A Valentine’s Day proposal | Everything you need to know

A Valentine’s Day proposal | Everything you need to know

Are you planning to make a Valentine’s Day proposal? Well, according to recent research, Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year – and the most likely day for a marriage proposal. 

How many people get engaged on Valentine’s Day?

Perhaps you’re thinking of popping the question on 14 February? If you are, you’re not alone. It’s thought that more than one million people will get engaged this Valentine’s Day in the UK alone.

The origins of Valentine’s Day

When we think of Valentine’s Day, we think of cards, flowers, and chocolates as a way of declaring our romantic love towards our sweetheart, but where does this idea come from..?

Valentine’s Day began as a Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named ‘Valentinus’, but the day didn’t become acquire its modern, secular association with romantic love until the 14th century when it was referenced in the 1382 poem The Parliament of Fowls by Geoffrey Chaucer:

‘For this was on seynt Volantynys day, Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.’

This translates as:

‘For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, When every bird cometh there to choose his mate.’

In the 18th century, people began to give flowers, confectionery, and handmade valentine cards as tokens – or signals – of their affection. And, in the following century, as greeting cards started to be mass-produced, the popularity of Valentine’s Day really took off.

Valentine’s Day 2021

Today, Valentine’s Day is recognised as a cultural and commercial celebration of romance and it’s estimated that over 25 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent in the UK every year. If you can’t get out to the shops, you could always make your own like in the olden days!

How popular are Valentine’s Day proposals?

In a survey of more than 2,000 people in the UK, one fifth (21 per cent) of married respondents said they got engaged on Valentine’s Day.

What’s the most popular place to propose?

According to Brides Magazine, in a 2018 study, over one million Instagram posts from the previous 12 months were scanned for the hashtags #SheSaidYes, #HeSaidYes, #ISaidYes, and #Proposal to find the most popular locations for a proposal.

Top of the Instagrammers’ popularity list was New York’s Central Park, with 1,789 proposal posts on Instagram and in second place was the Eiffel Tower in Paris. One London landmark made the Top Ten: Tower Bridge, which was in seventh place. The Shard was in eleventh place. Take a look at the hashtags yourself and get inspired.

Where to propose in 2021

This year, you may feel your proposal options have been limited to ‘on a walk’ or ‘at home over dinner’ but, wherever you plan to propose, we say ‘do it’! You can still propose in style!

No matter where – or how – you propose, it will be one of the most memorable moments of your life!

Where to have your wedding

The same goes for where to have your wedding: with a humanist wedding, there are no restrictions on where you can get married as our weddings don’t need to take place in licensed venues.

You can have a garden wedding like Amy and James. Or in the hills, like Andy and Danny. Or, perhaps you have your heart set on a woodland wedding like Rachel and Harvey. You might prefer an unusual venue for your wedding like Sinead and Hayley-Jane. Or, like Janice and Darren, you might like a wedding by the sea. You might even choose an online wedding like Alba and Steve. Whatever you want, with a humanist wedding, it’s your day, your way!

Amy and James’ garden wedding by The Humble Photography CoHumanist same-sex weddingDanny and Andy by David Ashton
Rachel and Harvey’s woodland wedding by Roo Stain
Two brides at a humanist wedding
Sinead and Hayley Jane by Infinity Photos
Janice and Darren by Rachel Alcock
Steve and Alba’s online wedding by Sira Studios

Planning your big day

When you announce your engagement, one of the first things friends and family will ask you is, ‘When’s the big day?’

Even before you’ve got used to ‘being engaged’, people will want to know all about your wedding plans. But, don’t feel overwhelmed! If you know you’d like a non-religious wedding, you can talk to a humanist celebrant about wedding ideas before – or after – you have a date or a venue in mind.

A humanist celebrant can help you think about the most important aspect of your wedding – the vows or promises you will make to one another. Once you have those, everything else will just fall into place. They will help you bring your creative vision to life for any kind of wedding ceremony – large or small, grand or intimate. The end result will be 100% personal to you, your story, and your love.

Humanist celebrant Caroline Lambie
Lucy and Jaspal with wedding celebrant Caroline Lambie by Jackson & Co

Humanist weddings

humanist wedding is ideal for you if you’d like a non-religious wedding that is unique, personalised, and meaningful.

Wedding ideas and inspiration

For inspiration for your humanist wedding, follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

Next steps

If you’re thinking of having a humanist wedding, the next step is to find your ideal celebrant.

You may also like…

What is a humanist wedding?

Can we have a humanist wedding?

Are humanist marriages legally recognised in the UK?

How to have an intimate outdoor wedding at home

Top ten tips for an outdoor wedding

'My humanist ceremony was the most special day of my life. All my family were blown away. Both my parents said that they'd never been to a wedding that was more personal or heartfelt.'
Madeleine, 34


Read our wedding blog for feature ideas, inspiration, top tips, and real-life humanist wedding stories.


If you're planning your wedding now, then contact a celebrant as early as possible.