LLC: Plan a Valentine's Meet

Good morning from the snowy East Coast, darlings!

I haven't been doing a spectacular job of keeping up with Lace a la Mode's Lolita Lifestyle Challenge, but seeing as today is officially the first of February, today's topic seemed appropriate:

I've actually never attended a Valentines Day Meet, but I would love to attend or host one! Although Valentines Day is considered annoying and garish by many, it has always been one of my favourite holidays, as I'm a true sap and hopeless romantic at heart. I don't even mind the eyeball-searing colour scheme of pink and red (I actually rather fancy those colours together).

If I were to host a Valentines Day meet, I would do it in a number of different ways:
  • Sweet and Simple: a Red, Pink and White meet
  • Match Made in Heaven! A Twinning meet
  • Simply Meant to Be: A Fairy Tale meet
  • I Want Candy: A Sweets themed meet
  • Roses are Red: A Floral themed meet
Aren't you already daydreaming of coords for the above? 

For locations, I would consider somewhere with ample space for both socialising and a potluck:
  • A Tea Room
  • Your Home
  • A Park or Garden (if it's not too cold where you live) 
  • Your comm's favourite local cafe or restaurant
Any of these locations would be ideal, as I foresee a meet with Valentines themed festivities, games, and recipes. Of course if you are going to a restaurant or cafe instead of members contributing to a potluck, I would try and pick a location that served Valentines-esque food: for example, a shop with both savory and sweet crepes, a place for brunch, an ice cream parlour, or a local cafe/patisserie.

I would let myself get carried away with the decor! After all, what other holiday allows me to purchase the most loliable party decorations ever? Patterned Paper Straws, heart shaped plates, pink, red or white everything- it would be so much fun! Even if you are going to a restaurant, tea room or cafe, most establishments are okay with you bringing your own table embellishments.

One idea I have for a Valentine's Meet is "Secret Valentine". Like Secret Santa, I would ask the attendees to draw a random name of another guest for the meet. For that guest, they would be asked to make a handmade Valentine, and a gift of $5 or less- it could be a handmade accessory that goes with their style, handmade cookies or desserts, a custom drawing of them, etc. That way, everyone who comes will have a Valentine.

Another cute game could be "Who Am I?" (I played this version with my J-fashion Community in Hawaii last year.) 

You will need one or two sheets of adhesive name-tags, blank. On each square, write a Lolita identity- it can be designer names, model names, brand names, or even genres such as Sweet or Gothic Lolita! Throw in other elements of J-fashion if you like, such as Mori Girl, Dolly Kei, Visual kei, etc.

One game leader will distribute the labels to guests, who must not see their own "name". Stick it somewhere like on the person's back where they will not be able to look. Guests can break up into groups of three participants each, if you are dealing with a big group. Each guest will have to ask a question to try and figure out who they are, and the other people in their group will answer to help them guess. 

It's a lot of fun, especially if you get something way out of your element! It's quite entertaining seeing a Gothic Lolita find out she is "Maki" or "Asuka", or a Classic Lolita finding out she is "Visual Kei". 

If you'd like a more challenging game, you can reverse the roles and play charades! It might be quite entertaining watching guests act out some unique personalities and styles, but may be more difficult as guests cannot talk. 

Of course there are many other Valentines-specific games you can find online; a few I found were Bingo with candy hearts as markers, or relay races to see how many candy hearts you can pick up with chopsticks in a minute. There's plenty you can do to keep your guests entertained!

If you're hosting a potluck type meet, there are plenty of adorable things you can prepare for your guests, from simple heart shaped fruit kebabs, for beginners...

... To apple or potato rosettes, for the more seasoned cook.

It may also be a good idea to get a small chocolate fondue pot, with strawberries, gharam crackers and marshmallows. It seems like a fun activity for guests to enjoy together- although it might be dangerous for Lolitas, with that drippy chocolate!

Of course, as the meet is winding down, it is always fun to have a coordinate contest. The themes can be Valentines-tailored as well, including "Cutest Couple" (two coords that match well, intentionally or unintentionally), "Best Chocolate Coord", "Best Sweets Coord", "Best Floral Coord", etc. I think coordinate contests are a great way to encourage healthy competition, and to encourage everyone to put their best coord forward for meets. 

I hope that these ideas help inspire you to have your own Valentines Meet in your comm! I am a little sad I won't be able to host one this year, as it falls on Katsucon anyways. But perhaps next year, I can! And in the meantime, many of these ideas can be recycled for a regular Lolita meet, anyways.

Any more ideas for a Valentines Meet, or stories from one you attended? I would love to hear about it, as I am always looking for new meet ideas!

For more tips on how to host an at-home meet-up, and for the Lolita game "Lolita Scattergories", please click here!


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