Valentines Day

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Survival Guide

The day of love is just around the corner (comes around fast doesn’t it!) but while many lovers will be eagerly awaiting their surprises some will be in a state of blind panic as they realize they still haven’t got anything sorted.

But just because you’ve left your present buying to the last minute doesn’t mean you have to grab the first cuddly toy you see and pay through the nose for it!

Our ultimate survival guide will give you all the tips you need to have a truly special Valentine’s Day no matter how late you leave it to organize. Well … when did it suddenly become February anyway?!

1. Dinner for two … really?

One of the most common things we all do on Valentine’s Day is go out for a lavish romantic meal with our loved one, which is lovely – perhaps a little predictable and boring – but lovely.

The main problem is that after we eat a big three-course meal we tend to fall into a ‘food coma’ which doesn’t exactly bode well for any romantic intentions. Leave it to the last minute and you’ll probably find all of the good places are booked up. McDonald’s for two just isn’t quite the same.

A homemade romantic picnic that you enjoy in by candlelight is much more intimate and could stir the fires of passion rather than extinguishing them.

2. Dare to be different

Flowers, chocolates, teddy bears … they’re the mainstays of Valentine’s Day gifts but that doesn’t mean they’re your only option, even if you are shopping last minute.

Valentine’s weekend is likely to be booked up and overpriced by now so why not book a trip away for later in the year and save yourself some pennies? It’ll give your partner plenty of time to arrange a holiday from work and give them something to look forward to for months to come.

If you do stick with the traditional gifts, then make them personalized. Buy your partner’s favourite flowers rather than red roses and look for teddies or cuddly toys that have significance rather than opting for the usual one carrying an “I love you” heart.

3. Print-em-right-now-Valentines

Still stuck for ideas the night before Valentine’s Day? Never fear – technology has the answer!

Get your Valentine a gift card online (just print it off) and they can choose where they would like to spend it.

Alternatively, you can purchase a magazine or newspaper subscription online. Perfect for avid readers, print the receipt and pop it in their card. Some vendors even offer to send an email notification to the recipient on a set day so you could notify them this way instead.

4. Stay local

If you want to take your partner out on Valentine’s weekend but haven’t got anything pre-planned then why not stay local? There’s bound to be plenty of nearby attractions and events from plays and exhibitions to romantic specials.

Better yet, they’ll probably boast cheaper entry or be free. And you won’t have to contend with travel costs or packed public transport services either.

5. Keep it simple

Rather than having a night out fighting for space with all the other loved-up couples, simply cook for your sweetheart at home.

Search online for a new recipe and get the ingredients just before the big day. Add candles, wine and some romantic music for good measure.

6. Prepare for disaster

Whether you started your preparations months ago or are flying by the seat of your pants, there are some scenarios that will always take you by surprise. We’ve all had our fair share of Valentine’s Day disasters – the trick is to learn from them and spot the signs as early as possible when things are taking a turn for the worse.

Here are our basic tips for surviving any catastrophes:

  • Always have a backup plan: something can, and usually will go wrong – even with the best-laid plans. No matter what you intend to do to mark Valentine’s Day, make sure you’ve got a Plan B to cope with any unexpected derailments
  • Be smart: they don’t call them smartphones for nothing to make the use of your gadgets and use them to keep track of travel, weather and anything else that could affect your plans. If you need to source quick alternatives to your original plans then mobile access to Google is a must. Just make sure you don’t ignore your date by staring at your phone all night
  •  Don’t panic: the worst thing you can do when things go wrong is panic. Stay calm and think of solutions to your problem. After all, Valentine’s Day is about love and happiness between two people. What you do to mark the occasion shouldn’t matter more than that

Need flowers for Valentine’s Day? Order at!

Lily Calyx is our in-house flower whisperer, an expert on all things botanical and an enthusiastic orchids collector. She loves discussing the insights of the secret world of flowers, shares her gardening tips and hacks and moons over the latest additions to Serenata Flowers flower range. Ask Lily anything about flowers and we can guarantee she will have the answer.


  1. Michelle

    or perhaps a voucher for a Secret Date Club Date for sometime in the near future… 😉

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