Ask the Expert: Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day for Her

So, the hours are ticking down until it's officially Valentine's Day, and planning the perfect romantic holiday can be extremely stressful. Where should you make dinner reservations? How much should you spend? Should you keep it a surprise, or run everything by your significant other?

It's easy to get overwhelmed on Valentine's Day, especially since there's so much pressure behind the holiday. Luckily, Celebrations expert Rachel Hollis, who is a celebrity event planner extraordinaire and has planned soirees for Al Gore, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Love Hewitt — and was the creative force behind actress Sara Rue's gorgeous wedding — is offering up her expert advice.

Among juggling her duties as a wife, mom to three adorable boys, running a successful business over at The Chic and writing and publishing a super fun novel called Party Girl (out on Feb. 14), Rachel was kind enough to answer our burning questions from men about how they can plan the most special Valentine's Day yet.

She spills on what you should splurge on, what to save, and the little tips and tricks to remember when planning a special night for the woman in your life.

And ladies, if you are reading, feel free "subtly" pull this up on your man's iPad or laptop and leave it within eye sight. Or, you know, not-so-subtly email him with the subject line READ THIS NOW!

Q: What is the single most important thing to remember when planning a special night for my girlfriend or wife?

A:  This is easy! Just the simple fact that you are PLANNING something means you’re already ahead of the game. The fact that you put forethought and effort into doing something special for us means the world. Especially since so many men are last-minute specialists (sorry to generalize, but it’s true!)

Q: What can I do to make this Valentine's Day really special and memorable?

A: Create a special something that’s completely perfect for the two of you. For instance, some women will want the fabulous romantic night out at an expensive restaurant, but my hubby knows that’s the last thing I’d like. I’d be much more excited if he picked up my favorite take out and a great bottle of wine and we snuggled together watching a movie. Don’t do what everyone else does, do what’s romantic for YOU TWO.

Q: Do you have any tips for what kind of food and drinks to make? Decorations, setting the mood?

A: For food and drink, it’s the same as the answer above: Do whatever she’s into, be it filet mignon or McDonald’s. (If it is take-out though, please put it on real plates before you serve it). As for décor and setting the mood? The simplest thing on the planet is candles and rose petals. Trite, but true. Candles make everyone look good (mood lighting) and a path of rose petals will make any girl swoon.

Q: What can I do first thing in the morning to show my wife or girlfriend how much I love her? 

A: I can’t speak for all women but I’m a words kind of girl. I want to hear him tell me I’m beautiful, that he loves me that he can’t wait to makeout with me later, etc. Everyone is always in such a hurry that it’s easy to forget to stop and tell each other what we’re feeling. As silly as it sounds, even after 12 years together him whispering sweet-nothings can make me feel like a newlywed again.

Q: What is the biggest faux-pas a guy can do for Valentine's Day? The worst gift he can give?

A: Um, nothing? I have a hard time saying any gift is bad because at least he tried, right? So I guess it’s only if he forgets and gives you nothing that he’s a real jerk.

Q: What does a woman really want for Valentine's Day? As in, if you're only going to remember to do ONE thing, what should that be?

A: Again, I can’t speak for all women here but you know what would just make my toes curl? A love note. A handwritten note like we’re in 8th grade where he tells me why he loves me. That would be amazing and so achievable for any guy. Get on it, boys!

And if you're looking for a fun gift for your special lady, make sure to order a copy of Rachel's book Party Girl. (If you order from The Chic, you can get a signed copy!) It follows the story of young aspiring party planner Landon Brinkley as she leaves her small town in Texas for Los Angeles to work for the hottest event planning firm in town. Throughout her journey, Landon finds disappointment, love, success, and above all — herself. 



[Editors note: I'm headed on a beach vacation in March, and totally planning on bringing a copy of Party Girl with me to read on the beach].

Main image via Confetti Day Dreams.

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