There's no doubt about it: Valentine's Day, hailed as the most romantic day of the year, is a fitting time to propose. But if you're nervous that your soon-to-be fiancée suspects an engagement ring might be coming on February 14 or you simply want your proposal to stand out from all the rest, you're probably looking for a unique way to pop the question. To help, we asked the experts to share their best ideas for a Valentine's Day proposal unlike anything your partner could have seen coming. Here, seven tips to inspire your upcoming engagement.
Relive a special date.
Some of the best proposals are the ones that reflect on your relationship. Nathan Bellah, director of marketing at Generation Tux, suggests reliving one really special date on the day you plan to propose. "Go back in time. Remember that first date spot? First kiss? Take her there. Remind her of all you have been through together and drop to the knee," he says. "Also, bring tissues."
Choose an unexpected setting.
A candlelit apartment littered with red roses is oh-so-romantic, but it's also been done before. Take her someplace unexpected for a proposal she definitely didn't see coming. "Make sure the setting is spectacular!" says Kelly Villarreal of Ada Diamonds. If you can, head outdoors. "The natural beauty of an outdoor proposal makes for stunning (and shareable!) photos."
Make a weekend of it.
Since Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday this year, Kaeleigh Testwuide of the Diamond Reserve encourges anyone planning a February 14th proposal to make it a weekend-long event. "Surprise your significant other with the news on Wednesday night that you've already talked to their boss and they have Thursday and Friday off so the two of you are leaving on Thursday morning for a romantic getaway," she says. Whether you head to the beach for a sun-soaked adventure or the mountains for a cozy fireside proposal is entirely up to you. "Once you have reached your destination, we recommend popping the question on day one. That way you can spend the entire Valentine's Day getaway celebrating in each other's company."
Or plan a staycation.
And if you can't get out of town? Testwuide says that's no big deal. "Book a one night stay at your city's most romantic hotel. Tell your significant other you will be picking them up after work to head to a Valentine's Day dinner," she says. "Instead, have a car pick them and bring them to the hotel where the concierge will bring them to the rooftop where you'll be waiting." There, pop the question with the gorgeous skyline behind you. Finish out the night with dinner at the hotel and Champagne and dessert to celebrate. For an even lower-key take, recreate this staycation scenario in your own home. It'll be just as meaningful.
Don't underestimate the power of breakfast in bed.
"While many couples opt for a romantic Valentine's Day dinner, you could also start celebrating this romantic holiday first thing in the morning," says Stephanie Allen of Allenbrooke Farms. "We love the idea of a surprise breakfast in bed for your significant other. Treat them to a special meal you made yourself, a bouquet of flowers on the tray, and a hot cup of coffee that has a proposal engraved at the bottom of the mug." Once they're done sipping, they'll finally see the surprise question that was hidden in front of them all along. Whatever you do, just don't put the ring at the bottom of the mug.
Plan a (themed) party.
Turn what your soon-to-be fiancé thought was a Valentine's Day gathering with friends into a themed proposal party. "I like the idea of planning a 'pop' party," says Euri Wong, lead designer at Bloominous. "Do fun things like a balloon popping game, blow bubbles in crazy shapes, and serve food like popcorn, soda pop, and popovers. At the end of the party, surprise her by popping the question!"
Personalize the day.
One of the most meaningful things you can do is make the day all about the two of you. "Focus on the little things," says Zoe Gallina of Botanica Design Studio. "Include details that are customized to your relationship or the idiosyncrasies of that person. For example, you could start the day with a scavenger hunt of little notes that takes the person to locations in their city that have special meaning to them, like a local coffee shop where you had your first date or the spot where you first kissed. They'll end up at the proposal destination."