Galentine’s Day is a time to surround yourself with your best friends and to celebrate love—whether you’re single or not. This unofficial holiday is truly as sweet as it sounds. Conceptualized by Leslie Knope of the popular television show Parks and Recreation in 2010, the celebration in season two takes place over a brunch filled with waffles and love from her friends. “Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast style,” Knope says in the episode. “Ladies celebrating ladies.”
Whether you’re bonding over a spa night, snuggling up to watch a movie or putting on a fantastic brunch like the episode features, there is truly no wrong way to celebrate it! Galentine’s Day is simply about gathering together your closest gal pals to embrace each other’s presence on a day that is otherwise considered exclusively for lovebirds.
To help you prepare your own Galentine’s Day celebration, we spoke with local blogger Rana Monet about how she would plan a Galentine’s Day celebration with her friends.
Plan Some Activities
Activities can encourage individuals to interact with one another and can be a way to physically incorporate the theme of the event. Try these ideas to celebrate your ladies:
- Create a photobooth backdrop decorated with colorful streamers, balloons and garland. Include different props, like boas, glasses and hats, to spice up the photos.
- Organize a card or gift exchange, similar to the premise of Secret Santa, where friends in the group are randomly assigned one another to anonymously give a Galentine’s Day gift.
Prep the Food
Food, for many, is the focal point of any occasion. Amp it up by creating an event that is catered to you and your friends’ tastes. Start with Pinterest for meal ideas, or go for a potluck-style spread that incorporates anything from charcuterie and dips to salads and entrees. To ensure no two dishes are the same, Monet says to create a spreadsheet to help gauge what everyone will bring, and provide a resource for those with any dietary restrictions.
If potluck-style food isn’t for you, create a tea party-esque spread, complete with a variety of appetizers and pastries from a local bakery, plus fresh seasonal fruits. Top of the menu off with a signature cocktail for a flirty, festive touch.
Hang Your Decorations
Your approach to décor depends on how you choose to celebrate the holiday. The color scheme you choose can be driven by what you perceive Valentine’s Day (and therefore Galentine’s Day) to be. The event could be centered around classic, heartfelt red and bubblegum pink shades. Or you could opt for an utterly girly route with a gradient of pink tones. If Valentine’s Day really isn’t your thing, Monet suggests taking the anti-Valentine’s approach with Gothic elements and all-black décor.
When decorating, it is important to consider your own preferences to add a personal touch to the event. After all, you’re spending the day celebrating you and honoring your besties!
Considering the uniqueness of this event, Monet says the best way to approach décor is to find pieces that are multipurpose and potentially second-hand. So you don’t sacrifice too much from a cost perspective, she suggests thrifting vintage pieces, like funky vases, lacy linens and antique dishware. This is not only an easy way to repurpose classic items, but it will also make your event unique. “It makes it feel more special than your standard themed paper plates,” Monet says about the thrifted items.
Create Your Tablescape
As the center of the event, the tablescape is the key factor in showcasing your theme. “I focus on place settings and the decorations to set the tone for the event,” Monet says. Use the power of a clean linen tablecloth, unique dishware, flowers and plenty of candles to create a chic and inviting experience.
As an inexpensive way to decorate, candles can also provide a source of ambient light, add variation of height to the centerpiece and can be an easy way to incorporate elements of your color scheme without going over the top.
Cheers! Mix up these drinks at your Galentine’s Day party.
Raspberry Mojito Mocktail
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 8 raspberries, plus more for garnish
- 4 mint leaves, plus more for garnish
- juice from one lime, plus additional lime wedges for garnish
- 1 1/2 cups club soda
- 2 Tbsp. simple syrup
To make the simple syrup, add the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside, and let it cool. Once cooled, add four raspberries, two mint leaves, 1 Tbsp. simple syrup and the juice of half of a lime into each glass. With a spoon, crush the raspberries into the mint leaves for 30 seconds. Top with ice and club soda, and stir gently. Serve topped with additional raspberries, fresh mint and a lime wedge.
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup grapefruit juice
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. grapefruit zest
- 1 bottle rosé wine
- ½ cup vodka
- 2 cups club soda
- 16 ounces strawberries, sliced
- 1 grapefruit, cut into slices
To make the grapefruit simple syrup, add the sugar, grapefruit juice, water and zest to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved, about four to five minutes. Remove from heat and cool. (Optional: Strain the zest from the simple syrup for a smooth simple syrup without any chunks.) Once the syrup is cooled (it can be made one to five days in advance), combine the simple syrup, wine and vodka in a large pitcher. Add strawberries and grapefruit slices, and refrigerate for two to four hours. Add club soda. Enjoy!
Recipes contributed by Edina resident Taylor Ellingson, food blogger at greensnchocolate.com.
Check out these local vendors to source some of your Galentine’s Day items for the celebration.
4510 Valley View Road
Queen of Cakes
7027 Amundson Ave.
200 Southdale Center Suite A
3608 W. 50th St.
Decorations and Party Favors
4954 France Ave. S. and The Galleria
Bean + Ro
4528 France Ave. S.
A special thank you to the following people and businesses for supplying their time, expertise, supplies and location.
Rana Monet; ranamonet.com rana.monet
A Family Affair Event Styling; afaeventstyling.com A Family Affair - Event Styling afa.eventstyling
Brick + Linen; bricklinen.com bricklinen
Island Floral; island-floral.com island_floral
Fountain Hill Winery; fhwandvineyard.com Fountain Hill Winery & Vineyard fountainhillwinery