12 Ideas for a Unique Valentine’s Day Marriage Proposal

Marry me candy heart proposal

 Shannon Fields / Twenty20

Valentine's Day is by far the most popular day for marriage proposals, so some ingenuity is required if you want to make your proposal one that he or she will remember forever. Here are 12 ideas for creating a day your sweetheart will remember fondly for the rest of your lives.

  • On Stage

    Attending a romantic play, concert, or even a movie is a very common Valentine's Day night out, and if you're fairly certain your proposal will be accepted, arrange with the management of the theater to jump onto the stage and pop the question. Ideally, you might excuse yourself to go to the restroom, then appear on stage unexpectedly to ask for your sweetheart's hand.

    Even if your loved one has been wondering about a pending proposal, this is usually the least expected moment, and it can make a one-of-a-kind memory. With careful planning, you might even convince management and the performers to play a part in your staging.

  • On the Radio

    If your love awakens in the morning to a particular radio station, you can propose on-air on Valentine's Day. This usually requires that you contact the radio station well before the day to make arrangements, and it's possible you'll need to buy ad time to make it happen. And if your partner is slow to awaken in the morning, your proposal needs to be timed so she or he is fully awake at the moment the question is announced.

  • At the Restaurant

    Restaurants are second only to the home as the most popular places to propose marriage, so it takes some ingenuity to make your proposal something unexpected and amazing. A house piano player can change the lyrics of a favorite song to pop the question to your intended. Or the chef can spell out your proposal with lettering on the dessert. The restaurant management may also have ideas on how your proposal can best be engineered.

    But don't hide the engagement ring in food—that can sometimes have unexpected results, especially if your partner is impatiently hungry.

  • In a Photo Album

    Make an album of your relationship that includes pictures of the two of you during important moments of your relationship, and on the second to last page write, "What will the future bring?" and on the last page write "How about marriage?"

  • Book With a Secret

    Your intended will open his or her Valentine's gift to reveal a book of love poetry. Glue most of the pages together, but at the spot where the book opens, cut a slot and tuck the engagement ring inside.

  • In a Foreign Language

    In a small blank book, write "Will you marry me?" in a different language on each page. Start with the language your sweetheart knows the least, and lead up to her/his native language. Here are a few examples, although you might choose to add more translations:

    • Spanish: Te Casas Conmigo?
    • Esperanto (to a woman): Ĉu vi edziniĝus kun mi? (to a man) Ĉu vi edziĝus kun mi?
    • Japanese: Watashito kekkon shite kuremasuka?
    • Finnish: Haluatko naida minut?
    • German: Willst Du mich heiraten?
    • Italian: lo sposerete?
    • French: Veux-tu m'épouser?
    • Portuguese: Queres casar comigo?
  • As a Stranger Takes Your Photo

    If you happen to be vacationing for Valentine's Day—or even if you just dining at a special restaurant—have a passing stranger or a waiter take a photo of you and your sweetheart as a momento. At the moment the photo is taken, pop the question and offer her the ring.

    This is a photo that will be truly special. It's all the better if you can conspire with the "photographer" so they know what's coming and can snap the photo at just the right moment.

  • With a Flash Mob

    Flash mobs are always a good way to involve friends and family in a marriage proposal. It's a good way to share the event with your circle of friends, especially if you post the event live online.

  • At the Height of Adventure

    If you and your partner enjoy active adventure, arrange to pop the question at the top of a mountain, just before entering the rapids on a white-water raft trip, on the verge of leaping out of a plane to skydive ("Let's take the leap!), or while in the gondola of a hot-air balloon.

  • Reproduce a Classic Movie Proposal

    Perhaps you and your girlfriend/boyfriend have a favorite movie or TV show featuring a funny or touching marriage proposal scene that you both know and have seen several times. If so, you can plan and execute a proposal that perfectly mimics the circumstances of that scene. Some examples:

    • Sex and the City: Mr. Big proposes to Carrie while in a large closet. "Carrie Bradshaw, love of my life, will you marry me? See, this is why there is a diamond. You have to do something to close the deal."
    • Love Actually: Colin Firth (as Jamie) proposes to Lucia Monez (as Aurelia) in faulty Portuguese.
    • Gone With the Wind: Rhett Butler proposes to Scarlett. This movie is laden with great lines that could be strung together in a marriage proposal: "I made up my mind you were the only woman for me on the first day I saw you at Twelve Oaks....So I see I shall have to marry you....You should be kissed, and often, by someone who knows how."
    • When Harry Met Sally: “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible!”
    • Sweet Home Alabama: Patrick Dempsey (as Andrew) takes Reese Witherspoon (as Melanie) into Tiffany's on a spur-of-the-moment lark, and as they pass by a display case of rings, he casually says, "Pick one."
    • The Wedding Singer: Robbie (Adam Sandler) serenades Julia in front of passengers in an airplane at 36,000 feet, singing a song titled “I Wanna Grow Old With You.”
  • Final Piece to the Puzzle

    Older couples, especially, may enjoy more sedate activities together, such as assembling jigsaw puzzles or playing cards with friends. If you've been assembling a large puzzle with your partner, you can remove a final piece and pretend that it's been lost until the last piece is ready to be played. Paint the back of the last piece with the words, "Will You Marry Me?" and hide it in an easy-to-find location, where your partner can find it. Have the engagement ring ready at the moment she reads the proposal.

    Or, while playing a card game, deal your sweetheart a playing card with the words "Will You Marry Me?" printed on it. Again, have the ring ready at the key moment.

  • The Sweetest Proposal

    Buy your sweetheart a heart-shaped box of chocolates and replace one of the candies with an engagement ring. She (or he) may be initially surprised and maybe disappointed at the ordinary nature of the gift, but if you can get her to open it immediately, the surprise will be on her!

    Another idea is to buy or make a bag of conversation hearts and find one that says "Marry Me." Casually share the bag of candy with her, having the special one hidden in your pocket. When she's not paying attention, slip it out and say, "Here, this one is perfect for you," and then quickly follow up by presenting the ring while on one knee.