Thursday, January 21, 2016

How to Plan a Date Night You'll Remember

I love the websites out there that provide pre-planned, themed date nights for couples. They always include lots of tips and goodies. They don't always have the theme or things that I want though, so I've developed my own system for creating date nights that are themed, fun, and memorable. I may share some of our date nights in the future (I never remember pictures) but for now, I'm going to share the process for planning and setting up a great date night that you're sure to remember.

Stop for a moment and answer this question - what things do you need for a great party?

Why am I asking you to think about parties when we're talking about dates? Well, for me, the planning process is pretty much the same. I start with the five w's (who, what, when, where, why) and then move onto the how. I'm going to walk you through the planning process using one of our favorite date nights as an example.

This is the easiest part of the planning process. The who should be you and your significant other unless it's going to be a double or group date. Then, the guest list might grow a bit.
Example: Just the two of us because we haven't spent a night focusing on us in a while.

This is where you decide on your theme. Are you celebrating something? Is it just a fun date night? What holidays are nearby? What sorts of things do you like? The possibilities for your theme are endless.
 Example: A fun date night where we can laugh and enjoy each other's company. It's in November and he's growing his mustache out for Movember so why not make it mustache themed?!?

Figure out a date and time that works best for the guest list. This may be an easy step or a hard step if your schedules rarely ever match up. It may be a special night, like your anniversary, or it may just be a random night that works for the two of you. After you decide on a night, mark it on the calendar so that you both know you have a commitment that night.
Example: Let's do a Friday night so that we don't have to worry about work the next day. We'll start around 5:00p to insure we're both home and unwound from work.

Decide if it will be a date night out, in, or a combination of both. Location is important and should match up with the theme of your night. Don't go to an Italian restaurant if your theme is Cinco de Mayo!
Example: We'll both have spent the day working and we cooked all week so let's make the dinner part out and the rest of the night in so that we can end it when we want to.

This one goes along with the what and when. Is there a reason for your date night? Remember, you don't need a reason to spend time together.
Example: There's no reason other than wanting to spend some time with the one I love.

After you've established the basic details, you have to decide how it will all take place. For me, this includes food, decorations, and activities. I also always include an invitation for the husband so that he can remember the details of what's to come. It also helps build suspense about what I might have planned. I'll share the details of our mustache date below to give you an idea.

Will you be eating out or will you be eating in? Which restaurant will you go to? What will you serve at home? Think about the time of day, how hungry you'll be, and what fits in with your theme. (Remember our discussion about Italian food for Cinco de Mayo.)
For our mustache date, we went to Applebees down the street. It wasn't anything special but it was close and we both enjoyed our dinner. Dinner wasn't meant to be the highlight of the evening anyways.

Decorations aren't necessary, of course, but they can certainly add to the fun of the night. If you're going to be doing a date out on the town, don't worry about decorations at all. Make your outfit, hair, and makeup your decoration for the night. If you're going to be home for the night, a few decorations can make things feel more special. Dollar Tree, Target, and craft stores are great places to find cute things for cheap. You could even use your creative side and the computer to print a couple of things out for the night.
Example: I picked up a few picture frames at Dollar Tree and printed out fun mustache sayings. Then, I put the sayings in the frames and sat them around for the night. I also printed out a few smaller sayings and left them in random spots for the husband to find as he got ready for work in the morning. This helped build the excitement for the night (and reminded him that we had a fun date night ahead of us!)

It's up to you to figure out how you're going to fill the night. There's nothing worse than "what do you want to do now?" being asked on a date. If you have a few things in mind, it'll help the night be more fun. Remember - it's about fun, not stress. While I recommend having a plan, make sure it's a flexible one! Don't get upset if the night goes in a different direction than the one you planned. The plans are there to avoid boredom not to dictate how the night goes!
Example: For our mustache night, I planned several different mustache themed games in addition to a Friday night tasting at the local Bevmo (which was on our way to Applebees). We only ended up playing one of the games but we had a ton of fun with the game, so it was still a good night. The husband still talks about our mustache game to this day. (Feel free to email me if you want more details on the game before I share it in a later post - this one has gotten too long as it is!)

Do you enjoy date nights? What's your favorite tip for making them a success?



  1. I never go all out on date nights anymore, but I really should start!!

  2. I've never thought of taking really specific steps when planning a date night, but we always end up with "well, what should we do now?" ... so I really like this idea! Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I love the idea of a "theme!" That is such a great idea!