Indianapolis companies provide Valentine's Day ideas to woo romantic couples

Indianapolis companies provide Valentine's Day ideas to woo romantic couples

With Valentine's Day less than two weeks away, romantic service-related companies say sweethearts should call now to find out what's still available, from traditional flowers or treats to something more unusual like a custom cake or singing telegram.

The traditional treatment

Chocolate's the go-to for many a desperate Valentine's Day gift-giver, but Ilene McHone, owner of custom cake maker Classic Cakes in Carmel, says her shop sees plenty of business every February. "Sometimes we're booked up a week ahead, but we always have a good stock of items ready to go," says McHone, adding that customers can expect to pay about $40 for a cake with custom flavors and fillings.

For some, a Valentine's Day without flowers isn't a Valentine's Day at all. Meredith Moynahan, co-owner of Indianapolis florist Posh Petals and Gifts, recommends calling early and thinking outside the box if you plan on showering your sweetie with petals.

"Typically around Valentine's, roses are at higher prices because of increased demand — most people don't think about sending spring flowers like hyacinths, anemones or tulips, which can be just as fragrant and nice," Moynahan says. She also mentions that since this year's observance falls on a Saturday, customers should consider requesting having their floral arrangements delivered to the recipient's workplace on the 12th or 13th to beat the rush. "It ensures someone will be there for the delivery and I think the sender gets a lot more credit when everyone in the office sees their gift."

Journey of love

If your plans with your loved one include dining out, how you arrive or depart can make your romantic celebration stand out. Many couples choose to live it up in vintage luxury, according to Jack Gamb, owner of Antique Limousine of Indianapolis. For about $110 an hour, Gamb can escort you and your date about town in a vintage Rolls-Royce, Cadillac or Packard limousine. But it's best to call ahead, or your opportunity to arrive in style may have to wait until 2010. "We book well in advance — we're not a last-minute limo call people make," Gamb says.

If you're dining downtown and don't mind the cold, a carriage ride before or after dinner can offer the chance to cuddle under a warm blanket.

"Since Valentine's is on a Saturday this year, making reservations early is especially important," says Peggy Best, owner of Yellow Rose Carriage in downtown Indianapolis. "Don't hesitate to call if you've waited though — if there's inclement weather, many customers will cancel and spots may open up." Rides around the city typically start at $50 and last from 25 minutes to an hour.

Something different

Why not show your soulmate your true mettle with something completely different? Julie Querry's Q's Hot Tub Rentals offers couples the chance for a steamy romance without leaving the comfort of home. For $200, Q's will deliver and set up a fully equipped hot tub in or around your home for you to enjoy over the weekend.

The portable tubs only require about 40 square feet and can be filled with preheated water upon request for an extra charge. And Querry says there's plenty of room for more than two. "I've actually seen seven very large people in one at one time," she says. "But that's not something I would recommend."

If good-natured humiliation shows your partner how much you care, a singing telegram might do the trick. Hug-a-Bug Family Entertainment offers on-the-spot amusement with custom singing telegrams from characters like Dr. Fun-E-Bone, a singing gorilla or a giant pink flamingo.

"Most people who receive a singing telegram are really embarrassed, but they really like it," says Hug-a-Bug owner Dawn Perry. The 10-minute performance includes a Mylar balloon bouquet and a printed copy of the performance's lyrics and starts at about $100. "My favorite places to perform are big offices with lots of people," Perry says.

Sealing the deal

"Valentine's Day is traditionally the beginning of the spring engagement season," says Eli Benisty, owner of Distinctive Diamonds in Indianapolis. For smitten people searching for a gift with distinctive sparkle, Benisty says colored stones such as black diamonds are growing in popularity.

If wedding plans are on the table, you might want to call someone like Lisa Gorman of Memory Makers, an Indianapolis-based wedding coordinator. "A good time to secure a planner is 18 months to a year out," Gorman says.

— Additional reporting by Kristen Rojowski, John Baracani and Brooke Reynolds.


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