As soon as February comes around, the pressure to create the perfect Valentine’s Day kicks in. Every year there is immense pressure for couples to make a grand gesture of love to their other half, but it can be a struggle to come up with original ideas.
To help give you some inspiration, we’ve put together a list of the top 7 over-the-top gestures, and whilst they may be a little out of reach, they could spark some inspiration!
1. Taj Mahal
Often referred to as one of the great wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is the ultimate in romantic gestures. The story goes that the breath-taking structure was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, in the wake of her death.
The Taj Mahal took over a decade to build and the Emperor went to great lengths to make sure that its beauty went unmatched by any other building. He went so far as to pay the building’s artists more money than originally planned to ensure they wouldn’t create another piece of work for the rest of their lives – now that’s what we call true dedication!
2. Wagner’s composition
The composer Richard Wagner is best known for musical pieces such as “Ride of the Valkyries”, but his most romantic piece was one that he composed for his wife, Cosima, for her 33rd birthday. As a present, Wager set up a 15-piece orchestra on his staircase and woke her up to the sounds of his latest composition “Tribschen Idyll”, a piece which is now considered to be one of his greatest works.
3. Taylor - Burton Diamonds
The relationship of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton was a rather tumultuous one, with the pair marrying in 1964, divorcing 10 years later, only to remarry again the following year. Even with all the ups and downs, the pair were extravagant with their love for one another and throughout this period, Richard gifted Elizabeth with some of the world’s most lavish pieces of jewellery. This included the now famous 69 carat pear-shaped diamond known as the Taylor-Burton diamond. You might not be able to afford a diamond this big, but even a little one is a great romantic gesture.
4. Flowers for Marilyn
Although famous baseball player Joe DiMaggio was only married to actress Marilyn Monroe for 274 days, it would seem that Joe remained in love with the actress well after they had parted ways. After Marilyn’s death in 1962, Joe is said to have sent red roses three times a week to her grave in Los Angeles over the next twenty years.
5. Edward VIII’s Abdication
After the death of his father George V, Edward took over the throne in 1936 for a short period of time. His reign was hampered by controversy over his relationship with married American socialite, Wallis Simpson, who was largely disliked by the media. Deciding to choose love over the crown, Edward abdicated the throne and married Wallis in 1937. They then spent the remainder of their lives together, living in France. All together now… ahhhh!
6. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
According to ancient historians, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built by Nebuchadnezzar II as a gift to his wife, Amytis of Media. It is thought that Amytis was finding it difficult to adjust to her new life in the Babylon desert and longed for the mountains and greenery of her native Media. To help his wife adjust to her new surroundings, Nebuchadnezzar went about constructing a series of gardens within the walls of the city – how’s that for green fingers?
7. Elizabeth Browning’s Sonnets
Elizabeth Browning proved that romantic gestures are not just for men, when she wrote a whole book of poetry for her husband and fellow poet, Robert Browning. The book contained a series of 44 sonnets detailing Elizabeth’s love for her husband and on seeing them, Robert encouraged his wife to get them published. Elizabeth agreed but insisted on presenting the poems as alleged translations of Portuguese sonnets in order to keep the personal nature of their inspiration to herself.
If like these famous faces from history, you choose to go all out for your loved one this Valentine’s Day, using your credit card to make purchases could give you the added protection that you need.
Thanks to the very handy Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, when you spend over £100 on your credit card, you are covered on your purchases. This means that if this Valentine’s Day you order something but the retailer goes bump, or your purchases arrive faulty, or maybe even not at all, then you can claim your money back from your credit card provider. Section 75 is in place to ensure that you’re never paying off debt for something that didn’t arrive or wasn’t quite as it should have been when it did.