Arguably one of the most romantic days of the year falls on the 14 February. We are constantly reminded in the shops, online and from your loved ones that you must remember to buy a card, present or flowers for that special person in your life. As I have said before I feel it has become very commercialised, however as I have always said it is important to tell people how much they mean to you and how much you love them. This should take place every day though, not just on Valentine's Day!
For those of you that may not know, Valentine's Day as we know it is actually called Saint Valentine's Day or the feast of Saint Valentine, which is celebrated around the world and in fact some countries even have a public holiday. Saint Valentine, however has been referred to as several early Christian martyrs were named Valentine, however, there is a legend a Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and who also preached to Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. It is believed that during his imprisonment he healed his jailer’s daughter and before his execution he signed a letter with "your valentine". There are of course many other stories that can be found online for those of you that want to know more.
Now let’s get back to the important part of Valentine’s day, my etiquette rules we should all follow.
My top ten rules are the following:
1. Plan ahead: many couples decided to go out, therefore if you don’t book the table you may not get in. Gentleman the local Kebab shop is not an option!
2. Dress to impress: Ladies generally make a great effort however gentlemen seem to think they look good in anything. This I hate to tell you is not true and no you do not look good in a bin bag! Make an effort and put on something smart/casual or formal depending on the venue. Leave the “I don’t care look” at home.
3. Gifts: Buy a gift for the other half, but don’t go mad with the budget. A Fabergé egg may not impress your partner as much as some homemade chocolates you have personally made. “It’s not about the money, money, money!”
4. Taking the lead: If you are the one organising the evening and paying the bill then you take the lead. You are in other words the host, therefore do not appear unsure or indecisive during the evening.
5. Be a Gentleman: This is an occasion for gentlemen to act like a gentleman. We get the doors for your partner and we let the other half sit down first etc. Remember Men, we stand for ladies every time they leave the table, for example if they visit the loo etc.
6. Ladies are ladies: On this occasion, be gracious and elegant like the lady you are. Don’t be offended if a gentleman wants to treat you as such. Enjoy the moment of the gentleman making you feel like a Princess, and don’t complain!
7. The meal: When the other half is taking you out for a meal don’t go mad but consider their budget. However, you will be offered to order first so perhaps discuss what your partner is considering staying within budgets, or go with the salad!
8. Alcohol consumption: Don’t drink too much on this occasion. Perhaps one to two glasses of wine. If your partner offers you a drink don’t go for the most expensive, despite how much you may like vintage Bollinger champagne. Once again you could consult your partner on what they are thinking.
9. Carriages: When it is time to leave, either drive or escort you partner home, unless they insist on returning home via a cab which the person taking the other out will pay for. Perhaps following up with a phone call to confirm you got home safely and to thank your host for a lovely evening.
10. Letters: Following this evening up with a thank you letter no longer than 7 days after the 14th February. Buy some nice quality stationary and take your time writing this letter so show your appreciation for a magical evening.