Valentine's Day Proposals: Thinking Outside the Ring Box

Why let a restaurant dictate your evening and why share such a special night with a room full of strangers? Keep it simple, keep it classic, and keep it at home this year.
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Valentine's Day is viewed as the most romantic day of the year, so naturally, many are hearing that question: "Will you marry me?" Cliche? Maybe. But there are ways to stay out of the "been there, seen that, done that" zone, and I'm here to tell you how.

First things first: set the stage. Don't bring your proposal to a crowded restaurant where you run the risk of your reservations being lost, your food order being wrong, and someone else proposing two tables over and stealing your thunder. While a restaurant atmosphere can be beautiful, the noise of the other guests and waiting for your drinks to arrive, can easily spoil that. Set your own table at home where you can create the exact style you want, and more importantly, something that will impress your future fiancé.

Vintage chic is a huge trend in weddings right now, and odds are, your future spouse knows that. Why not impress them by showing how much you know as well? Here's your cheat sheet: pink, white, cream, gold, ombre. Using these basic colors, there is no right or wrong. Take a trip to a vintage or thrift store and pick up two place settings including a dinner plate, salad plate, flatware and stemware. Mix and match these pieces and ask the store clerks to help you put something together. If you're a genius in the kitchen, feel free to put together an amazing meal. If not, order in from a great restaurant. Complete the presentation by designing the menu cards from Papyrus and placing them on top of the dinner plates.

Of course, after a great meal, a really special dessert is sure to score extra brownie points (pun intended). However, many times people are either too full from dinner, or don't want to indulge in a large piece of chocolate cake. Small desserts are the answer here! I recommend something light - like chocolate covered cherries from Shari's Berries , or airy delicious macarons from Dana's Bakery. Whichever route you take, order them in ombre to match your entire color palette. If neither of these ideas work, nothing beats classic candy for Valentine's Day. I love the sparkly gummy hearts from Surf Sweets because they are adorable and refreshing. Plus, these gummies are organic, which translates to "as healthy as vegetables." I promise!

After dinner and dessert and before your proposal, have a chocolate and wine pairing set up for you both to enjoy. Make sure to pick up a few different red wines with fruity undertones, along with some high quality chocolate. Skip the supermarket selections and check out what Harry and David has to offer. Take turns sipping the wine and tasting the chocolate - and just spending some quiet and romantic time together. Bonus points if you don't look at your cell phones, and only at each other.

No matter where you work your proposal in, with a night like this, the more thought you put in, the better. Why let a restaurant dictate your evening and why share such a special night with a room full of strangers? Keep it simple, keep it classic, and keep it at home this year. Be creative and there will be no worries about your Valentine's Day proposal being cliche.