Valentine’s events offer something for everyone

An attendee of the Jilted Lover’s Party at The Cocktail Club. File

Marie Rodriguez/Special to The Post and Courier

Saturday is Valentine’s Day. Love it or hate it, everyone has an opinion.

(Jim Gaffigan in particular has a great bit on the “holiday,” at least in my opinion, but I’ve never been one to get excited when Feb. 14 rolls around.)

So, in honor of the varying opinions on the day, I’ve gathered together some events that should please folks on both sides of the battle.

As you may know, Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days to get engaged (along with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, a time fondly known as “engagement season”).

That being the case, it should come as no surprise that the “South’s elite bridal event since 1990” would set up shop this weekend at the Charleston Area Convention Center.

Starting at noon on Sunday, the Southern Bridal Show will offer brides-to-be the chance to meet face to face with wedding professionals, bringing a variety of vendors all under one roof.

Aiming to have everything a bride and groom could possibly need for their big day in one location, attendees will be able to check out photographer’s pictures, taste cakes and food samples from caterers, listen to DJs spin, and see flowers, gowns and tuxedos. The event will also include a bridal fashion show production at 4 p.m. complete with professional models, dancers, recording artists and live entertainment.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door (cash only); kids 5 and younger get in free. Brides that register for the event will receive a free one-year subscription to Brides magazine and will be eligible to win an all-inclusive honeymoon.

For more information, go to

On Saturday and Sunday, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is inviting couples to enjoy a Valentine Chocolate and Camellia Sweetheart Stroll through the sprawling gardens along the Ashley River.

Dubbed “America’s oldest garden” and named one of the 17 most beautiful gardens in the United States by Travel and Leisure Magazine, folks will be able to sample tasty treats at chocolate stations spread throughout the grounds while string musicians add to the ambiance.

For those who can’t find a babysitter or want to include their kids, children will be invited to gather at a gingerbread house to craft Valentine greetings for their parents.

The event runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and is free with garden admission ($15 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6-12; children under six get in free).

For more info, call 571-1266 or go to

On Thursday, The Cocktail Club will celebrate Valentine’s Day early with a special Jilted Lover’s Party.

Free to attend, the party is for “anyone who has ever gone through a bad breakup, or is just down on love and romance.”

Attendees will “drown their sorrows for their failed relationships” in specialty cocktails and be invited to share their worst breakup story for a chance to win a $250 cash prize at the end of the night.

The party starts at 9 p.m. Food and drink specials will be offered.

For more, go to

On the big day itself, Mellow Mushroom King Street will again be hosting their F-Cupid Anti-Valentine’s Day Party.

Celebrating its 14th year in a row, the event is encouraging guests to perform an “ex-orcism” by inviting them to destroy and donate memorabilia from their exes. Love letters and pictures can go into the shredder, while clothes and other items can be put into a donation box.

And to keep the positive vibe going, each time a guest speaks of an ex, they will have to donate $1 into one of the F-Cupid jars throughout the restaurant. All money collected will be donated to the American Heart Association.

The 10 p.m. event will include a Better Without You photo area; raffles; the chance to sing power ballads karaoke-style along to live music from Triple Dog Dare; drink specials; and the chance to win prizes for the best break up story, worst pickup line and more.

For more information, go to