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Valentine Events January 17, 2014

10 Things I’ve Learned About Sweetheart Banquets

10 Things I've Learned About Sweetheart Banquets

Ah, sweetheart banquets….

Over the years I had the opportunity to help plan a few Sweetheart Banquets at our church.

Our women’s minstry team would partner with the men’s ministry, but honestly the women did almost all of the planning. We’d divy out a few tasks to the guys.

We had some big hits and a few misses. I hope this list will help as you plan your sweetheart banquet.

Here are 10 Things I’ve Learned About Sweetheart Banquets

  1. Romantic favors are a bad idea
  2. You can run out of food
  3. Tablecloths take forever to be ironed especially the day of
  4. Italian food is always a great choice as long as a vegetarian option is included
  5. It really is okay to have salads, dressing, and breadsticks on the table as folks enter
  6. No one wants to be “lectured” as they celebrate Valentine’s Day – opt for fun and funny
  7. Increase your budget for decorations and flowers as roses are going to be more expensive than any other time of year
  8. You’re going to have to really sell a Valentine’s event – most folks would rather have a romantic dinner out by themselves than come to church
  9. Men should not be sent to plate the food for their wives as they will scoop generously – see #2.
  10. Candles and mirrors create great inexpensive ambiance (purchase mirror tiles at the home improvement store to save money)

And, yes, we really did run out of some of the food. The worst part was one of our Pastor’s got one of the plates that was lacking. We learned to serve the staff first!

Be sure to check out:

5 Keys to a Successful Sweetheart Banquet
Free Printable Valentine Verses
Not-so Newlywed Game Script
10 Sweetheart Banquet Ideas
The Great Valentine Candy Pass
Valentine Icebreaker Questions (Free Printable)


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Valentine Events January 10, 2014

5 Keys to a Successful Sweetheart Banquet

5 Keys to a Successful Sweetheart Banquet

Through a great amoutn of trial and error our Women’s Ministry Team discovered these 5 Keys to a Successful Sweetheart Banquet.

I hope they’ll help you with your planning!

5 Keys to a Successful Sweetheart Banquet

1. Affordable.

Keep in mind that many of the couples you are targeting are on a tight budget. Make certain your event is affordable for all – including the cost of childcare.

2. Childcare

Childcare for all ages should be offered. Not everyone is comfortable with leaving older children home alone. Take advantage of the situation and put older kids to work as helpers in each room. The cost of childcare needs to be minimal and I suggest setting a limit for larger families – i.e. $5 for each child, $20 for 4 or more children.

3. Food

I cannot stress enough that you need to be certain to order or prepare plenty of food. We roasted our own vegetables one year and did a terrible job of taking into account the shrinkage that would occur. We ran out before everyone was served. Keep in mind that people will take more at a buffet than if the food was served plated.

4. Youth (College and High School Students)

Utilize your Youth to serve the food, refill beverages, and assist with childcare. Often Youth Pastors are happy to lend a hand in exchange for a donation to help with their summer mission trip. If the donation will be based off tips from the evening, make sure that is communicated in your event information.

5. Favors

Provide a favor for all of the women in attendance. Flowers, framed Bible verses, chocolate, etc. I once attended a “valentine event” at church that gave out “romance kits” as the favorite. It was super awkward!! Please don’t do anything too romantic.

What else would you consider “key” for a Sweetheart Banquet?

Looking for additional help in planning your Valentine’s event?

Be sure to check out:
10 Sweetheart Banquet Ideas
10 Things I’ve Learned About Sweetheart Banquets
Free Printable Valentine Verses
Not-so Newlywed Game Script
The Great Valentine Candy Pass
Valentine Icebreaker Questions (Free Printable)


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Valentine Events January 7, 2014

Not-so Newlywed Game Script

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and your church may be hosting a Valentine’s Banquet or Couples Dinner this year.

Looking for a creative, fun way to entertain your guests for the evening? I’ve got you covered!

Remember the Newlywed Game and the crazy questions contestants answered? This game is a twist on that once popular show. We take married couples (Not-so Newlywed), divide them up, and try to get them to match their spouses answers to questions about their marriage.

Our attendees got a big kick out of seeing some of the well-known couples from our church up on the stage. We were impressed by the answers that matched and shared many laughs over those that didn’t.

Our evening began with an Italian dinner catered from a local restaurant. Dinner was followed by the “show” and a couple shared a devotional to end the evening. To be honest, the devotional wasn’t really needed. The “show” can stand on its own as your program for the event.

I’ve revised the script we created for our church a few years ago.

Click The Notso Newlywed Script to open the free PDF.

Please feel free to edit it as needed for your audience.

A few suggestions:

  1. Recruit your couples in advance. Assure them that the questions will be rated G.
  2. Select a host that can appropriately adlib and have fun with the role.
  3. Give your host the script in advance. Do not give the questions or the script to your couples.
  4. If you choose to change up the questions – please keep them rated G – not only will your pastor be pleased, but you won’t risk alienating members of your own church. If there’s any doubt, err on the side of caution.
  5. Cover the cost of the evening for the participating couples and host. A little thank you gift is always a good idea too.

Please let me know if you host your own Not-so Newlywed Game. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

If you’ve done something similar – please share your ideas too!

You may also want to check out:

5 Keys to a Successful Sweetheart Banquet
10 Things I’ve Learned About Sweetheart Banquets
Free Printable Valentine Verses
10 Sweetheart Banquet Ideas
The Great Valentine Candy Pass
Valentine Icebreaker Questions (Free Printable)

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Valentine Events January 3, 2014

10 Sweetheart Banquet Ideas

10 Sweetheart Banquet Ideas

*Please note this post contains affiliate links. Should you choose to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission which will be used to help cover the costs of this blog. Your support is appreciated!

Many churches host Sweetheart Banquets or Couples Dinners in February.

Often times the event planning falls to the Women’s Ministry team.

With annual events it’s easy to get into a rut planning the same thing year after year.

Freshen up your event with one of 10 sweetheart banquet ideas below:

  1. Host a staged edition of the Not So Newlywed Game
  2. Invite a couple from church to share a short devotional/inspirational message
  3. Seek out a speaker with a message on marriage (many authors are available if your budget allows)
  4. Host dinner and a movie (Fireproof or Courageous would be great to show)
  5. Enlist your youth to host a dinner theater
  6. Serve a catered dinner and provide childcare
  7. Show a comedy DVD (I recommend Kevin Davis – save female comedians for all-women events)
  8. Enlist a couple or two to perform a comedy skit
  9. Get some women/guys to sing (or lip-sync) some classic love songs wearing  crazy (or not) costumes
  10. Play a matching game with wedding photos of the couples in attendance

What other ideas do you have for a Sweetheart Banquet?

You may also want to check out:

5 Keys to a Successful Sweetheart Banquet
10 Things I’ve Learned About Sweetheart Banquets
Free Printable Valentine Verses
Not-so Newlywed Game Script
The Great Valentine Candy Pass
Valentine Icebreaker Questions (Free Printable)


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