Last-minute Valentine's Day tips: Keep it simple! - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Last-minute Valentine's Day tips: Keep it simple!

By Meena Hart Duerson, TODAY

So, Valentine's Day is today, and you've got nothing: You haven't come up with a gift or made dinner reservations, and you forgot to order flowers. Have no fear! The perfect Valentine's Day is still within reach. Here are some tips for how to salvage a romantic night.

1. Get on the same page. "The biggest mistake couples make is waiting until the last minute to talk about Valentine's Day," dating guru Chiara Atik of the website HowAboutWe told "What often ends up happening is that one person assumes they'll be going out, the other assumes they'll do something low-key, or they each assume the other person is planning it. TALK ABOUT VALENTINE'S DAY BEFORE HAND."

2. The food. It's OK if you missed the boat on booking a trendy table for two; nothing wins over a date quite like a romantic home-cooked meal. However, now is not the time to experiment with the most extravagant recipe – stick to something simple.

Most importantly, do NOT turn this meal into a stressful experience — if cooking's not your thing, order take-out from your date's favorite restaurant. "What makes Valentine's Day romantic isn't the setting, or the gifts," Atik says, "it's spending time with each other, and taking an evening to really show how much you value one another."

3. Flowers: Roses are red, violets are blue, and picking up flowers is so easy, your Valentine will be thrilled if you do. If you act right this second you could still place an order online, but if you miss the delivery deadline head to your local florist (sites like Foursquare's Valentine's Day Guide can help you find one in your area), armed with these tips for how to snag the best deal.

And remember: You don't have to stick to a traditional bouquet of red roses (especially if you waited too long and the selection is picked over). Surprise your date with something beautiful and unexpected, like tulips or an orchid — or try a flower delivery subscription service like H. Bloom to keep the romance going after February 14.

4. Gifts: Admit it: You blanked on the big day, and now you're starting to feel panicked. Don't just rush out and buy a random gift; you still have time to put together something thoughtful:

  • For the music lover: Load her iPod with this romantic playlist
  • Show off your crafty side with these adorable DIY Valentines, or make these Martha Stewart-approved gifts
  • For the techie in your life, scoop up one of these: Tech to keep your love alive
  • If your Valentine loves being pampered, head to to give the gift of relaxation
  • Make a getaway: For the definition of a last-minute plan, book a same-day room at

But don't blow your budget just because it's a holiday. "Don't spend crazy amounts of money on one elaborate date," Atik says. "Taking time to regularly spend time together and celebrate your relationship, however modestly, is ultimately much more romantic than one big (forced) blowout." A handwritten card expressing your love goes a long way.

And if you're celebrating this Valentine's Day solo, celebrate yourself at these single-friendly restaurants, and pick up some of these best gifts for that special someone — yourself!

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