Don’t Pop the Question on Valentine’s Day…Yet

Millions of couples will get engaged on Valentine’s Day; but a fairy tale beginning doesn’t just happen by accident. It takes planning and careful thought. Here are some absolute “musts” for your Valentine’s Day proposal. 

Don’t overdo it. You may want to hire a horse-drawn carriage, a full orchestra and a flock of doves to overwhelm your significant other with your romanticism. But what really makes a big impact is a personalized expression of your love. Tell your beloved exactly what it is about him or her that you find irresistible. Share your vision of the life the two of you will enjoy together. Make some lifetime commitments. Your love is really what he/she wants. Everything else is gravy.

Set the venue. Choose a special place that the two of you will remember, and return to, again and again. Forget the trendy restaurant that’ll be gone in a year. Choose a place that’s going to be there for your 50th anniversary — a fountain, a skydeck, a special museum, a scenic park.

Set the mood. Candlelight provides a nice warm setting for your proposal. So does dramatic lighting. Soft music is also nice. If you’re proposing over dinner, ask if your restaurant has a secluded booth where you can be alone. You may even want to provide a special scent that will always bring back memories of your big proposal.

Take no chances. If you plan to propose at a restaurant, you’d better have reservations, and reconfirm them the day before your big date. If you’re proposing outdoors, don’t count on the weather being friendly. February can be awfully cold and snowy and sloppy. If you’re going to propose in a horse-drawn carriage, be sure it’s one with an enclosure and a roof, so your gesture of love isn’t spoiled by rain or a stinging cold wind. If you plan to propose at a secluded cabin, find one with a fireplace; there’s no better place to seal the deal than in front of a roaring fire.

Don’t show off. We’ve all seen the guy who proposed to his wife on the Jumbotron at a big sporting event, or hired a skywriter, or bought a giant billboard. Let’s face it! That’s all to make him the center of attention, not so much to impress the love of his life. A proposal should be intimate and personal, not a public spectacle.

Ideas on your wedding ring. Some people like to choose their fiancée’s wedding ring and present it as part of the proposal. But some people would prefer to take part in selecting their own ring. Check with your jeweler to see whether you can use a provisional ring for the proposal, then exchange it later for something that the two of you pick out together. 

Follow these suggestions, and your engagement will be off to a wonderful start. 

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2017 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.    

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