Get your girlfriends together and make the most of February 14 by setting up a festive dessert bar.
- Faye Brennan, BettyConfidential.comSo what if you don't have a sweetheart to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year? There's no need to boycott the holiday, wear all black, and give hostile looks to all of the couples you see on February 14.
Take advantage of all that the holiday of love has to offer by throwing yourself and all your single girlfriends a sweet party. Amy Atlas of Amy Atlas Events in New York City has some great ideas for putting together a celebration your friends won't soon forget. What will be the focal point of your soiree that sets it apart from all the rest? Why, a dessert bar, of course.
When Amy started her boutique firm in 2008, she relied on the unique and fun qualities of a dessert bar to drive her business. "While desserts are the thing that leave guests with their last impression, no one was doing anything special with them," she says. "I recognized this and started to create stylized dessert bars at my parties."
Although it takes Amy a week and a team of 4-15 people to conceptualize, build, and decorate her one-of-a-kind dessert bars, yours doesn't have to be as complicated. Here are some quick and easy steps to pulling off a great (and inexpensive) Valentine's Day dessert bar:
1. Pick a color scheme.
While an obvious color scheme for Valentine's Day would be pink, red, and white, you can veer from the traditional colors. Amy finds inspiration in wallpaper patterns, party invitations, or even treasured items that have a special meaning to a client. When you choose a color scheme, make sure you like it - you'll be basing everything else on this first step.
2. Prepare the goodies.
You can make the dessert items yourself, buy them from the supermarket or bakery, ask your guests to bring some, or do a combination of all three. The key is that each dessert should relate to your theme and reflect your color scheme. For your V-Day bash, Amy suggests mini pink and red cupcakes, pink heart-shaped cookies (this Wilton Red Metal Heart Cookie Cutter from amazon.com, $10.44, will come in handy), pink and red truffles, fluffy strawberry marshmallows, and pink and red candy. The benefit of making items yourself, of course, is that you can decide how cute, detailed, and impressive each dessert will be.
3. Set up the bar.
Part of the fun of a dessert bar is seeing the sweets displayed in a creative way. In order to get this effect for your table, you'll need trays and serving platters to organize and hold each dessert. If you're low on serving dishes, look around your house for creative solutions - a shoebox topped with pink and red paper can work as a stand for your truffles. For those looking to go all out, here's a Pure Decadence 4 Tier Cake Stand ($22.99, amazon.com) and an Embossed Heart Cake Plate ($14.95, surlatable.com). Arrange all of your desserts in a pretty spread that allows easy access to each item.
4. Decorate, decorate, decorate!
Amy decorates the surrounding area as well as the dessert displays, making sure there are creative details everywhere you look. Mimic her expert touch by stocking up on inexpensive decorations at a craft store, a party store or Target. Amy suggests lining your serving dishes with pink and red paper or doilies. Decorate the table with stickers, streamers, confetti, construction paper, and anything else you can think of (how about some heart-shaped jewelry or a lamp shade covered with a red scarf?). The more creative you get, the more impressive your dessert bar will be.
5. Don't forget cocktails.
A party with the girls isn't complete without a festive cocktail. Make one of these delicious Valentine's Day cocktail recipes and serve it in pretty martini glasses. Don't forget: with all the nibbling and drinking, you'll need some napkins handy - might as well have them match your theme like these "Aren't We All" Beverage Napkins ($5, gallery19.us).
Mmmm…with a delicious spread like this, you and your girlfriends will be too busy going up for seconds at your dessert bar to think about your single status - and as your party will prove, being single definitely has its advantages.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Faye Brennan is an assistant editor at BettyConfidential.To read more from BettyConfidential: