordinating looks. As people taper out and your closest friends remain, you can bring out those board games again.
5. byobg (bring your own baked goods)
Decor: I love how cozy this room feels. It’s mainly decorated with neutral whites and grays, with just small doses of pastel pink thrown in. This would be a great set up for somewhere that has snow in February (aka a real winter). That way everyone can cozy up to mugs of coffee in front of a fire and nibble on baked goods. You can set up a coffee bar and a table where people can set down their baked goods. You could even use little place cards to label what everything is and who made it.
Activity: EATING IS A VALID ACTIVITY OKAY?! Yeah, just dig into those baked goods and make yourself a cup o’ Joe at this one.
6. Vintage gal’s night
Decor: Keep the decor vintage and 80’s themed with fringe, glitter and all the velvet and purple your hard can handle. I love the sloppy-yet-put-together feel of this with balloons all over the floor and confetti scattered on the table. Definitely leave out snacks and offer “adult” beverages for this one so that the women have enough liquid courage for the activity…
Activity: Karaoke. Purchase or rent a karaoke machine, get some good 80’s and oldies CD’s and have everyone belt it out. You can include a little stage in the decor or just set aside a corner for them. Bonus points if you give them costume props (boas, big sunglasses, scrunchies, etc.) for the women to use when it’s their turn to perform.
7. diy Valentine’s Day cards
Decor: Yet again, you need a big table. This one should be decorated nicely, but more importantly have a lot of colorful paper, glitter, glue, stickers, stencils, stamps, markers, etc. for people to use. I would also make sure to have envelopes in different shapes, sizes and colors so that when people make their cards they also have something to send it in. Again, if you want this to take more time have a bulletin board full of Valentine’s Day card ideas or set aside time for everyone to “research” on Pinterest.
Activity: You’ll spend most of the day making cards and chatting over rolls of washi tape. If your table isn’t quite big enough for everyone then you’ll need to come up with something for the other women to do when they don’t fit.