Valentine’s Day Proposals: Private or Public?

So, you’ve decided to propose on Valentine’s Day—congratulations! You bought the engagement ring and it’s absolutely perfect: exactly the diamond cut and setting she wanted, and in her desired metal. You even have a little proposal speech written and ready to go. There’s one final thing left to decide: where will you pop the question? More specifically, will you propose in a private or public setting? Some prefer a quiet, more intimate setting for such a momentous occasion, while others might choose a more public location to display their love. We’ve whipped up some ideas for romantic and unforgettable proposals for both kinds of settings!

Our little guide will help you decide which setting is best and the most comfortable for you and your future fiancée. Get ready to make this Valentine’s Day one you’ll never forget!

Private Proposals

Typically, a private proposal is shared only by the couple in question. However, “private” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be confined to the indoors. There are many ways to make your proposal magical, even if there isn’t an audience to cheer you on! Take a romantic boat ride for two, or walk along a secluded beach (if available to you). Whichever setting you choose, the most important role will be played by your actions and words when you finally pop the question.

Some prefer private proposals because they simply wish to enjoy each other’s company afterwards. Sometimes, public proposals can be slightly overwhelming. If family or friends are present, you may feel like you’re being pulled in many different directions. Not to mention being asked for pictures, how/where you got the ring, all followed by a string of other questions. A private proposal might be more appealing for a couple who prefers to not have too much attention swirling around them.

Another pro is the fact that you won’t have to coordinate with other people prior to the proposal, which in turn means less work on your part: you don’t have to manage everyone else, and you don’t have to worry about the surprise possibly slipping.

Additionally, private proposals allow the couple some time before they are ready to share the exciting news with their friends and families. The two of you can simply revel in the excitement of this new chapter and enjoy each other’s company for a little while longer before the wedding-planning pandemonium begins.

Public Proposals

A public setting obviously means that there will be more spectators than just the two of you. Family, friends, and even strangers could be witnessing you getting down on one knee. The most common places for a public proposal might include high-end restaurants, concerts or sporting events, and busy parks. A public proposal demands bravery and confidence, and is definitely more of a “go big or go home” approach! If you want to shout your love from the mountain tops, or want an audience to witness this exciting moment in your lives, then proposing in public is the way to go! However, keep in mind that a public proposal might be slightly more expensive—if you’re trying to stick to a budget— and require a lot more thought and planning since you might have to coordinate with other people now.

What’s great about public proposals is that the possibilities for creativity are endless! Serenade your partner with his/her favorite love song, or prepare a scavenger hunt that leads them to you holding the engagement ring. Want to make sure your proposal is documented? Hire a photographer on the side to take pictures of the whole thing, from the moment you get down on one knee, to the post-proposal hug and kiss! Your fiancé will be so surprised but also grateful that someone was recording your special moment.

Perhaps you want an even grander gesture? How about a proposal flash mob? Or having a plane write “Will You Marry Me?” in the sky? Whatever you decide to do, do it with confidence and a bit of cunningness so you look just as caught off-guard as your partner does when it all comes together!

Now that we’ve examined the pros and cons of each type of proposal, you might be expecting an answer. The truth is, it all comes down to you and what makes you feel most comfortable. If you truly feel anxious and too pressured about proposing in a public setting, perhaps a private proposal over dinner or a moonlit walk is best. On the other hand, if you love being the center of attention and want the world to see you become engaged, go with a public proposal and “wow!” your loved one.

Happy Valentine’s Day, and happy proposing!

Still in need of a Valentine’s Day Gift for your sweetheart? Read our 15 Valentine’s Day Gifts blog post for some inspiration!

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