Do you want to propose on Valentine’s Day? Valentine’s Day is about the most romantic day of the year. It’s a time to show your love and you can do that in any number of ways. You might want to surprise your partner with an elaborate flashmob at work, take him or her out for a romantic movie, plan a weeklong getaway, or just spend the weekend in bed. The choice is yours! (In the wedding industry and according to weddingpro.com, Valentine’s Day is also known as the end of engagement season. Valentine’s Day officially ends the 80-day streak in which most engagements happen each year—the days between Thanksgiving and February 14th.) If you’re up for a proposal, I’ll share the basics of how to propose on Valentine’s Day. You’ll have to come up with the specifics of how you’ll ask someone to share the rest of forever.
There are many different ways in which you could plan a proposal, but this Valentine’s Day you probably want something extra special given the last two years we’ve all had to endure. You could opt for an elaborate flashmob, or go the more traditional route with a romantic dinner (though this is boring if you ask me). But ultimately, the choice is yours!
Valentine’s Day is all about romance, but it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated; you can make it as fancy (or not) as you like!
Before I get knee-deep in the tips, I first want to address the ladies who are listening. If you are ready to get married and settle down, you don’t have to wait for your partner to ask you to propose on Valentine’s Day. This is 2022! All bets are off and we no longer have to do things the way they did things in 1912. I mean really. Grow a pair. Go get what you want. If you ask your partner for their hand in marriage it can only end two ways… either they will say yes, or they will say no. It’s really just that simple. You can do this OR you can sit around waiting to see if they are EVER going to ask you. Okay. Carry on.
How to Propose on Valentine’s Day
- Choose a place that will be/or is very memorable.
- Bring chocolotes, sweets, and flowers (unless they hate these things).
- Hire a stealthy photographer (a videographer too if it’s in the budge).
- Be creative; think outside the box.
- Be super sweet. Add special touches.
- Don’t let the cat out of the bag (unless there’s an actual cat involved).
- Don’t forget the ring.
- Have a backup plan… just in case.
Choose a place that will be/or is very memorable.
When it comes to choosing a location to propose, you have a lot of options. You could go the traditional route and propose at a romantic restaurant, or take your special someone on a surprise trip somewhere special. If you want to do something more creative, you could propose at a movie theater or even in the middle of a crowded street. It all depends on what your lover would enjoy!
When it comes to the proposal, the most important thing is that you choose a location that they will love. If they are more of an introvert, avoid crowded spaces. If they like to be the center of attention, then, by all means, hit the arena with the jumbotron. You might also consider somewhere special that has sentimental value, like the spot where you first met, a favorite vacation spot, or a special place to celebrate anniversaries or precious milestones at. If they are into movies, proposing at a theater could be a great option. If they’re super active, they cross-fit gym could also be an option.
Bring chocolotes, sweets, and flowers (unless they hate these things).
Bring smaller gifts with you. After all, it is Valentine’s Day and you want something to appear somewhat natural and to throw them off the scent of your nervousness (and that ring in your pocket. Wait! Is that a ring in your pocket?) Any gifts will do really because the real gift… the fact that you could be spending the rest of your lives together (betting on the fact that they’ll say YES!) will be the real gift (see step #8).
Hire a stealthy photographer (a videographer too if it’s in the budge)
A long time ago (like six years), I wrote a blog post about how to plan a secret marriage proposal. That blog post was much more about hiring and coordinating with your photographer to make sure you get all the really great candid and photojournalistic shots of the proposal happening. So instead of retyping everything out here again, just go ahead and click on that link when you’re done reading here.
Be creative; think outside the box to propose on Valentine’s Day
When it comes to deciding what to say, I really can’t help you out much. No one knows your significant other the way you do. You want to make sure that your proposal is personal and unique. It’s a good idea to start by thinking about what you love about this special person. What are the things that make them special to you? What do you really enjoy about this person? Once you have a list of qualities, you can start to craft your proposal around those points. For example, if you appreciate their sense of humor, you could say something like, “Will you marry me and make me laugh every day for the rest of my life?”
Be super sweet. Add special touches.
Back in my day (NO, IT WASN’T 1912!!!), we called this a location joke—you had to have been there to understand the reference. Add special touches to the proposal that no one else will understand except you two. By doing this, you make this moment extra special for your partner. An example might be if you two shared a bag of M&M’s together each time you did something “naughty” but you only ate the green ones. For your proposal, you buried a handwritten note asking them to marry you in a small jar of nothing but green M&M’s. They would instantly know what the green M&M’s referenced, but your mom wouldn’t have a clue.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your proposal should reflect your relationship as a whole. If you’ve been together for a while, you might want to reference some of the funny or memorable moments that you’ve shared together.
Don’t let the cat out of the bag (unless there’s an actual cat involved).
Don’t tell anyone that you are going to propose on Valentine’s Day who does not need to know. The fewer people who know about your plans (a.k.a. “your secret”), the less chance there is that your plan will be spoiled.
Don’t forget the ring to propose on Valentine’s Day.
You can’t really propose marriage without a ring. You gotta have a ring. You can go for something cute like a bread tie or a candy ring pop, but I’d suggest also having a serious backup ring—like something made from a precious metal and encrusted with gemstones. While we’re discussing more serious rings, did you know that ethical diamonds (ones grown in labs as opposed to diamonds mined the ol’ fashioned way) are environmentally friendly, offer greater affordability, and allow diamonds to be sourced from reputable places that don’t engage in poor treatment of workers or communities? Okay, I’m off my soapbox. Also, no one will know unless you tell them?
Have a backup plan… just in case.
Don’t assume that just because you’re going to propose on Valentine’s Day that they are going to say yes. Some people are shocked to be caught off guard and can’t say yes immediately. Some people just aren’t about that married life. And some people are just creeps and like to lead other people on. (I’m sure that’s not your case.) However, be prepared to hear a no just as much as you are prepared to hear a yes. If you can’t imagine hearing a no—even if you have been together for the last seven years, have three kids together, and just closed on a thirty-year mortgage—then I would not recommend you be the one doing this proposal. It may be better to either wait until you are in a place to hear a no, or wait until the proposal comes to you.
No matter what, remember to stay calm and collected. The last thing you want to do is get flustered if things don’t go as planned. Just take a deep breath and remember that everything will work out in the end.
Planning a proposal can be stressful, but it’s worth it to make your loved one feel special. I’ve outlined the basic steps that you need to take to plan the proposal, so take your time and choose the option that will make your Valentine the happiest.
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I am a San Antonio-based wedding photographer and I cater to outdoor-loving couples who prefer to have all the realness captured on their wedding days. I am the wedding photographer for the outdoor adventurers, the romantics, the laid back, the snugglers, and those who wish to capture all their realness.
I am absolutely in love with capturing the kinds of weddings where there are more hugs than handshakes, the dance floor rumbles all night long, and chairs are pretty much rendered useless after dinner. Whiskey bottles are passed around, most of the wedding party has been best-best friends since kindergarten, Grams is likely to lose her shoes and your partner is much more emotional than you are. These kinds of weddings are my jam!
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journeys and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
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I am a published author (purchase my book here), a podcast host (listen here) (watch here) and a WPPI-C certified professional, full-time wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.
When I’m not behind my camera, you can find me hiking, cycling, backpacking, camping, enjoying water sports, listening to music (Elvis and Prince), hunting for arrowheads, reading audiobooks, occasionally eating a few glazed donuts (my only weakness to sweets) and then re-starting my keto diet about every 10 days. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of.