Planning a Valentine’s Day Proposal? 4 Crucial Mistakes to Avoid


Image by Tara Arseven Photography

By Naomi Shaw

It’s the most romantic time of the year so it’s great if you want to propose to your partner on Valentine’s Day. However, make sure you avoid any potential pitfalls that can kill the mood.  

1. Going in Without a Ring 

Not having a ring is considered the biggest mistake people make when proposing, and this is because it feels like an anti-climax. Make sure you take your time to choose the right ring and do your homework. The most important element of a diamond ring is the diamond cut—this influences how much it sparkles. Of course, you should always take your partner’s taste into account (a best friend can help you make the best choice). A fun idea is to choose matching rings that will mark the moment in a special way for you both. If you know your partner would want to choose their own ring, you can still give them a band that can later be updated according to their preferences.


2. Not Paying Attention to Setting 

Although it’s great to have a surprising and highly romantic setting that comes guaranteed with Valentine’s Day, bear in mind that you should also ensure the proposal is intimate and private. If you are choosing to propose in public, make sure that you will get time with your partner to share in the moment alone together. You don’t want to feel that your proposal is taken over by those around you, such as loved ones who can become loud and boisterous. It’s also important to know your partner will be comfortable in the setting. If they’re shy and introverted, a loud and public proposal probably doesn’t sound romantic to them.


3. Resorting to Clichés

Proposal clichés can happen at any time but they seem even easier to slip into when you’re proposing on Valentine’s Day. This is because there’s lots of romance around you. You might think it’s a great idea to propose with the help of rose petals designed in a heart shape on the ground, or by hiding the ring in a box of chocolates or champagne glass, but these tactics lack creativity. Remember that many people propose on Valentine’s Day so your partner might be expecting it. Try to be more original!

  • You can get inspired by the Valentine’s Day romance in the air, but give your proposal an interesting spin by focusing on romance you both have shared. This makes it more special. For instance, instead of taking your partner to a tried-and-true location, such as the Empire State building, go to the site of your first kiss or date. If your partner would be cool with a public proposal, surprise them with a party there and invite all your loved ones to join.
  • Avoid going to your regular restaurant for dinner. This is not an ordinary Valentine’s Day! Rather surprise your partner by saying you have reservations at your usual spot, but then taking them to a fancier or more special place—and then propose later during a romantic moonlit walk, not during dessert or after being serenaded by a band.
  • If you’re a creative person, add this element to your proposal. For instance, mix together a fun Valentine’s Day drink or make a scrapbook of memories. Put yourself into the proposal to make it extra meaningful and touch your partner’s heart. They’ll really appreciate the effort. 


4. Thinking You Don’t Need a Speech

If you think that it’s enough to give your partner a beautiful ring and create a lovely setting in which to propose, don’t forget about what you say when you propose! This is a crucial part of the proposal because you are connecting with your partner. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the occasion, but concentrate on the importance of what this proposal means to you. Speak to your partner about why you love them and want to spend the rest of your life with them. Share what your journey together has meant to you and how you hope to grow together in future. Take time to prepare the perfect speech so that you avoid saying the wrong things in the emotional moment that can ruin the romance. 

Say yes to a Valentine’s Day proposal and make your engagement the most special event of the year. Follow the above tips to ensure that it’s a beautiful occasion you and your partner will treasure forever. 


Naomi Shaw is a wedding journalist and writer who lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids. When not writing about the latest destination, vintage, LGBTQ or exclusive weddings, she enjoys writing on fashion, beauty, jewelry and interior design.