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14 Romantic Proposal Ideas for the Most Memorable Valentine's Day Ever

Updated: May 22


 

A Guide to an Unforgettable Valentine's Day Proposal

February 14. The special day of LOVE. Are you planning to pop the question to your partner on Valentine's Day? If so, you'll want to make it a memorable and unique experience that reflects your love story. Even if you plan to propose on another date, these ideas still might be perfect for you. Whether you're looking for a simple, grand, intimate, or adventurous way to propose, we have got you covered with 14 romantic proposal ideas that will certainly sweep your partner off their feet.


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Romantic surprise proposal photography at beach for valentines day by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County, taken in Newport Beach Crystal Cove



Romantic proposal photography inspiration and ideas for valentines day by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County

# 1. Recreate Your First Date

One of the most romantic ways to propose is to recreate your first date or recreate a special moment in your relationship. Some ideas: take your partner to the same place where you two first met, or where you shared your first kiss, or when you first said those three little words, "I love you". This idea is perfect for reminiscing about your relationship and how far you've come. Then, you can surprise them with a ring and ask them to spend the rest of your lives together. We love this proposal idea because it is sentimental, personal, and meaningful. To make it even more special, we encourage you to hire a photographer or videographer to secretly follow you and document this grand moment. We are not only trained to capture wonderful images, but we are also highly skilled in hiding while you pop the big question!



# 2. Hire a Chef at Home

If your partner is a foodie and enjoys a cozy night in, why not hire a chef to cook a delicious meal for you at home? You can set the mood with warm candles, flowers, and romantic music. To top it off, the chef can prepare your partner's favorite dishes and desserts. Then, when the time is right, you can pop the question with a ring. Some fun ideas are you can hide the ring in a cake, a champagne glass, or a fortune cookie, or simply keep it safe with you. This proposal idea is intimate, elegant, and tasty! To capture the moment, you can even set up a hidden camera or simply ask your chef to take some photos or videos.



# 3. Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Romantic surprise proposal photography for valentines day by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County

Does your partner love solving puzzles and going on adventures? If so, you should plan a scavenger hunt for them! You can create clues that lead to different locations that are meaningful to your relationship, such as where you two met, where you had your first date, where you shared your first kiss, etc. At each location, you can leave a gift, a photo, and/or a love note for them. The last and final clue should lead them to the location where you propose. You can either be waiting for them there with a ring, or surprise them with a flash mob, a banner, or a grand display. One idea is to lead them to a spot with a gallery of your favorite photos together. There are so many fun ways you can end your romantic scavenger hunt. We love this scavenger hunt proposal idea because it's fun, creative, and exciting. To capture the moment, you can ask a friend or a family member to follow them and take some photos or videos for you. Our pro tip is to hire a photographer or videographer to capture the final reveal.


Reaction from romantic surprise proposal for valentines day by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County, taken at Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach


# 4. Take a Helicopter Ride

Enjoy seeing views from grand heights? If your partner loves heights and views, take them on a helicopter ride to propose! You can fly over the city, the mountains, the ocean, or any other scenic spot. You can arrange to land on a rooftop, the beach, or a park, where you can set up a romantic picnic or a candlelit dinner. Then, BAM, you can pop the question with a ring and a view. This proposal idea is breathtaking, thrilling, and unforgettable. To capture this special moment, you can ask the pilot or a staff member to take some photos or videos for you. You can also hire a photographer or videographer to join you on the helicopter ride or even meet you at the landing spot.



# 5. Write a Song

Love expressed through song can be so romantic. If you are musically talented or know someone who is, you can express your feelings, your love, your memories, and your hopes for the future in a song or poem. When you perform your song for them, either in private or in public, you can end it with a proposal. We love this surprise proposal idea because it is heartfelt, original, and romantic. To capture the moment, you can record your song or poem on your phone or a camera. You can also hire a photographer or videographer to capture your performance as well as your partner's reaction.


Cute Couple with guitar for proposal and engagement photos at Victoria Beach in Laguna Beach shot by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County


# 6. Propose with Your Pet

Cute couple photo with their pet dog on a hike for proposal and engagement photo shot by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County

Do you and your partner love animals and have a pet? Your furry friend(s) would love to help you propose. You can dress up your pet in a cute fancy outfit with a sign or a collar that says "Will you marry me?" or "My human wants to marry you". Then, bring your pet to your partner and just let them do the talking. This can be done anywhere, your home or your favorite hiking spot. We love how adorable, playful, and charming this proposal idea is!



# 7. Plan a Surprise Trip

A romantic surprise getaway is always a great idea! You can choose a destination your partner has always wanted to visit, or one that has a sentimental meaning to your relationship. You can either tell them to pack their bags and take them to the airport, or blindfold them and drive them to the destination. Some lovely ideas include: proposing to them in a romantic spot, such as the beach, the mountains, a castle, or a special landmark. We love this proposal surprise trip idea because it is adventurous, spontaneous, and memorable. To capture the big moment, you can ask a local or tourist to take some photos or videos for you. You can also hire a wedding photographer or videographer to meet you at the destination and capture your proposal memories. If you love something extra lavish, you will love idea # 10.


Cute couple photo on fountain at Mission Inn Hotel in Riverside for a romantic proposal and engagement photo shot by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County


# 8. Hire a Professional Picnic Planner

Romantic surprise proposal picnic by the beach set up by The Charming Picnic and photo by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County

An intimate surprise luxury picnic is such a romantic and special way to propose to your partner. You can pick a location with a beautiful view, such as the beach, a park, a garden, or a vineyard. Our all-time favorite luxury picnic planner in SoCal is The Charming Picnic. They take care of everything, from the gorgeous setup to clean up, the yummy food, the drinks, and the music. You will get a premium beach umbrella or lace teepee, low picnic table, rugs, pillows, decor, and a customizable chalkboard. We love their seasonal charcuterie board and the fact that they also provide fresh floral arrangement in a vase (free to take home after your picnic). All you have to do is reserve your time, show up with your partner and enjoy the picnic! When the moment feels right, you can propose to them with a ring, a toast, and some romantic photos. This proposal idea is luxurious, easy, relaxing, and romantic. Plus, we have lots of experience with The Charming Picnic, so capturing your picnic proposal moments will be a breeze!


FAQS

How far ahead to book reservation?

It is highly encouraged to plan as early as possible because bookings fill up quickly. Typically, booking a few weeks to months in advance is best.

How does it all work?

The Charming Picnic will set up your luxury picnic and will have it ready before you arrive for your reservation time. When you arrive, the team will greet you as well as ask if you'd like any photos taken (perfect time for a mini photoshoot). Then, you'll be left to enjoy your picnic and the team will come back once your reservation time is over.


✨ Read this blog to see how we captured a romantic beach picnic proposal with The Charming Picnic!


🔗 Check out The Charming Picnic for all your luxury Birthday. Anniversary, Proposal, Brand & Group Events needs!




# 9. Rent a Private Movie Theater

If your partner loves movies and popcorn, you should rent a private movie theater for them! You can choose a movie that they love, or one that has a romantic theme, such as The Notebook, The Proposal, or Love Actually. Start the surprise by telling your partner you are taking them on a movie date and head to the theater. You can arrange to have some of their favorite snacks, drinks, and candy for ready them. Before the movie starts, you can request for the theater to play a romantic video that you made for them. In this video, you can express all your love and at the end, propose to them! Some other ideas are you can ask the movie theater staff to display a message on the screen that says "Will you marry me?" or "Please say yes". This movie theater proposal idea is creative, cinematic, and surprising. To capture this special moment, you can ask the theater staff to take some photos or videos for you. You can also hire a wedding photographer or videographer to capture all the joy along with have a mini photoshoot to document it all.



# 10. Book a Luxury Hotel Suite

If your partner loves a nice little getaway, you could book a luxurious hotel suite and propose there! A big plus if the hotel has a stunning view (like the beach), or one with a luxury spa or nice pool. To top things off, you can add extra romance to by decorating the suite with roses, candles, balloons, or photos. You can decorate the suite yourself, make an arrangement with the hotel, or hire outside help (such as The Charming Picnic - we love them!). To get your partner there without them suspecting a surprise, you can tell them you have a work trip or you're meeting up with family/friends. There are a number of ways to pop the question with this hotel proposal idea. For instance, once you two finally arrive to your suite, you can either propose right away or you can wait until after a romantic dinner, a relaxing massage, or a swim in the pool. We love this proposal idea because it is romantic, lavish, and unforgettable. To forever remember the moment, you should hire a photographer or videographer to capture your hotel stay and your proposal!


Luxury hotel proposal photo at Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County

Our Favorite Luxury Hotels in SoCal

We will end this section by sharing two of our favorite luxury hotels, both perfect for popping the big question in the most lavish and romantic way. Firstly, one of the best luxury hotels in SoCal is The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, which features gorgeous Italian Renaissance architecture, spacious bungalows and suites with private terraces featuring spectacular ocean views. Not to mention, they have a Five-Star spa, world-class restaurants, an iconic Coliseum Pool, and its renowned Pelican Hill Golf Club. We love how dreamy the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Newport Coast are from here. Last, but certainly not least, there's Surf & Sand Resort. This luxurious resort is located directly on 500 feet of California’s pristine Laguna Beach. It is a true haven for pure relaxation. You will surely love the resort’s oceanfront accommodations, exquisite coastal dining, and rejuvenating spa experience. Plus, they also offer a breathtaking view of California's dreamy beaches. After popping the big question at one of these luxurious stays, you can spend intimate and relaxing time with your new fiancé! The perfect way to start your next part of this journey together.


✨ Read this blog to see how we captured A Luxury Beachfront Surprise Proposal at Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach with The Charming Picnic!


Luxury hotel proposal photo at Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County


# 11. Wine Tasting Date at a Vineyard

This sunset vineyard proposal idea is a perfect if you and your partner share a love for peaceful moments paired along with exquisite wines. You can start the day off with a fun tour that shows the beauty and the behind-the-scenes of the vineyard. After exploring the winery, you and your partner can settle down in a private, intimate, and romantic space at the vineyard for a personalized wine tasting experience. Then, finally, when the time is right, you can surprise your partner with the big question! Your partner will certainly forever cherish this special day and be swept off their feet. If you do this a sunset, it will be even more magical with the warm golden hour sunlight!


Bonus Idea:

Save this wine tasting vineyard date for a romantic anniversary annual celebration!




# 12. Have a Romantic Dinner

For a more classic and simple surprise proposal idea, you can plan a romantic dinner for your partner! It can be at your partner's favorite restaurant or you can arrange to have it in your own private setting (your home, backyard, or book a hotel/AirBnB). You can have the ring hidden with your food or drinks. Or you can keep the ring in your pocket until it's time to pop the big question. To forever remember and cherish this moment, you can hire a photographer to capture the raw emotions and joy that comes with the magic of wedding proposals.


Romantic valentines day proposal photo at romantic dinner shot by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County


# 13. Gondola Adventure With a Message in a Bottle

Looking for a unique, romantic, and memorable way to propose? This surprise proposal idea with a gondola ride from Gondola Adventures in Newport Beach is a literal movie come to life. The idea is you and your partner will embark on a romantic gondola ride, but little will your partner know that a special message in a bottle awaits them floating in the water. When your partner finds and opens the secret message in the bottle treasure, you can ask them to spend the rest of your lives together. Plus, if you and/or your partner loves the movie Tangled, then this idea is even more perfect because this special moment on the gondola will have you feeling like all your dreams are coming true. We love this proposal idea because it's unique, creative, and fun!


✨ Read this blog to see more + photos by one of the bests in the biz!


# 14. A Romantic Couple Photoshoot

Romantic couple photoshoot surprise proposal idea at the beach, shot by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County

Picture this: you and your partner need some professional and beautiful photos of just the two of you. Phone selfies are great and all, but there is something extra special about getting dolled up for a photoshoot. Who doesn't love to have frame-worthy images to cherish forever?! You can tell your partner you booked a Valentine's Day photoshoot date because you need more than selfies together. Your partner and you will get dressed up, you'll have a blast taking romantic photos, and most importantly, that moment when you propose will be captured on camera to forever cherish. Plus, taking intimate photos with your partner is a beautiful way to bond and document your love. This surprise proposal idea is one of our all time favorites! To make this idea even more romantic, have your photoshoot at golden hour on the beach. Our favorite spots are Victoria Beach or Treasure Island in Laguna.


✨ Read this blog to see more + tips & tricks for Engagement photos at the beach!





Cute couple photo laying on stairs at Mission Inn Hotel in Riverside for a romantic proposal and engagement photo shot by Paper Birch Collective, California Wedding Photographer in Orange County

Thanks for Reading!

And that's a wrap on 14 proposal ideas for the 14th of February! (or any day you want to celebrate your love!) We hope you enjoyed these romantic proposal ideas for the most memorable Valentine's Day ever. Remember, no matter how you propose, the most important thing is to be yourself - be sincere, genuine, and heartfelt. And of course, don't forget to capture the moment with beautiful images by finding a professional photographer (so you can relive it for years to come). If you're looking for a wedding photography and videography team in SoCal, look no further than our friendly neighborhood team here at Paper Birch Collective. We are a team of passionate and creative professionals who would love to capture the love and joy in your special moments.




 

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