Back in the day, traveling was a luxury. You’d put on your fineries and wear heels to the airport. Flights were on time and airports were peaceful. Everyone checked her luggage and only dainty purses were placed under the seats.
Somehow, in the process of our world shrinking and foreign communications being simplified, traveling abroad has transformed into a horrifying chore. Even under the best of circumstances canceled flights and delays are the norm.
Thank goodness, romance doesn’t require an exotic location. Your dream weekend is a car ride away.
A fabulous romantic destination is at your nearest polo grounds. Here are seven ways attending a polo match will revive your number one relationship.
1. Showtime Dressing
Nothing sparks a romance like looking your best. Comfy jeans paired with showstopper shoes are perfect, yet polo events bring out the bling in spectators. Fancy hats with flowers and themed appliqués show off your personality. Bright, colors and splashy prints for dresses and men’s blazers announce your joyful attitude. Sweet sundresses and jeweled footwear go perfectly with men’s patterned shorts, starched button downs, and animated ties.
What to Wear Tips:
a.) Stick with closed toe shoes. Even the finest pedicure looks scary after walking along the dusty sidelines and pocked pasture.
b.) Plan for the temperature. Pre-polo season begins before Christmas and the main events last from winter into late spring. Chilly wind puts a damper on the mood when you insist on wearing that sheer sundress. Likewise, intense sunlight traps hatless spectators in their cars.
c.) Despite your checking the weather app to see whether the day will be hot and sunny, it will still call for body con over ruffles. Keep in mind that you will be sitting within a large, vacant space without nearby trees. While you might need to dress for the high temperature, I cannot think of a polo match I’ve been to where there wasn’t a robust breeze. Be prepared for your sheer clothing to catch in the wind and for hats to fly away. Just as easily, your hair could be in jeopardy. You will likely be shaking your hair out of your eyes and pulling it from your glossy lips — hence, the popular choice of wearing hair braided or pulled up.
d.) If you own a practical attire that is designer, this is the place for it. Granted, styles remain clean-cut whether you go with the ranch-girl finds oil look, the carefree Caribbean resort wear, or the classic, timeless pieces. If you show up in a delicate sequin top and slinky heels, you will stand out as a rookie. One thing the polo society abhors is a newbie.
e.) Understand that the event hosts will be passing out champagne for you to enjoy while you walk across the field to refill divots created by the horses’ hooves. Guests are given a chance to climb on a wooden horse and learn how to swing a mallet. You might find yourself crawling through picket fences and cutting through woods. Dressing out of context for walking across fields and stomping on muddy grass might leave you sitting in your parking space while your handsome hero struts around with a glass of champagne at half-time. And nothing ruins romance like being stranded.
f.) More specifically, men tend to wear vibrant blazers with needlepoint details or jackets tailor cut from luxurious fabrics. Silly socks rock designer loafers. Bowties are the norm. Don’t deny yourself of showing off your long lost pocket square you keep tucked in the bottom of your sock drawer. Complemented with a plantation hat or a clever baseball cap tells everyone that you will deliver fun enthusiasm if they take time to introduce themselves.
g.) But then let’s not overlook the “I am a superstar and don’t even put forth an effort to be so amazing” look. Some men go for what I will describe as a grungy designer style as a method for announcing that they have what it takes and know it, but don’t want you to know they know. Unpolished boat shoes, broken in mules, both hold up well in the outdoor dust. A cable knit sweater and khakis are perfectly suited for hanging out beside a cooler full of the third most popular liquid to consume in the world — brewed beverages. (Beer happens to be manufactured by a particularly famous, kind, charismatic player you are sure to eventually watch play and hopefull meet.) Likewise, the obvious polo shirts and nondescript shorts are always understated and acceptable.
h.) All white makes a statement but is less common. Avoid the temptation to wear cowboy boots. Stick with an equestrian boot style instead. The polo players will be wearing lace-up boots, buckle clasps and tan with black variations. Those attendees who wear boots go for fashionable spring styles with traditional English riding details. This event is nothing like a rodeo and Western wear is not to be seen.
2. Wine and Dine Settings
Tailgating is a necessity at polo matches because spectators park alongside the field. Certainly, you can back your car into your space and hang out on the tailgate, however, the more romantic and common approach is to plan a table setting.
Oftentimes, polo events announce a theme for the year, and give awards to the winning decorations. Groups parked side by side plan together in reserving double lots, and put up tents, add sofas, and even rugs. Consider bringing your silver platters and china pitchers. Add a floral arrangement and tablecloth to establish an alluring atmosphere your partner won’t disregard.
The more you sensationalize, the more passersby will stop and introduce themselves. Meeting interesting couples is a great way to loosen up your partner. Stimulating conversations with your new friends will spark fresh conversations between you two. Staying fresh and new extends the honeymoon phase.
Avoid being generic with your decor. Put your distinctive personality into your presentation. Your loved one will see you as being remarkable and want to connect with you even more. Fabulous romantic settings I’ve seen at polo matches included:
a.) Strings of lights. You can find battery operated light strings to wrap around your table, your flowers or your tent posts. At times, polo matches take place during overcast weather. Those lights will wash away a dreary day and bring on the soft mood.
b.) Figurines and Statuary. If you don’t mind the time and extra effort, you can place sculptures and artwork on your main table, or bring along side tables. If you happen to have merchandise you sell, this is a demure way to promote yourself and get well-deserved attention.
c.) Throw Rugs. If you love your heels and refuse to leave home without them, consider bringing along a rug to avoid tripping across the pastures. At times, polo playing gets dusty and pretty much always your feet and legs will have a sheen of dirt by the mid-point of the event. Even grassy grounds can stir up dirt. Also, spindly chair legs and table posts dig into the ground when unprotected.
d.) Flowers, flowers. Plastic flowers attached to tents or strung around tables are perfectly acceptable for making a statement. Even more often, natural flowers in vases are an ideal centerpiece alongside cheese spreads and wine carafes.
e.) Cushioned Seating. While regulars tend to keep collapsible furniture in the back of their SUVs, there are always attendees, usually in larger groups, who haul in seating arrangements with cushions and throw pillows. This is the group of couples who welcome stranglers and offer a glass and hors d’oeuvres if you pause and take time to admire their efforts. A problematic issue for setting up a living space might come about where the area behind the row of parked spectators cannot accommodate multiple moving trucks.
f.) Plaques and Signs. More popular when the space is decorated according to a theme, elaborate plaques and signs can deliver your message. If you are set on advocating an issue while lounging with your partner, then add artwork to your message. Place signs on a scrolled stand or twist vines around the base. Be noticed so your mate will see what a great catch you are. If you have an amazing painting or print of horses or polo activities, consider setting it to share with the world as well.
g.) Snazzy Wine Glasses. Don’t overlook the obvious. If you plan to welcome guests, don’t forget to find a way to designate which glass belongs to whom. You can purchase charms to place around the glass stems, or tie ribbons, braided boat lines, rubber bracelets, or stickers with your friends favorite photos. Whatever you do, remember to embellish your lucky love’s glass with a special notation as a reminder of how much you care for that one and only person.
h.) Picnic Supplies. Remember your napkins and baskets and forks and spoons. Space plan for coolers and heaters and battery operated fans. But skip any radios or megaphones. The spot light will be on the announcer and the incredible sport.
3. Curbside View.
Nothing creates chemistry like feeling special while with your favorite someone. Polo matches guarantee every attendee will experience top priority due to everyone having a front row seat. The players ride back and forth so no area of the field is neglected. At the beginning, players parade around the ring and, at times, make eye contact with guests.
The introductions take place in the center of the field, or middle section. The ends get less of a view, however, being on the end is a great excuse for exploring and walking around. There will likely be concession stands where you can mingle.
4. Flirting Celebrities.
Yes, you can have that romantic weekend without arriving with a mate. Polo is known for being an expensive sport and outgoing ambition is a character trait most players express. You will be within shaking hands distance of people you’ve seen in the lime light.
True, royalty loves polo, but even more than the upper crust, expect to cross paths with well-known television personalities, famous designer namesakes, foreign athletes and Wall Street intellectuals. An element of polo matches is for the players to mingle with guests over barbecue cookouts, wine tastings, and fundraiser galas.
Keep it mild. Polo events retain a level of class and decorum. You want to look your best but the pairings tend to be where there is a down-to-earth connection. This includes a shared interest in caring for horses, spending time on secluded ranches, and enjoying the peaceful outdoors during your babe’s practices.
Typically, the scrappy cocktail dresses and stilettos are saved for other occasions. This is more of a wholesome affair atmosphere where guests get involved at the event rather than being removed from the activities. Celebrities can show off everyday, but playing polo is their real-time where they can be themselves.
5. Relaxed Conversations.
Reclining with someone you care about while nibbling on your favorite flavors is calming. Pack your partner’s special blankie, food dish, and drink. If you can recall a rare treasure your special love refrains from and reserves for special occasions, all the better for you to spoil him on this day.
Make sure all the creature comforts are in your vehicle, such as sunglasses, sun screen and wind breakers. Ensuring that your loved one is comfortable shows how much you value the person. Feeling appreciated puts us all in a receptive mood.
If the conversation shifts into longstanding debate you’ve already gone over a million times without ever resolving, divert the topic to a new sight or experience you are having in that moment. Bringing in unfamiliar stimuli forces us to open our minds to fresh perspectives. A polo event is a perfect opportunity for reinvigorating an old flame or getting a new relationship on track.
6. National Patriotism.
Polo matches begin with the National Anthem and can include the bag pipes, solo vocalists, and local bands. The armed forces salute the attendees and march in formation. Patriotism reminds us all of how unified we are. We are in this earthly battle together, whatever that might be at any given moment.
National traditions remind us of what our ancestors sacrificed. All of us have a backstory and everyone’s ancestry includes the belief in having a better life. Feeling patriotic grounds our relationships. A solid foundation means lovey dovey thoughts are swirling around us.
The polo crowd is not big on throwing hats at the end of the National Anthem. This I know for sure because I love to throw my hat. Nonetheless, within polo circles, patriotic tributes are moments for quiet contemplation. Chatty conversations cease until the regalia has concluded.
7. Social Strolls.
Despite all the decorative planning for watching the match from your parking space, take time to walk down the row and visit with other attendees. Near the announcement box, which is usually a microphone on top of a portable food kiosk, there will be items for sale. These items tend to include Jaguars and Landrovers, but you can also find clothing and hats.
At larger events, artwork will be for sale. Vendors and even artist with notoriety are at times given a marketplace area. Strolling through the amazing tents lends itself to casual conversations and affectionate gestures.
Now, I give you the task to find the joy of polo. Spending time together without an agenda provides a sense of safety which leads to trust. These are the defining ingredients for love, and romance.