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When I'm not blogging, I love walking to town with my husband for a date day, talking to my three young adult children about their lives, and planning pretty much anything I can- parties, projects, travel, budgets- you name it I will plan it! Click here to learn more about me!

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January 25, 2022

How to Throw a Memorable Galentine’s Day Celebration

Tips on how to throw a memorable Galentine’s Day celebration with a favorite things theme are sure to help you have a fun event with friends!

Did you ever watch the show Parks and Recreation?

Did you know Leslie Knope started a holiday back in 2010 on the show to celebrate the closest gal friends in her life? She named it Galentine’s Day and it is now officially February 13th every year ❤️.

Okay maybe it’s not an official US Holiday. But still- it’s become a pretty big deal in mainstream gal pal life over the years 😉.

Some have even gone so far to say Galentine’s Day is more celebrated than Valentine’s Day nowadays!

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In a rush?

Make a Guest List

Do you and your significant other still do something on this Hallmark holiday? I am not a big fan of crowds so my husband and I try to spend a special day together a few days before or after the 14th.

But in 2020, I decided to invite my book club friends over to celebrate our friendship with our first ever Galentine’s Day party!

And make no mistake – this is absolutely a new favorite tradition for me and my gal pals!

If you don’t have a book club or bunco group to invite over (consider reading my post on how to start a book club!) but also – think about whose friendship you would like to celebrate!

We have 12 members in our book club but usually have 2-3 that can’t make it to this Galentine’s Day celebration.

Send Pretty Invitations

Whether you let your friends know the details of your party via text, email, or old fashioned snail mail – every mode can be done in style ;).

In the past, I have used an Evite email. This year I decided to use the Studio by GoDaddy app to make a “flyer” to text in our group chat.

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

But if you are motivated – you can definitely find some cute paper ones out there. And if you are REALLY REALLY motivated – you can make your own to send to your pals.

Use Festive Serving Dishes

My personal choice is to not use disposable serving dishes or tableware.

However, if you decide to go that route – Target and the Dollar Store have some great options!

A couple of years ago, I found this cute heart platter that I have used in the past.

galentines day celebration

This year I finally purchased a watercolor heart platter that I have had my eye on for YEARS!

galentines day celebration

Shipping has been a beast this last year so make sure you plan accordingly if you are going to order anything online!

Decorate with Galentine’s Day Decor

Balloon Arches

In the past, I have used a balloon arch that you can make yourself from Etsy. They are much easier than they look. But I will say they take a decent amount of time to make.

I made mine the night before so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it the day of my celebration :).

For all you Bachelor fans out there – this is what I was watching while blowing up those balloons back in 2020 😂. Remember Pilot Pete????

galentines day celebration

I set up the balloon arch around my faux mantel so that we would have the perfect backdrop for photos we would be taking that night!

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

In 2021, I had hosted a memorial service for a loved one the week before my Galentine’s Day celebration and was able to use the special balloons from that celebration of life a week later with my gal friends.

My sweet friend Anna, from the company Gather and Pop provided all the balloons for my loved one’s celebration and if you are local – she is a beautiful and caring person to work with ❤️.

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

Banners

A few years ago, I found the cute burlap heart banner below on Etsy and the Galentine’s Day word banner on Amazon.

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

And recently I came across this website that I pretty much love every single thing on – including the XOXO garland and white heart garland pictured below.

Both garlands should be arriving in the mail soon. And I am excited to use them for this year’s celebration!

Flowers

The first year I hosted this event (ie 2020), I bought some pink tulips at Trader Joe’s to use in a handful of places around the house.

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

And red and white roses from Costco for the dining room table…

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

And for my 2021 celebration, I purchased gorgeous flower bouquets from UrbanStems.com. They were truly stunning and lasted for a couple of weeks!

I will most certainly be ordering from this website again!

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

Set Pretty Table Settings

Hester and Cook has such fun paper goods for your table setting but again – shipping is a hassle this year so be sure to plan ahead!!

In 2020, I used a roll of white paper as my table runner and wrote XOXO all over it with chalk.

Each place setting had a Hester & Cook red heart (no longer available), shiplap placemats, and white doilies.

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

The cute Leslie Knope saying cards are no longer available but I found another set of postcards for my 2021 Galentine’s Day celebration.

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

In 2021, I decided to not use red in my color scheme but instead went with pinks!

These Hester & Cook peony placemats were perfect for that color scheme ;).

Have a Small Gift for Each Gal Pal

At each place setting in 2020, I gave each of my friends one of my favorite items from Saje called a Relax-O-Ring. If you haven’t heard of it – go check them out!! I have them lying around my house EVERYWHERE!!

And in 2021, I bought some cute heart gift bags and gave each of them my favorite lip balm of all time and the above Relax-O-Ring!!

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

Be Prepared for Photo Opps

If you didn’t take pics of your gathering – did it even happen?

Just kidding!

But seriously – everyone loves taking fun photos with each other – especially gal pals!

galentines day celebration

Now for the best part- the MENU!!

We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter but work is third.

-Leslie Knope

We followed the Leslie Knope guidelines for our menu and had WAFFLES!

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

A Waffle Bar

  • fresh berries
  • maple syrup
  • butter
  • apple cider jam from Trader Joe’s
  • chocolate chips
  • sliced bananas
  • yogurt
  • whipped cream

A Charcuterie Board

Have you noticed the popularity of charcuterie boards these last few years?? I mean, I honestly wouldn’t dream of hosting a party without one at this point!!

I am still a tad intimidated by the making of them but that gets less and less with every board prep ;).

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu with waffles and a charcuterie board, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

A Sweets Table

Here are some fun ideas for a super tasty sweets table:

  • Donuts – especially Krispy Kremes! Or find a tasty local donut shop ;).
  • Cookies
  • Chocolates – Trader Joe’s is my go to for party chocolates…
  • Chocolate covered pretzels
  • A love themed cake
  • Valentine’s gummy candies
Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty
Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty
Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

Other Menu Ideas

Arugula salad

Sliced cucumbers and ranch dip

Strawberries and marshmallow dip

Bruschetta and bread

galentines day celebration

A Galentine’s Day Supplied Bar Cart

Set up a pitcher of water with strawberries and limes, a pitcher of a cocktail mixer with champagne and a drink dispenser with a delicious whiskey recipe that I have linked below on a bar cart.

HGTV Boozy Berry Patch Lemonade

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

I keep a box of plastic/disposable champagne glasses available for gatherings in my party supplies stash :).

Have a Favorite Things Theme Gift Exchange

This is not a Leslie Knope Galentine’s Day celebration tradition.

In fact I actually combine Joanna Gaines’ Favorite Things theme with my Galentine’s Day celebration :0.

Simply put – I have each of my besties bring a present to exchange of one or a few of their favorite items from the year.

We run the gift exchange in the typical fashion of picking a number out of a hat. We also have a “three steals” rule so that after the third set of hands – the present can no longer be stolen.

The person with number one is the last to be able to steal all the previous gifts opened before them ;).

I hope this post was helpful to you in planning your Galentine’s Day celebration – hopefully with a favorite things theme ;).

I look forward to it every year now and have even got some fun additions coming for my 2022 party.

Here is a sneak peek of some of those items:

Looking for an item that wasn’t linked in this post?

Be sure to check out my ‘Home Tour’ pages!

Did you find this post useful? Pin it to your boards – just click the Pin button in the upper left corner!

Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty
Ideas for a Galentine's Day Celebration including a favorite things theme for a gift exchange.  Tips include a Galentine's Day menu, decorations, and serving dishes.

#galentinesdayideas #valentinesdayparty #partyhosting #galentinesdayparty

Home is where one starts from.

~ T.S. Eliot

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Have a wonderful day my friend! I hope something makes you smile today ;).

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  1. Kim says:

    What a beautiful idea to celebrate your gal pals! Everything looks so wonderful. I love the peony placemats! 💝 Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!

  2. Renae says:

    This is great. I would love it if you could share this on The Fabulous Friday Link Party. https://www.peacockridgefarm.com/category/fabulous-friday-link-party/

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