It was Leslie Knope, the plucky, Type-A “Parks and Recreation” character, that first dreamed up Galentine’s Day. As she explained it: “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it… ladies celebrating ladies.”
It’s a holiday that pays tribute to your nearest and dearest girlfriends and the concept took off after it was featured in the 2010 episode, and was especially popular among the single ladies set. The celebration can even extend beyond girlfriends to mothers, grandmothers, and sisters (or, in Leslie Knope’s case, a frenemy like Shauna Malwae Tweep). Putting together your own Galentine’s Party is easy, and there are tons of creative ways you can put “ovaries before broveries” and celebrate the ladies in your life.
Aja Bradley, CEO of the experiential events company Conversate Collective, is no stranger to putting together extraordinary events. She has helped us put together 5 steps to throwing the perfect Galentine’s Party that would make Leslie Knope proud.
1. Set The Scene
Much like other holidays, Galentine’s can come with its own vibe. Setting the scene is imperative to any successful party, and Galentine’s is no exception. Heart decorations abound this time of year, and they work well for Galentine’s as well as Valentine’s. After all, you love your gal pals, right?
Floral arrangements, swathes of pink, red, and white, and sparkly decor can help set the mood for a fun, decidedly female, event. Of course, decor can depend on the type of gals in your circle. Feel free to break the mould and have a Football theme, an 80s theme, or another theme that better suits your tribe. There are no hard and fast rules that say a girl-centred party needs to be awash in pink and glitter. This is all about personalization, knowing who your friends are, and celebrating that.
2. Pick Your Guests
Of course, your closest girlfriends are going to get an invite, that’s a given. But, perhaps Galentine’s can be a chance to extend an invitation to other women in your life who could use a girl’s night. Invite all of the ladies in your family or consider the new women in your office who could probably use a friend. Another great idea could be to cater a Galentine’s Day to the little girls in your life, showing them that celebrating female friendships and bonding can be a lot of fun.
3. Plan Activities
These can include games or a carefully selected movie night (think girl-power movies like “Legally Blonde” or “Working Girl”). Maybe make it a slumber party theme that harkens back to your days as 13-year-olds? Do face masks or deep conditioning treatments. Plan mani/pedis or makeovers.
Much like decor, the activities should speak to who your friends are and what they like. With some groups, a book swap may be a hit. With others, perhaps meeting on the basketball court for a little scrimmage would make yours the most epic party ever. Whatever the idea may be, the party should include some activities to keep your guests entertained.
4. Honor One Another
Whether you get crafty like Leslie Knope or purchase items that individually cater to each guest, you should honor your guests with gifts. Personalized water bottles or t-shirts, decorated with Cricut decals, are especially popular. Perhaps framed pictures or photo books would thrill your sentimental guest? When was the last time you went to a party that had gift bags? Now is the time to make your closest friends feel special. What better way to do that than by giving something thoughtful?
5. Bring On The Food!
Leslie Knope was legendary for her love of waffles, so of course the inaugural Galentine’s Day was a brunch. It’s just not a party unless there’s good food to indulge in. The options for this celebration are endless. Kick things off with a signature cocktail, created just for the occasion. Easy-to-eat sweets like chocolate-dipped strawberries, cookies, and cupcakes are always a hit. They’re easy to personalize to the party’s theme or color scheme, as well.
Don’t forget to offer something a bit more savoury as well, such as bruschetta or fondue. You could always celebrate the Leslie Knope way and have a waffle bar! Breaking bread and sharing a delicious meal with your closest girlfriends is a great bonding experience and a perfect way to indulge!
Galentine’s Day has taken off in the US, and many women will likely be planning their own festivities for February of this year. If you want to get in on the action, following these basic steps, laid out by event planner Aja Bradley, can get you well on your way to throwing the most memorable Galentine’s gathering ever.