11 Valentine’s Day Proposal Ideas

couple snuggling surrounded by twinkle lights.

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Valentine's Day is one of the most popular days of the year to propose. It's a day that's already romantic and that you know you'll be spending together. If you're planning a Valentine's Day proposal, check out these 11 ideas for making the moment special and memorable.

1. Proposing in Front of a Crowd

Many couples go to the theater on Valentine's Day. If you're reasonably sure your sweetie is going to say yes, call the theater in advance to see if you can propose on stage. Look for a play or musical that has a wedding or love theme. The stage manager should be able to assist you in planning something theatrical and memorable. Don't forget to buy tickets early as Valentine's Day is a popular evening. A variant on this is to buy an ad at your movie theater that will show before the previews begin. If you do this, make sure that you arrive plenty early.

2. Say It With Candy

Buy your sweetheart a heart-shaped box of chocolates and replace one with the engagement ring. She (or he) may be surprised that you've gotten such an inexpensive gift, but if you can get your significant other to open it, 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 it with presenting the ring while on one knee.

3. Recreating a First Date or Special Moment

Tell your valentine not to make any plans for February 14th, and then make all the arrangements to recreate your first date (or another very special date—perhaps the one when you told each other "I love you" for the first time). Make reservations for the same restaurant, download the song that was playing on the radio, or pack a picnic of the foods and wines you had that day. Don't forget to wear a similar outfit! In your own words, say that you've recreated the moment because it was the moment you met the person you're going to marry (or knew that you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together), and then get down on one knee and pop the question!

4. On a Walk/Drive/Sail

Take some time to find the most romantic spot near you, and then lead your Valentine there in a leisurely way, talking about why you are in love and why your relationship is so special. When you've arrived at the right spot, take a moment to drink in the scenery, and say something like, "I wanted to bring you to a spot almost as beautiful as you are to ask you to spend the rest of your life with me. Will you marry me?"

5. At a Restaurant

According to a wine merchants survey, restaurants are the second most popular place for proposals (at home is the first). It makes sense that restaurants are so popular, as you'll have a host of people to help you make things perfect. If a restaurant is in your plans, start off by selecting someplace truly special—perhaps a usual favorite of yours or one with a magical ambiance. Secure those reservations early and while you're doing so, ask to speak to someone about proposing that evening. They'll be experts on the best and easiest way to do it at their particular location—whether it's writing "Marry Me" on the dessert plate rim or going for a walk nearby to propose before returning for champagne and dessert. Just don't hide the ring in food—you wouldn't want it to be swallowed!

6. Discovering the Ring Somewhere Unexpected

If you're generally not the romantic type, your honey will be suspicious if you suddenly want to go out for a fancy dinner or theater, even on Valentine's Day. Thus, put the ring someplace common in your house—this might be in the silverware drawer, in the butter dish, or tied to the neck of the first beer on the shelf with a note attached that says "Will you marry me?" Try to be around when it's discovered, so that you can drop to one knee to pop the question. An alternative to this casual approach is to bring in the local paper and nonchalantly ask, "Do you think we should announce our engagement in the paper?" When your soon-to-be fiance realizes what you've said, take the ring out of your pocket.

7. On the Radio

If your darling wakes up to the alarm clock set to a particular radio station or listens to the same one at work every day, arrange to propose on air on Valentine's Day. Call the station at least a few days in advance to arrange it, or see if you'll need to buy an ad.

8. Jigsaw Puzzle

Give your valentine the puzzle in a box, wrapped as a present. She/he will open it (perhaps being upset that their Valentine's present is only a puzzle) and start to solve it, only to discover that one piece is missing. You'll produce that piece hidden in your pocket, which reads "Will You Marry Me?"

9. Photo Album

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

10. A Book With a Secret

Your intended will open his or her Valentine's gift to reveal a book of love poetry. Most of the pages will be stuck together, but in the one place it opens, a slot will be cut out with the engagement ring inside.

11. The Language of Love

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?

 Whatever way you decide to ask, do it in a personal and romantic way.