Candlelit dinners, dancing, and flowers are all hallmarks of a traditional Valentine’s Day celebration. But you don’t have to dine at a fancy restaurant or even leave the house to enjoy a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner this year. Here are five tips to make your evening a memorable one.

1. Create a Romantic Atmosphere

Set the mood for the evening by creating a romantic atmosphere. A few small changes can go a long way in making the space feel cozy, comfortable, and romantic. Get creative with your décor.

  • Create a table centerpiece with hand-picked flowers or handmade paper flowers.
  • Eat dinner by candlelight. Save the scented candles for dessert.
  • Turn on some soft music. Check your favorite streaming music service for romantic playlists and song ideas. If you have a special song, make sure that you add it to your list.

The beauty of celebrating Valentine’s Day at home is that you have the freedom to be as simple or elaborate as you want with your decorations. It’s all about you and your special someone.

2. Cook Together

Make dinner prep part of the experience. Cooking together can be a fun way to get comfortable and start the evening off right. Pop open a bottle of wine and get to work. Play some music, dance together, and make dinner prep a fun part of the night.

If your partner isn’t a big fan of cooking or you’re pressed for time, try to have dinner nearly ready to go by the time your special someone arrives. This will give you more time to spend together and make the most of every moment.

3. Don’t Forget the Appetizers and Desserts

Make your Valentine’s Day dinner memorable by serving multiple courses. Start with appetizers and work your way to a delicious dessert.

Choose easy-to-prepare, tasty appetizers, like bruschetta or hummus and pita chips. Look for inspiration online if you’re having trouble finding ideas.

Splurge on dessert. Pick up something special from your favorite local bakery or make something from scratch. Homemade chocolates or a freshly baked decadent cake will make the evening even more special.

4. Keep it Simple

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. There’s a lot of pressure to spend more and make the evening as extravagant as possible. But ultimately, what makes this day special is you. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make it a memorable evening.

Focus more on spending quality time together. Keep it simple and choose foods that you both love.

5. Ditch the Distractions

To make the most of your time together, ditch the distractions. Turn off your phones. Keep the TV off. The only thing you should be focused on is your partner.

The best way to avoid distractions is to have a plan for the night. After dinner, watch a movie together, play a game or just see where the night takes you.

Valentine’s Day is all about you and your partner, and there’s no better way to celebrate this special day than with a romantic dinner at home. Use these tips to make your evening a memorable one.