If Valentine’s Day is the day you want to propose, then the pressure is on to get it right. Choose any other day, and you could be forgiven for a little show of cheesy enthusiasm and over-zealousness. However, Valentine’s Day can offer plenty of that on its own, so if you’re not extra diligent, a Valentine’s Day marriage proposal could turn into a stomach-turning situation. Here are some ideas on how to avoid the depths of cheesiness:
Valentine’s Day Marriage Proposals – The Yes Way
1) An alternative to the 14th February
Are you sure you want to propose on Valentine’s Day? Really? Think it over – you could go for the element of surprise above all else and propose the day before. The number 13 is lucky for some, right? So why not make something special, something uniquely you, a la Ryan Gosling in ‘The Notebook’ and make or customise a heart-shaped box (you could buy one from a stationer’s and add little stickers or drawings of your own to it, if making it from scratch is beyond you) and put a gorgeous hand-written letter in it with the essential question at the end, and tie it up in a red or pink ribbon for full-romantic effect. Present it to her on the 13th so that the day you proposed is unique to you and your fiancée.
2) A romantic nostalgia session
What about printing out photos of the two of you, and the places you’ve visited together, with a short commentary on the back that takes you through the story of your relationship? Write descriptions of the thoughts that entered your mind as you took the photo, such as, “I thought you looked incredibly beautiful as you stood amidst the gorgeous Roman architecture that framed you exquisitely.” Or, “The way you sang under that bridge and it echoed back to us made me light up with joy to be with you.” You could leave a trail of these across a room to lead her to you, poised on one knee, ready to give her the ring. This would be a lovely surprise in itself and could culminate in a romantic dinner at home to celebrate Valentine’s Day at the same time.
3) Pamper her with the 5 star treatment
Go all-out for extra romance by not only preparing a hot bath, but putting rose oil in an incense burner and adding rose petals (bought before the cost of roses just shot up for Valentine’s Day) around the bath. Leave brand new fluffy towels and a fluffy white dressing gown bought as her ‘official’ Valentine’s present, which you hand her as she gets out of the bath later. And as she does so, draw her attention to the ring in the special box that you’ve put in the pocket, so that as she comes out of the bathroom, dreamy from the heat and relaxation, you can surprise her with an added extra that she wasn’t expecting. Just as she draws it out of the pocket, you can get down on one knee so she realises what’s going on. (This gets added bonus marks if you can actually afford the stay in a 5 star hotel to do the whole thing there, without the clutter of your own bathroom as a distraction…)
Valentine’s Day Marriage Proposals – The No Way
1) Don’t go the ‘Teddy-Bear-holding-the-ring’ route
The last thing that reads as true, genuine romance is a nondescript cuddly toy from Hallmark’s with a ring attached to the paws. I don’t care if it’s wrapped with a beautiful ribbon or a delicately written love letter, it’s just wrong!
2) Don’t make the DJ ‘play your song’
For the love of all that is romantic, please don’t resort to the ultimate in cheesy proposals of going out to a club and getting the DJ to ‘make an announcement’ by playing a tune that is ‘your song’ and then going down on one knee as the DJ with a regional accent proclaims this as the moment you declare your undying love. It’s not big and it’s not clever. It had it’s time but that is no longer now. And what’s more, club dancefloors are notoriously sticky from spilt beer – do you really want to be bending down on one knee on that? Just say ‘no’.
3) Don’t copy a Sex and the City scene
As delightful as Sex and the City was in its day, the memorable proposal between Aidan and Carrie was not one of its most admirable highlights. Do not take your dog for a walk with your prospective fiancée and expect her to feel thrilled at stopping for a moment on a cold, dark street while you bend down next to a speed bump and hand her the ring saying, “would you just hold this for a moment?” The streets of Manhattan on a balmy evening are perhaps forgivable, but the cold damp streets of the US and UK on a decidedly nippy February night, are not.