So you don’t expect a date for Valentine’s Day? Who says February 14 has to be all lovey-dovey? Stop moping and start planning! Gather together your best girlfriends and celebrate your friendships with a fun, feminine fete. “Today” contributor Charla Krupp shares some tips to help you create a very girly get-together.
Forget lovey-dovey. We’re reinventing Valentine’s Day as a celebration of sisterhood with an elegant girls-only love fest — a very pink, early evening cocktail party for your inner circle of twelve, designed by LA event planner Sharon Sacks, who has orchestrated soirees for Madonna as well as those style-setting Olsen twins, Mary Kate and Ashley.
Plan the party for about 6 p.m. so if some of your friends need to hook up with their sweeties later, they can. When you send your invites, tell your friends to bring gossip, a good joke and a dozen pink flowers. When the party’s over, everyone takes home a mixed bouquet.
Our invite is a card decorated with silhouettes of perfume bottles to go with our vanity-table theme. (From Brighten My Day by Tova Glenn, $6 each, 404-816-3733.)
A breathtaking buffet
The buffet is inspired by a mirror vanity table. We laid a full-length mirror down the middle of the table. It’s stunning. You can buy a full-length mirror at a hardware store for less than $30. Or, at a mirror supply house, you can have mirror cut to fit your table or buy mirror tiles. (In New York, Broadway Glass & Mirror, 212-721-7878, sells 1/8” thick mirror for $8 a foot. So a 12” x 12” square is $8.)
To dress the mirror, place clusters of rose petals along the edges. On the mirror, place pretty crystal perfume bottles, ring cases, vintage pins, trinket boxes, pearls, whatever pretty little things you have on your vanity table. Fill short clear glass or cut-crystal vases with tight, short-stem pink roses. Group pink candles in clusters.
Our glassware on the table is from Waterworks, Vera Wang and Lalique:
-Crystal bottles from Waterworks (800- 899-6757) — small, $55 and large, $70.
-Perfume bottles from Vera Wang by Wedgwood, $75, 800-955-1550.
-Cactus No.2 perfume bottles from Lalique, $395, 800-214-2738.
-Japanese Peony candle from Red Flower (212-966-5301 or redflower.com) — small, $12, or large, $30.
-Mini votive candles from Slatkin (Neimanmarcus.com) — $28 for six.
Crafty napkin rings
Here’s a great idea that does double duty: Find pink silk single-stem flowers at a crafts store, and snip off the wire. Pin the flower onto a pink grosgrain ribbon. After seating, all your guests can wear these as flower pins. If you really want to get crazy, you can hot glue brooch pins onto the flowers instead of using stick pins.
-Silk flowers: from $3-$5 a piece at Garden Ridge in Dallas, 800-216-4887 or find store locations at gardenridge.com
-Polka-dot cotton napkins from Pine Cone Hill (413-496-9700), $26 for a set of 4
-Ribbon from Bell’Ochhio, 415-864-4048.
Serve pink Valentinis in a martini glass rimmed in sugar. Mix: Currant Vodka, champagne and raspberry schnapps in an ice-filled shaker. Garnish with thin lime rounds or even rose petals. You’ll find the recipe in the February issue of In Style. And for those who prefer to stay nonalcoholic, mix a pitcher of sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice and lime, garnished with lime wedges.
-Classic martini glass, $2.95, from Crate & Barrel (800-996-9960) or crateandbarrel.com
-Library Stripe crystal goblets from Kate Spade, $25 (New York Soho store, 212-739-6560)
-Glass decanter from Rosenthal, 800-804-8070, $100
-Crystal ice bucket from Waterworks, 800- 899-6757, $70
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A menu for ladies
Keep the meal nice and light and ladylike! Try crab cake canapés, cucumber sandwiches and cranberry chicken salad on endive. Yum! You’ll find all these recipes and more in the February issue.
-Pot Luck Studio’s Flirt Ruffle Cake Stands, 413-496-9700 or potluckstudio.com. (8-inch, $27; 11-inch, $38; 13-inch, $55)
-Kate Spade Union Street salad plate, 212-274-1991, $119 for five-piece set
-Oval porcelain platter from Global Table, 212-431-5839, $26
Pink snowballs for dessert
How retro and how fun! Roll store-bought donut holes in pink frosting and coconut. A mini black and white cookie from Dean & DeLuca looks good on hot pink Kate Spade dessert plates. Or, save yourself some time and order a decadent triple layer strawberry cream cake from Very Vera. A 9-inch cake serves 22 people ($50, 800-500-8372 or veryvera.com).
-Dean & DeLuca (877-826-9246) cookies, 35 for $25.
-Kate Spade Rutherford circle pink dessert plates, 212-274-1991, $15
Everyone takes the flowers home
You know how depressing it is not to get flowers on Valentine’s Day? Every woman goes home with flowers on Valentine’s Day with this flower potluck. Friends arrive with flowers (preferably not roses because they’re already on the table) and drop them into a vase or tub. Before the party wraps up, guests go to your flower station setup and assemble an arrangement from everyone’s flowers. You provide the Valentine’s Day tissue — ours is from Laurette by Design, Design — and cut ribbon to tie the bouquets. And all your friends go home happy!
-Large champagne tub from Broadway Panhandler (212-966-3434), $23
-Laurette’s Sweetheart tissue paper from Design, Design, 800-334-3348 or www.gallery19.us (package of four sheets for $2.75)
-Hot pink grosgrain ribbon, 5/8-inch, $4 a roll, fancy ribbons from Bell’Ochhio, 415-864-4048.