20 Tips and Ideas to Plan Valentine’s Day Proposal

Getting ready to plan a Valentine’s Day proposal? We can help! February 14th is all about love, and it’s the perfect day to pop the question. Read on to discover our top tips and advice.

By Jennifer Prince

Valentine’s Day Proposal
Photo by Unsplash

The First Look ✨

The history surrounding Saint Valentine focuses on love. Although stories about him are vague—he did die in 3AD—Valentine’s name has lived on to celebrate romance throughout history.

February 14th is already enveloped in love (they don't call it the most romantic day of the year for nothing!), so why not pop the question on this special day? Here’s how to plan a Valentine’s Day proposal (for a bride or groom!) that will knock their socks off.

Marriage Proposal Tips for Valentine’s Day

1. DO Make It a Surprise Proposal in a Big Way

Only tell those that you completely trust about your Valentine’s Day proposal. Planning a surprise wedding proposal can be difficult when too many people know about it. Don’t leave anything lying around that may give a clue. Guard your phone for text messages if anyone else is involved in planning. Do your absolute best to throw them off the trail of your Valentine’s Day proposal ideas.

2. DON'T Make It Cringy—or Go All Out

You know your significant other better than anyone else. Would red balloons, conversation hearts, and all things frilly and pink make it cheesy or cliche for them? Would they even like this kind of Valentine’s Day proposal? If not, it’s best to skip out on the typical V-day adornments.

However, if your partner has a sense of humor and loves decorations, then, by all means, include them. Cue all of the hearts, corny love poems, and rose petals you can muster. Going overboard can be just as fun when planning a proposal.

3. DO Include Valentine’s Day, But Don’t Necessarily Focus on It

Of course, the holiday should include the typical gifts—candy, flowers, cards—that encompass Valentine’s Day. However, don’t feel that the holiday needs to be a focus beyond that. Your relationship is unique. Only use February 14th as a springboard.

Still communicate love by telling your partner why you want to be with them for the rest of your life. Include traditions, such as getting down on one knee and creating the perfect Valentine’s Day proposal. In essence, don’t rely on the day’s theme to do the asking for you.

How to Plan a Valentine’s Day Proposal | Zola Photo Credit // Unsplash

4. DON'T Get Caught Up On The Date—And Instead, Consider A Proposal Before or After V-day

The perfect proposal doesn't necessarily have to take place on Valentine's day. If you want to keep the element of surprise, try proposing on a day around the holiday. Galentine’s Day is February 13th, and you could have friends organize a fake event that you hijack for a proposal—or plan a romantic dinner for February 15th.

Another selling point for proposing the day after Valentine's Day? Those who are thrifty know that the day following a holiday—Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Halloween—equals significant discounts. Grab all of the red and pink decor you can get the morning after V-day, and propose then. Your SO may be disappointed on February 14th, but you’ll know how to reverse that feeling the day afterward with a stunning Valentine proposal.

5. DO Enlist Help.

Pulling off the perfect proposal—Valentine's day or not—can be a challenge. That's why, if you want everything to go smoothly, you should consider enlisting a little help.

For example, do you need your soon-to-be fiance out of the house for the day so you can set up your proposal space? Ask her BFF to pick her up in the AM and keep her occupied so you have time to set everything up. Are you proposing at your partner's favorite restaurant? Call ahead, talk to the manager, and see if there's anything they can do to help make the night extra special (like carving out a more private dining space or sending over a decadent dessert post-proposal).

6. DON'T Get Too Caught Up in the Planning.

You want to put thought and effort into your Valentine's day proposal. But don't get so caught up in planning every little last detail (and stressing about what might go wrong) that you miss the forest for the trees! The proposal is (of course) important, but you and your partner are in love and want to spend the rest of your lives together—and ultimately, that's what matters.

7. DO Incorporate Friends and Family If Your Partner Would Enjoy It.

Getting engaged is cause for celebration. So why not make your actual proposal a celebratory event? Plan a get together with your closest family and friends immediately following your proposal; that way, not only will your partner be surprised by the proposal, but they'll be surprised with a Valentine's Day engagement party to celebrate right afterwards.

8. DON'T Incorporate Friends and Family If It Adds Too Much Pressure.

While some people would love to celebrate their proposal moment with their family and friends, others might find it overwhelming. If your partner (or you!) is one of those people, opt to celebrate with loved ones at a later time—and keep your proposal between the two of you.

9. DO Plan a Proposal That Feels True For Your Partner.

When it comes to proposing on Valentine's day, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to the planning the perfect proposal. If you want your marriage proposal to feel special, you need to plan something that feels true to you, your partner, and who you are as a couple. For example, if you're both super romantic, incorporating all the V-day bells and whistles (like chocolate and roses) makes sense. But if that's not who you are, it could feel disingenuous—and a more laid-back proposal idea would be a better fit.

When planning your Valentine's day proposal, think about what would make your partner the most joyful and excited—and then build your proposal around that.

10. DON'T Forget the Ring!

You'll want your engagement ring to propose—so make sure to bring it with you for your Valentine's day proposal plans!

How to Plan a Valentine’s Day Proposal | Zola Photo Credit // Unsplash

10 Valentine’s Day Proposal Ideas

Tips are great, but we know that you need some ideas on how to plan a Valentine’s Day proposal. From holiday-centric to downright sweet, here are some suggestions for orchestrating the cutest wedding proposal ever.

1. Use Conversation Hearts.

These adorable little pastel candies remind us all of our childhood. Either have personalized ones made or buy multiple bags and pull out all “marry me” ones. When those are the only words they’ll find, they’ll get the clue.

2. Alter a Box of Chocolates.

Work with a local candy shop to place the engagement ring where one of the candies would go. You could also open a ready-made box and do this yourself. Either way, imagine your partner’s delight.

3. Use Your Talent.

Do you have a talent? Whether it’s writing, songwriting, or poetry, compose something just for them. What a fabulous keepsake this would be.

4. Kidnap Them (Not Literally!).

To clarify, we’re not talking about scaring your partner into marrying you—we’re talking about an abrupt change of plans that only you know. Turn going out to dinner into an impromptu weekend away, or switch a Valentine’s - Day event into a surprise ask.

5. Make an Album for Your Valentine’s Day Proposal.

Create a photo album recapping your relationship, and have the last image be of the ring. You can look at it together and enjoy the memories. Get down on one knee after they realize what the final picture signifies.

6. Schedule a Love Photo Session.

If you’ve been dating a while, it can be a great excuse to have professional photos taken together. Make your photographer aware of the surprise proposal so that they’re ready.

7. Propose During a Romantic Movie.

Find a film with an ultra-romantic scene, or—better yet—a proposal. Wait until the right time, then pop the question.

8. Recreate Their Favorite Romantic Movie Scene.

You don't have to watch a romantic movie to incorporate it into your proposal. If your partner has a romantic proposal scene that makes them weak in the knees, consider bringing that scene to life—and recreating it for your Valentine's day proposal.

9. Pop the Big Question With a Gift.

Most couples exchange Valentine's day gifts. So why not use your gift as part of the proposal? Look for a way to incorporate your gift into popping the question (for example, if you know your partner has been itching to go to New York, surprise them with tickets for Valentine's day weekend—and build your proposal around your trip).

10. It’s the Final Countdown.

Make a countdown to Valentine’s Day, and give your love a present each day in February. Your biggest and best gift will come on February 14th. The lead-up presents don’t have to be expensive, either.

Pros and Cons of Proposing on Valentine’s Day

Not sure if a Valentine's day proposal is the right choice for you and your partner? Here are a few pros and cons to consider:

The Pros of Proposing on Valentine’s Day

  • It's the most romantic day of the year. Proposing is one of the most romantic things you'll ever do. And since Valentine's Day is the most romantic day of the year, what better time to propose?
  • A Valentine's day proposal will make the rest of your V-days special. If you propose on Valentine's day, it's going to make it incredibly special for you and your partner—and you'll have extra reason to celebrate the holiday in future years.
  • You'll have no trouble finding romantic gifts. At Valentine's day, you can't walk into a store without seeing chocolate, roses, balloons...basically all-things romantic. If you're looking for romantic props or gifts to support your proposal, there's no better time to find them than Valentine's day.
  • Your partner may be expecting it. If you and your partner have discussed marriage—and Valentine's day is right around the corner—they may be expecting a holiday proposal. And you don't want to disappoint them!
  • You'll never forget your proposal anniversary. When you propose on a holiday, it makes it pretty hard to forget the date you got engaged.

The Cons of Proposing on Valentine’s Day

  • It's a popular time to propose. Because Valentine's day is such a romantic day, you won't be the only person planning a proposal—so if you don't want to risk anyone else you know getting engaged at the same time, you may want to choose a less popular day to propose.
  • Proposal spots may be booked. Again, Valentine's Day is a popular time for couples—so if you're planning on proposing in a popular spot (like a hot restaurant or a tourist attraction in your city), it may be hard to get reservations.
  • Prices are higher on Valentine's day. Prices for everything from restaurant meals to gifts tend to go up around the holidays, so a Valentine's day proposal could be more expensive than other days of the year,
  • It can be hard to surprise your partner. Again, because Valentine's Day is such a popular day for proposals, your partner may be expecting it, which can be a double-edged sword—as it takes away the element of surprise.
  • You may run into weather issues. Depending on where you live, February can be a cold, wintery month—which, depending on your proposal plans, may or may not be the best backdrop.

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February 14th is special in its own right, but you can make it even more so by popping the question on the holiday. A big bonus is that you’ll never forget the date you got engaged. With a creative, thoughtful ask, you’ll be well on your way to a “yes” in no time at all.

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