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Tips for Planning a Memorable Valentine's Day Surprise

Valentine's Day surprises can take many forms-from a weekend break for two to a
surprise gift of jewelery or even a marriage proposal. Most women love romantic surprises, and they're a perfect way to show her how much you care. But be warned-not every surprise is a pleasant one. Here are tips to ensure she'll love what you have planned.

Do not make her believe the worst. Some people think it's a good idea to lead the person they're surprising to believing the worst-before surprised them with the best. For example, you might make her think you've forgotten about Valentine's Day absolutely before surprising her with an extravagant gift. But it's never a good idea to make your sweetheart feel miserable on purpose. It's not a pleasant feeling to be disappointed or angry or upset for days or weeks before finding out your suspensions were just a trick, and it's very likely to backfire on you.

Consider what she likes. This surprise should be all about her, not about you. If she is not an outdoorsy person but you love to fly-fish, do not surprise her with a weekend getaway to a bed-and-breakfast where you can go fishing. If you do not enjoy spas but she loves them, book a spa getaway for both of you anyway-and make her think you're having a great time. Naturally, both of you would probably prefer it if you chose a surprise you'd both enjoy-but make sure that if you can not find common ground, you choose something she'll love.

Make sure she's got time off. There's nothing worse than planning a romantic weekend away-only to find last-minute that she has to work all weekend. Particularly if your surprise involves several days away, make sure she already has the time free. It might be a good idea to enlist the help of one of her friends. Have the friend tell your sweetheart she wants to spend some quality time with her on the weekend you have planned-this will ensure she does not make other plans for those days.

If you're out for the evening, make sure the staff knows. If you've planned a party or a major surprise in a public place, make sure the staff knows it's supposed to be a surprise. The waitress might be able to help you by delivering your gift at a key point in the meal. The hostess will certainly be able to help you by letting your loved one think she's taking you to a romantic table for two, and not a banquet hall full of your closest friends and family. Unless you plan to just take out a small gift from your pocket at some point and give it to her, you might need the help of the staff.

Prepare well in advance. If you leave things until the last minute, she's sure to notice all the rushing around you do as you scramble to get your surprise in place. For best results, plan your surprise in advance. Make sure you space out large preparation tasks so that she will not notice anything out of the ordinary, and plan to do them when she's out of the house whenever possible. This is much easier when you have a large amount of lead time to work with.

Enlist a friend. A trusted friend can be invaluable help to your planning efforts. Friends can distract your Valentine so she will not notice what you're doing; they can plan a weekend with her to make sure she keeps the date free; and they can store unusual items at their homes so she will not wonder why you have party streamers or a mysterious wrapped box under your bed. Choose a friend she sees a lot of normally, so she will not think it's unusual if that friend suddenly wants to spend time with her.

Bring the right clothes. Are you picking her up straight from work to go to dinner? Are you sweeping her off to a romantic weekend getaway? If so, do not let her go in her work clothes if she usually does not get dressed up for the office, and do not leave her without a change of clothes or her toothbrush on that romantic getaway. Part of the planning involves ensuring that she's neatly dressed for the occasion. Have a female friend of hers help you choose an outfit for her, and if you're taking her somewhere special, do not forget her makeup bag.

Valentine's Day is a great occasion for a romantic surprise. Whether you plan to surprise her with a lavish gift, a gourmet dinner, or a weekend trip, make sure you do it right. Follow these tips, and she's sure to love what you have planned.

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