As Valentine’s Day 2016 approaches, you may be wracking your brain for a fresh approach to the lovers’ holiday. Have you considered the romantic possibilities afforded with a gazebo? If not, maybe you should think again.
Don’t own a gazebo? That’s no reason to reject the following ideas out of hand. Parks and various event venues will let you reserve those romantic settings with some advanced planning. You can even rent a gazebo from companies geared to supply party or wedding equipment, and they’ll deliver it to the location of your choice—if it’s crucial to your romantic plans. Pergolas and other outdoor structures can do the trick, but you’ll want to make sure of a few things before you proceed. Is it clean, appealing to the eye, and offer a nice view? Will it be private? Will the weather cooperate?
If you’re good to go on those counts, a gazebo can make a memorable setting for your Valentine’s Day plans this year.
A seaside getaway for two
Imagine a quiet beach at sunset. The sun sinks, firing the cool, blue sea to burnished gold. There’s a softer glow from the fire bowl you nestled in the sand beyond the gazebo’s front door—which you’ve flanked with potted palms—and the luminaries you’ve strung around the perimeter. You and your date recline on plush cushions under the pergola, listening to music drifting out of an MP3 player and the quiet shush of waves as they kiss the shore. You’ve got a bottle of crisp Moscato on ice, a plate of fruit and cheese, and a few lamb kabobs to roast over the fire. After dinner, you walk the beach, hand in hand.
Picnic in a hidden grove
What could be more romantic than a gourmet picnic? Especially when the mimosas, brie, fresh fruit, and lobster salad are enjoyed in a gazebo surrounded by greenery—be that foliage in your backyard, at a spa/resort, or in a local park. What a wonderful setting for Cupid to conduct his business—peaceful, secluded, and quiet, the silence broken only by the trill of birdsong. Turn the gazebo into a hidden meadow in the heart of your forest with potted flowers—bright-faced pansies, blushing geraniums, sunny daffodils—crowding the interior and leading up to the door. A red-and-white checked tablecloth and a couple of seat cushions tossed on the floor complete the setting.
Rose petal romance
A red, red rose by any other name spells romance. Set a low table atop a colorful area rug in the center of the gazebo, toss a large pillow down on either side. Top the table with trio of rose-scented candles, and hang round, rosy-red paper lanterns across the gazebo’s entrance. (You can get battery operated lanterns, if your gazebo doesn’t have electricity.) Now scatter rose petals—liberally, because you want to make a statement—in a wide circle around the table. Open a bottle of good rosé, and you’ve got a real Valentine’s theme going!
A glittering proposal
Valentine’s Day and marriage proposals go together like, well, like hearts and flowers. If you’re heading in that direction this year, cloak your gazebo from cornice to floor in a veil of tiny, brilliantly white fairy lights—and don’t forget to do include any shrubs that may skirt the pergola. Add a forest of white candles in a variety of sizes and a cafe table for two covered with a cloth in her favorite color. Set the table simply with a pair of crystal flutes to go with the champagne tucked in a silver ice bucket. Add music you can slow dance to, and you have a romantic setting she’ll always remember with a soft smile and happy sigh.
Rumor has it that credit for transforming February 14 from a liturgical feast day to a celebration of romantic love goes to 14th-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer of Canterbury Tales fame. True or not, the fact remains—Valentine’s Day has been linked to love and romance in many countries for hundreds of years. If you’re looking for a way to marry the magic of the great outdoors with a meaningful marriage proposal, an ornate gazebo might be just the thing!