This brilliant guest article is from our friends at Durham Rose
Ahhh, the Valentine’s Day proposal. It has romance written all over it. The problem is that it’s so flipping romantic that it can easily turn into a corn-fest. It’s hard to make the occasion yours. It’s even harder to avoid repeating cliché after cliché, until this magical and pivotal occasion becomes a pastiche of itself. So, what do you do? Sink those feet into an ice bucket and hold your horses for a less romantic day? No! Of course not! You just need to take a few precautions to get things right.
Five Crucial Things to Remember When Planning a Valentine’s Proposal
1. Remember who you’re proposing to
There’s a tendency with Valentine’s proposals to go big. The quiet dinner becomes an extravaganza. The restaurant serenade becomes a flash mob. That perfectly private moment of proposal becomes a broadcast declaration, with an audience. Put simply, the gestures become enormous. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that – as long as that’s the sort of people you are. BUT, if you’re proposing to an introvert, your planned perfect moment could actually be excruciating for the person who’s meant to enjoy it most. So, start your plans by remembering who you’re proposing to. And remind yourself at every step of the way. Think about their perfect moment and try to achieve it. If they’re going to want to splash the news all over social media, think about hiring a photographer – or getting a mate to lurk unseen with a camera until the big moment. If they like a scene, do hire that four-piece orchestra, do pop the question with flashing neon lights in a hugely public arena, do invite family and friends to watch. But, if they’re more of a low-key kind of guy or gal, keep it private. A quiet night in can be just as romantic as a big night out.
2. Try to retain an element of surprise
The thing about Valentine’s Day is that proposals are kind of expected. So, if there’s a chance that your other half might be on to you, try to come up with a decoy. Propose on your way to or from dinner. Plan to do something different – forget about a restaurant, why not go paintballing? Or, let them think that you’ve booked a restaurant, but then whisk them off elsewhere – an underwater experience at the Sea Life Centre, for example, could be an unforgettable proposal opportunity. Imagine popping the question with sharks swimming above and below! You could even leave it ‘til the next morning, when you’re lying in bed, talking about what an amazing night you had.
3. Find the right ring
Engagement rings are emblems of forever. They symbolise that your love is unchanging and undying. That much is a given, but what a lot of people forget is that if they say ‘yes’, their intended will have to keep it on their finger for the rest of their life. So, no pressure or anything, but you need to make sure that you select something that they’re going to like. Bespoke engagement rings are growing in popularity. While this is partly due to the Prince Harry-effect, it’s largely because more and more people are realising that it’s possible. Bespoke rings aren’t just affordable, but there are now ways to become fully involved in the design process. This means that choosing an engagement ring needn’t just be about finding the best of what’s available on the high street, but about putting something together that is uniquely yours as a couple. And that is an incredible gesture.
4. Don’t hide the ring!
It looks so damn romantic in all the films; engagement rings delicately fished from champagne glasses or discovered nestled in the centre of a dessert, but hiding an engagement ring is a bad, bad idea. There are so many possibilities for things to go wrong. If it doesn’t choke or crack the teeth of your intended, it could just be swallowed completely. It could be missed. It could be lost. And, all other considerations aside, it’s really not a great thing to do to a ring! You’ve spent all this time, effort and money getting the ring just right, then you go and stick it in an acidic or sticky substance. Who wants to pull on a ring that’s covered in chocolate sauce? It’s not romantic. Best-case scenario, it’s just a bit awkward. Worst-case scenario, you could find yourself spending Valentine’s night in A&E.
5. Don’t take things too seriously
OK, so this is a big, serious occasion for you. BUT, if you get too caught up in the details, you’re never going to enjoy it. So, yes, plan, but don’t plan with military precision. You want a beautiful night, not a stress-headache. If something goes wrong, laugh it off. The worst thing you can do is aim for perfection, then lose your cool when everyday things happen – your partner gets held back at work, you spill your drink down your outfit, bad traffic puts out your schedule (seriously, don’t make a schedule!). One of the easiest ways to ruin your night is to let your temper flare. Stay cool, have fun, the rest will look after itself.
Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular times of year to make a proposal for a reason: it’s romantic. It’s traditional. It’s part of our culture. And that does bring extra pressure. But it needn’t do. All you have to do is make sure that you and your lover spend the evening happily. Hopefully, these tips will help you do just that.