Photography: Charles de Jesus
Valentine's Day is one day waited upon by couples all over the globe. Some more than others, for they have prepared a special something for their partners—that's right, many of them have decided to ask for their partner's hand in marriage. Whether or not you're planning or expecting a proposal anytime soon, this post will be your needed dose of inspiration for today.
Let's first talk about one of the most important parts of the whole deal: the ring.
Photography: Jose Villa
First things first, how important is the engagement ring during a marriage proposal? Statistics have shown that 33% of brides consider proposing without a ring as the biggest proposal mistake. Your girl might be part of the 67% but it would be best to be prepared than have regrets later on.
How much should I spend on the ring?
The amount one spends on engagement ring varies. For a clearer picture, though, we'll tell you this. It's said that a gentleman should spend at least twice their salary for an engagement ring. These days, however, you don't have to adhere to these rules. You should only spend as much as what's comfortable for you. Remember that you will need to set aside some money for more important things, like your wedding and your future together as husband and wife.
What kind of ring should I get?
There are many styles of engagement rings, and the deciding on the one should you choose clearly depends on the lady herself. Here are some ideas of engagement ring styles for every type of bride out there.
Photography: Cassidy Carson - Sophie Epton
For any girl fond of everything antique, with an old-world sense of romance, the vintage engagement ring will look great around her fingers. A selection of art deco engravings and a colored rock would really mesmerize your partner.
Photography: Angel Diaz - Callie Davis of Nancy Ray
For romantic and traditional brides, the classic solitaire ring never ceases to impress. An elegant band with one solid rock over it would steal her heart immediately. Whether it's a princess-, round-, or pear-cut diamond, this piece will guarantee a resounding "yes" for you.
Photography: Brett Heidebrecht - via WhoWhatWear
Edgy engagement rings will definitely appeal to the modern brides with an cutting-edge sense of style. Some of these rings don't even need to have a rock on them to be considered as engagement rings. Both quirky and one of a kind, who can say no to these beauties?
Photography: Vincent Vasquez
Dos and don'ts of Valentine's Day proposal
Planning a proposal can be quite tricky as it is, and the last thing you want is to not leave a memorable impression on such a special day. Therefore, we've compiled some simple dos and don'ts for you to create your perfect Valentine's Day proposal.
Do: Spice up an old trick
You must've heard plenty of proposal stories starting with a romantic candlelit dinner in a fine dining restaurant, ending with the lady finding a diamond ring in her champagne glass. He kneeled, popped the question, and the rest was history. Sure, the classic way of proposing will always be charming, but adding some spice will be a delightful surprise. Why not invite a private chef to your house and have them cook for you in the comfort of your own home? It would be a lot more relaxing, and more personal too!
Don't: Skimp on going the extra mile
Proposals should feel special, so not doing all you can is actually out of the question. How can you make sure that your proposal will be as memorable as you want it to be? It's the small gestures that matter. Take time to find her favorite flowers, for example, instead of just picking whatever you can find at the florist's. When picking a ring, for instance, devote some time to actually find out what would be the perfect one for her.
Do: Give hints but keep a surprise
It's all about maintaining the right balance. You don't want your proposal plans to be obvious, yet you also wouldn't want her to think that you're not even thinking of asking for her hand in marriage. So do give her some hints of assurance that you do wish to spend the rest of your life with her. But not too obvious that you would blurt out the date and time. Keep her guessing, but not hanging.
Photography: Unveiled Radiance
Don't: Forget documenting your proposal
Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and so is your proposal. Taking photos or videos to look back upon is something you would regret not considering. Think about it this way, since you've planned the proposal carefully, wouldn't you want something to remember the day by? If your budget is a concern, you don't have to hire a top-notch vendor. Simply ask your friends to help you out.
Do: Pay extra attention to the surprise element
A proposal is best when unexpected. A word of advice, don't neglect the element of surprise. Do it when she least expects it, but not so unexpected that you do it before any talk of marriage has surfaced. That would be a surprise indeed, but not something that she would welcome happily. The thing is, you want the proposal to be unexpected, but her answer to be as expected.
Don't: Neglect her appearance on the day you're proposing
If she's the type of lady who doesn't like being seen barefaced or without dressy clothes, you should make sure that she will look stunning on the day of your proposal. Either make sure she has hair and makeup appointments on that day, or take her to a fancy place where she will dress up nicely.
Do: Craft the idea with her in mind
As the proposal is ultimately for her, you should adjust your proposal plans according to what she might enjoy. If the two of you happen to have completely different tastes and preferences, planning the whole affair entirely to your liking might not be a good idea.
Photography: John Jordan
Don't: Be afraid to get emotional
Some men refrain from getting too emotional when popping the question, worrying they might not look manly enough. On the contrary, we're going to advise you to let your emotions have their way. Some women actually like men who aren't afraid to show his emotions especially when it's something related to her. So, let there be waterworks!
Do: Ask for a helping hand
If there are plenty of things to do, don't force yourself to do every single thing on your own. Get your friends and family to help you. If you want, you can also hire a professional event organizer or a proposal planner. Take a look at our vendor list to find the right one for you.
Don't: Come up with outrageous ideas
A proposal shouldn't be anything but pleasant, so when brainstorming for ideas, leave the outrageous out of the equation. Faking your own death or pretending to break up with her are ideas you should skip.
Do: Have fun!
The most simple yet most overlooked advice is to just have fun. Embrace the day and the moment. It's all about you and your partner after all, about the two of you agreeing to embark on a higher level of the relationship. If something doesn't go as planned on the day, just roll with it and have fun.
Valentine's Day Proposal Ideas
Now for the fun part, here are some ideas to inspire you. All women are different; they have different preferences and different expectations when getting engaged. As said before, when planning a proposal, you should keep the receiver in mind. We've compiled some fun proposal ideas for you to impress your fiancée-to-be. See one you think your partner might like? Tell us which one it is in the comments section below!
A scavenger hunt proposal never gets old. You can take her on a trip to some of your memorable spots, even slip in hair and makeup appointments along the way, and give her clues and hints to guide her journey. Add elements of surprise by having friends and families waiting at several stops. At the end of the hunt is, of course, you waiting with a ring to ask for her hand in marriage. It’s a great way to involve your friends and family, also to get her entertained along the way.
Having her watch a movie you made about your relationship is a lovely way to remind her of your love for each other. Some things you can add to the video: a slideshow of pictures, comments and well wishes from friends and family, and maybe some words from you. This one’s a great idea if you two enjoy watching movies together or have some special memories involving the cinema.
As its name suggests, these ideas will be fit for adventurous couples. Proposing on a ski ledge before sliding down seems like a great idea. Or you can go on a hike and propose to her on top of the world; imagine the breathtaking views you’ll be having! If you prefer something more aquatic, how about popping the question in the middle of a scuba dive? Point is, think of something with an adrenaline rush then incorporate it to your proposal plan.
For a lady that enjoys seaside views and sandy beaches, try planning a proposal right on the beach. You can take her on a stroll by the beach and prepare a picnic spot on the end of the trail. Bring in some candles for a more romantic feel and then celebrate your engagement with a relaxing picnic by the beach. Bliss.
Destination weddings are increasingly popular lately, so why not have destination proposals as well? Plan a getaway trip somewhere beautiful and set up the perfect time and place to pop the question. Since you’re going somewhere pretty, we'd suggest you to bring a photographer along. Is there anywhere in particular you'd like to go to? Santorini, Paris, or Venice maybe?
This idea will leave a deep impression, as it concerns something she enjoys doing. If she enjoys reading, how about giving her a book as a gift and tying up an engagement ring inside, or proposing at your favorite library? If she likes to go horseback riding, perhaps you can try saddling up and ride to a quiet, private place to ask for her hand in marriage.
If her family and friends are of great importance to her, including them in the proposal would mean a lot. This one, however, needs careful planning and coordination as it would involve a lot of people. If you need help planning this one, don’t hesitate to ask either her friends or family who are involved or a professional.
Have an animal companion at hand? Why not have your pet wear a sign with your proposal on it? If you have a dog, getting a tag custom made for the proposal day is a cute idea and you can keep the tag as a keepsake for years to come. Another thing that you can do is have your pet bring the ring to your hands. Keep in mind though that you can only do this if your pet is well trained. We wouldn’t want the ring box to be chewed on or the ring to be swallowed.
If you’re an expressive couple who enjoys art, this idea will melt her heart. You can create a song for her and sing it to her on the day of the proposal. If you’ve got magic hands, how about creating a painting asking for her hand in marriage? This couple here, though, is truly amazing. The man took his girlfriend to a gallery they both love and to an installation of fake engagement rings, which he had made himself and displayed with permission from the gallery. Little did she know that in the midst of all the fake rings was a real one and he took it down, then proposed to her. Very sweet, don’t you think?
Last but not least, a proposal that involves so many and is as public as can be. A flash mob proposal will excite her a great deal if she loves grand gestures. You can ask for professionals to help you plan the perfect flash mob proposal as it will be difficult to do it all by yourself. Do make sure that she wouldn't mind such a public display, though. If she prefers something more in private and personal, you should consider a plan that involves nobody but the two of you.