A few essentials for a holiday-worthy fete. 

Peony Arrangement
Credit: Alison Miksch

Store-bought Valentine table decorations often drift towards campy, cheap, and over the top. If you don't want glitter and rose petals getting dangerously close to your V-day meal, these five tablescape ideas will help make your romantic dinner a hit.

Pretty Flowers
Anchor your Valentine's Day table with a single floral arrangement in a simple, low profile glass or metallic vase (make sure it's low enough so that you can easily converse over it). Go for a loose arrangement that's soft and flowing, in a range of delicate hues and accented by lots of soft greenery. Don't just stick with the standard rose collection—try mixing in romantic favorites like full garden roses, peonies, or even tulips.

A Collection of Candles
The soft glow of candlelight flatters all skin tones and sets a romantic mood. Scatter the table with pretty votives distressed with an antiqued feel, such as gold or silver mercury glass tea light holders. Be sure to buy unscented tea light candles—they won't compete with the fragrance of your floral centerpiece or your meal.
To buy: Just Artifacts Mercury Glass Votive Candle Holders (set of 12), $23.98; amazon.com
Soy Tealight Candles (set of 12), $11.95; amazon.com

Simple, Elegant Linens
Forego campy Valentine's Day-themed napkins and table décor, instead sticking with a basic well-pressed white or cream tablecloth and corresponding napkins.

Gilded Flatware
Swap out your standard everyday silverware for something with a little more pizzazz, like rose gold or copper cutlery.
To buy: Aoo Luxury Rose Gold Stainless Steel Silverware (set of 4), $68.98; amazon.com

Chocolate-Dipped Anything
Pretty to look at, delicious to eat. Chocolate-dipped fruit, caramels, nuts, or shortbread cookies can sit out on your V-day table in a pretty crystal dish throughout the meal. Don't feel like getting out your double boiler to spend hours dipping strawberries at home? Purchase a pretty, can't-go-wrong box of chocolate goodness instead.
To buy: Godiva Chocolatier Gold Ballotin, $40.95, amazon.com

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So, we encourage you to think ahead this Valentine's Day. It'll make all the difference in planning out a special day for your special someone. Whether you're cooking steaks, calling in take-out, or breaking out your slow-cooker for the first time, we hope it's a day full of love.