With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, nothing is more romantic than throwing a special dinner party for friends, family and loved ones. Whether it's having a couples' party or a mixer for singles, Valentine's Day is a classic gift-giving holiday celebrated worldwide.

Hosting a Valentine's Day dinner party doesn't need to be a daunting task. By following this simple checklist, hosts will be on their ways to throwing splendid Friday night Valentine's Day bashes.

  • Guest List - Deciding on a guest list is a critical component of hosting a party. Just because it's traditionally a couples' day, doesn't mean that guests can't go stag. Consider inviting a mix of people for a festive, special evening.
  • Invitations - Send invitations early so invitees can save the date. Consider using an electronic invitation service, such as Evite, as this allows for hosts to attach maps, highlight party details and allows guests to see who is invited. These invitations can be completed in a manner of minutes, making it easy for hosts to focus on other party-related tasks.
  • Special - To make a dinner party extra special, consider changing standard furniture plans to allow for mingling.
  • Dishes - Use formal dishes, goblets and red accents for this special day. Standard white dishes can easily be dressed up with red charger plates, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including traditional circle charger plates, contemporary square charger plates and red-rimmed glass charger plates. Dollar Stores are affordable retailers for Valentine's Day decor.
  • Meals - Make-ahead meals are a great way for hosts to enjoy guests. Pasta is an excellent choice for Valentine's Day, whether it's lasagna, shrimp scampi or spaghetti. Fresh pasta elevates these dishes, making them perfect for this love-filled day. Another excellent meal option is fondue! It's interactive and fun, making it perfect for dinner or desserts.
  • Bring Your Own - Asking guests to bring their own drinks or a light appetizer is not rude. Guests can also bring desserts, such as chocolate dipped strawberries and sweet fruits.
  • Store-Bought - Hosts shouldn't be afraid to stray away from store-bought desserts. These are handy, especially for hosts that aren't pastry chefs. Many bakeries design special desserts for Valentine's Day, such as chocolate brownie tarts, red-sprinkled sugar candies, caramels, truffles and cupcakes. Desserts can also be attractive centerpieces, highlighting colorful tiered-trifle desserts, attractive dishes of chocolate mousse and mini-desserts served in shot glasses.
  • Conversation - Great food, lively company and background music helps conversation freely flow. Relax, enjoy and have fun!