Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Making of a Valentine's Couples Dinner Tradition

Be prepared-LOTS of pictures and a very long post...
Last year I had our first "couple's potluck", where we invited some couples over (without any of our children) and had a potluck together. After eating, we played a question and answer game- "How well do you know your spouse?" - then we compared our answers to that of our spouses. We laughed and laughed over our answers, and each others comments, and had an absolutely great time. This year I decided to have another Couples Valentine dinner-but do it a little differently.
I changed it up, by having us all sit together at the dinner table. I also wanted to make it as formal, romantic and "fancy" as possible. When I told my girlfriends my idea- they were all for it!
In the morning, before the party, it was raining, and the sound was super appealing, and peaceful and set the mood. It was so fun getting the table all prepared.

I started with a 102" fabric tablecloth that I found on clearance for $9.00. I felt blessed to get it, as it was the last one that length, and originally around $25.

I placed my gold clearance Christmas chargers on next. (Ignore the water spots from my iron-they eventually went away)

I purchased a dozen roses from Safeway and divided them into two bunches...

and got out my .99 thrift store vases...

and some ribbon and straight pins.

Then I placed a rubber band around the first bunch of roses...

and wrapped a piece of ribbon around and around to cover it. Afterwards I took a straight pin to hold it in place.

When I put them in the vases, I only filled it half way with water.

Second group of roses...

I placed them on the table, as well as my Ross store clear vases and candles.

I had bought these little tea light holders on clearance from Pier Import...

and had this box of tea light candles handy, that I got two years ago from Salvation Army!

So I placed them the table, too, for "low light", and proceeded to set the table with my wedding china that I need to use way more often!
Wine glasses, coffee cups, flatware, salad plates and dinner plates.

For additional Valentine decorations I had the girls email their wedding pictures, which I printed off in black and white.

Then I traced around the photos and cut them out... fit into these Pier Import frames I found at the thrift store-again-...(4 frames all same, and all together!)

Next I ironed the napkins,

folded them, and put them on the table. (There are websites that show how to fold napkins in all kinds of ways.)

For an added bonus, I bought some chocolates and put them in this heart shaped dish, from Ross, for only....

$1.99!!! Love it!!!!
Here are quite a few shots of the table.
Lights out...

Lights on ...

Looking down...

I had the food on the counter, in the kitchen, so the table wasn't crowded.

We enjoyed grilled salmon, pork chops, rice , mashed potatoes, salad, rolls, and some sweet chocolate and strawberry desserts. Everyone brought something, so it was an easy dinner to prepare.

Each couple sat across from each other, and by their wedding photo.

At dinner we talked about where our wedding was held, and who was there, etc.. It was great conversation and memories. (I had one more frame that was added later when they arrived)

Last year our ladies group went through a really good bible study by Tommy Nelson-Song of Solomon- so I added this verse to each place setting.

All the frames in place-in the evening -right before we sat down.

My friends picture, with the verse...

Another closeup.

Better than going out-less expensive and a great time!

Thanks for looking!


At Home with the Hill's said...

WOW Val! Wish I was there! What a fun idea! Remind me to do this next year ;) We were at Great Wolf Lodge water park this weekend with our kiddos. Very beautiful table!!!

livinginparadise said...

You make things so fun and memorable. So creative...again! Love it!