Valentines Gift Guide from the Experts

It’s pretty easy to guess what a wedding planner’s favorite holiday is. That’s right — Valentine’s Day! So, for Neillie’s husband Tom, he has double the pressure on February 14th. Not only does he have to get Neillie the right gift(s), but he also has to make sure it (they) live up to her high expectations on her favorite day of the year. Since he’s had many years of practice, we’ve asked Tom to give us a few tips to pass along to help our readers (or, more importantly, their significant others) survive the day. ONE: Take some initiative. Neillie always appreciates it when I plan something. It’s hard to go wrong when you take care of everything beforehand — reservations, Uber, and, most importantly, the babysitter. If you can take care of all of this, you are well on your way to a successful Valentine’s night.

TWO: Don’t make it too hard on yourself. At the end of the day, there are certain things — shoes, dresses, jewelry — that really should be left up to your wife. So, while I’m happy to take care of dinner plans and to make sure the sitter is lined up, a gift card ahead of time to someplace like Etc., Stella Blu or Elle is always very well received. For Neillie, it’s the best of both worlds — she gets a night out where she hasn’t had to plan anything, and at the same time, she gets to choose something new to wear that she has picked out herself.

THREE: Take advantage of Birmingham’s central location. Between our jobs we don’t get many nights off, but when we do, we like to get out oftown! A night out in Atlanta is always fun. Make reservations at the St. Regis and have dinner at Neillie’s current favorite spot - Umi. Likewise, a quick trip to the new Thompson Hotel in Nashville or The Pearl in Rosemary are also can’t miss getaways.

FOUR: Even when work schedules or family commitments are completely out-of-control, there are small things you can do that go a long way in achieving a successful Valentine’s Day. Some of Neillie’s favorite things (that I don’t do enough) include: scheduling her a massage at Tonya Jones, sending her peonies from a local florist, or having someone come wash her car. If all else fails, you never go wrong with sneaking away for a late afternoon trip to Highlands to sit at the bar, eat some oysters, and enjoy a cocktail together.

At the end of the day, I’ve learned that, for Neillie, she really appreciates a little planning ahead of time and something that gives her a little surprise. Whether that little extra can be anything from Liz Legg earrings or taking care of the kids so she has extra time to get ready, it really is the thought that counts.

Good luck this year and, if nothing else, please remember to keep the receipt and stay away from the “Final Sale” rack on Valentine’s Day

as pictured... 1| The Pearl Hotel 2| Liz Legg Earrings sold at Etc. 3| Neely and Chloe "Be Mine" Cosmetic Bag 4| Lake Pajamas 5| Chloé Perfume 6| BCBG Dress from Elle 7| Adidas Originals 8| Tops from Stella Blu and M. Lavender







Expert AdviceHolly Hollon