It’s no secret that February 14th is one of the most romantic days of the year, so we don’t blame you for wanting to drop to one knee. Choosing who you want to spend the rest of your life with is one of the most important decisions we ever have to make in your lives, and proposing shows that person you are serious about your future together.
If you’ve already found that person, then you may be thinking about making it official when Valentine’s Day rolls around in 2017. But if you’re wondering how on earth you can pull off a proposal in approximately 14 days, never fear. Luxury jewellery experts, Hancocks, who also know a thing or two about romance, are here to help you with their step-by-step guide to creating the perfect Valentine’s Day proposal.
Day 1 - Wednesday 1st February
Think about the ring
What is one of the most important parts of any marriage proposal? The ring. It doesn’t necessarily have to be biggest, flashiest or most expensive piece of jewellery in the world; what matters instead is that you put thought and effort into picking out a ring that she will love.
Struggling for inspiration? Think about the jewellery that she already wears. Does she wear larger, more fashion-orientated pieces? Or is she someone who prefers minimalist jewellery that is small and dainty? What colour metal does she prefer? Some women fawn over gold whereas others are silver all the way.
Play detective and take a closer look at her jewellery box; whatever you do, just don’t get caught! And before you know it you will have an abundance of inspiration to help you out.
Day 2 - Thursday 2nd February
Ask for her parents’ blessing
The concept of asking for your partner’s hand in marriage has become a little outdated, but there is still a way that you can be traditional without stepping back to the time of marriage arrangements and dowries. Paying a secret visit to her parents is a classic gesture that is also very respectful, so why not ask for their blessing on your engagement rather than permission? It will also help to form a meaningful and unique bond between you and your future in-laws.
Feeling nervous? Here are a few top tips to help you do it right…
- Make sure you stop by alone. Call them ahead of time and ask if there is a convenient time for you to come and see them. They’ll probably suspect what you’re about to do, but that isn’t a bad thing!
- Most importantly, speak directly from your heart. Tell them why you love their daughter and that you want to take your relationship to the next level.
- Keep it short and sweet. Try and get your nerves under control and don’t run away with yourself.
Day 3 - Friday 3rd February
Book her a surprise nail appointment
The initial moment of a proposal is very intimate and private, unless you love public proposals of course! But with family and friends spread out across the globe, it is becoming more and more common for future brides and grooms to share news of their engagement on social media, usually accompanied by a close-up snap or two of the ring itself.
If you know that your future fiancée will want to share such images, but won’t necessarily have the foresight to prepare (it is a surprise proposal, after all!) why not treat her ahead of the big day? Book a nail appointment at her regular salon and say it’s on you. Don’t act too obvious though; keep it casual and make it seem like you’re just feeling generous that day.
Day 4 - Saturday 4th February
Ask her friends for their opinions
There are a few people in a woman’s life who will know practically everything about her, such as her sister or mum, but you should seek advice from her closest and best friends. Of course, this requires a great deal of discretion should you decide to meet with them; so make sure they can keep a secret!
Ask them for their tips on every single element of the proposal that you’re struggling with. Do they know whether she would prefer a public or private proposal? A restaurant or the comfort of your candlelit home? How about ring styles? Do they have any tips on styles that she would love? Her friends will be goldmines of information about your beloved, often without even knowing it, so tap into that knowledge if you get the chance!
Day 5 - Sunday 5th February
Buy the ring
The day has arrived; it’s time to take the plunge and buy the ring. Make sure you are as certain as possible on your decision, of course there’s always the chance to make changes in the future, but you really only get one shot to make the ultimate impression when you open that little box for the first time.
Don’t worry too much about size; it’s incredibly common for rings to not fit perfectly when you slide it onto her finger for the first time. Most rings have been designed to be able to either be expanded or shrunk, so take your best guess but don’t spend too much time panicking about it!
Day 6 - Monday 6th February
Where do you hide the ring?
So you’ve got the ring and have the parent’s blessing to ask their daughter to marry you, but how do you ensure that she doesn’t get wind of your plans ahead of the big day? Whilst she may have her suspicions as Valentine’s Day approaches (it’s just something that comes with the day itself, we’re afraid) nothing is ever confirmed until a diamond engagement ring is discovered.
When it comes to thinking of hiding places, you have to be absolutely sure that they aren’t going to find it. And we mean 110% sure. Shared drawers or wardrobes are out of the question, as are coat pockets or bags. Is there a trusted friend who could stand guard until February 14th? Or do you have separate cars and could keep it stashed safely in the boot or glove compartment? Rack your brains until you come up with the perfect hiding place.
Day 7 - Tuesday 7th February
Practice your speech
You’re hardly going to drop to one knee, pull out the ring and say nothing, are you? Whilst you don’t have to spend days writing a monologue that Shakespeare himself would be proud of, it goes without saying that you should put some thought and effort into what you’re going to say.
Even those four little words on their own can seem challenging when you’re a bundle of nerves in the moment. So if you’re planning on saying that and a little more, usually what you love about her and the life you see together, get in front of that mirror and practice! Although nothing will get rid of those butterflies in the moment, a few private rehearsals in the bathroom is only going to help.
Day 8 - Wednesday 8th February
Decide on the location
Remember on day four when you asked her close friends for their opinions on the how and the where? Now it’s time to put their words of wisdom into action and pick the perfect location. Unless you know it’s a guaranteed yes, and that it’s something they would appreciate, we would advise steering clear of the extravagant public proposal. Whilst it may be what they do in the movies, most women will prefer something intimate, just the two of you, where you can prove just how much you know her.
Under the Eiffel Tower, in a romantic café or restaurant, at home in front of a roaring fire, or perhaps in the spot where you first laid eyes on one another. When you look back over your time together, the possibilities for proposal locations is endless. So spend something thinking of ideas and we guarantee you’ll be able to come up with the perfect one.
Day 9 - Thursday 9th February
Go through your checklist
This can take the form of a physical list, but you must be sure to dispose of it before your partner can see it, otherwise it might give the game away! A few of the key elements you should have on here are; the ring, your speech, the location, is a table booked at a restaurant if you need one? If you are depending on other people to ensure the proposal runs smoothly, do they each know their role and their timings?
Day nine isn’t a big one, but taking a few steps to ensure that everything is falling into place will give you a little peace of mind in these final few days.
Day 10 - Friday 10th February
Spend some time together
After all your hard work over the past week or so, it’s time to relax and spend some quality time with your partner. You don’t have to do anything specific, just something you’ll both enjoy, whether that’s watching your favourite movie or TV show, taking a walk together or cooking a meal. Try not to be too over the top - just in case it sets alarm bells off in her head - but make sure you are loving and close. Not only will you have a lovely day together but it will also reaffirm your feelings for one another and give you a well deserved rest.
Day 11 - Saturday 11th February
Clean the house
You’re almost there. You’re in the final few days and you’ve made it this far. Now it’s time to turn your attention to the house itself. Even if you’re not popping the question within your own four walls, you wouldn’t want to come home in a romantic haze to a mess, would you?
It doesn’t have to be out of the blue, or arouse any suspicion from your partner, just casually suggest that you spend a Saturday morning giving the house a good once over with the vacuum cleaner and duster. Tidy away any belongings that don’t need to be out on display and, once you’re finished, if you feel proud to call this your home, then you know you’re done and can put your feet up.
Day 12 - Sunday 12th February
Get yourself ready
Only two days to go. While we’re not suggesting that you don your suit now and wait patiently for the 14th to arrive, maybe give yourself a little TLC. Get a haircut and make sure you have an outfit planned and ready for the big day. It doesn’t have to be a tuxedo, but this is going to be one of the most important and memorable moments of your entire life, so you want to be sure you’re looking your best!
Day 13 - Monday 13th February
Enjoy the day
With less than 24 hours to go, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little nervous right about now. So you may be glad to hear that there’s no more work to do; you’ve followed our plan and have made it to the finish line. So our advice for February 13th? Just enjoy it.
You might have gone for the sneaky approach, and booked a meal for today rather than the 14th, perhaps to throw her off the scent and make it a true surprise. Whatever you have planned for the run up to Valentine’s Day, whether it is a meal at a restaurant, a day spent with your family, or a pizza and glass of wine in front of the TV after a long day at work, just make it count and be happy in each other’s company.
Day 14 - Tuesday 14th February
You’ve made it to the big day and have planned a unique and perfect proposal that she won’t help but love. You don’t need our help from now on. Above all remember what made you want to propose to her in the first place, and no matter what nerves you feel as the clock ticks closer to that moment, the love you have will carry you through.