Marriage Proposal
Dou Ziwang, an employee of a chilli processing factory, proposes to his girlfriend as they stand on hearts made of 99,999 chillies, in Handan, Hebei province, August 29, 2014. Learn more creative ways to pop the question. Reuters

That special day is almost here. Valentine’s Day is that amazing time of year when people in love take the time to celebrate that fact by showering each other with gifts, fancy dinners and, above all else, affection. What better way to let that special someone in your life know you love him or her than by pledging your life to them forever?

So, you’ve bought the ring, you’ve made the dinner reservations and now you’re just trying to figure out how to propose. Well, if you’re looking to pop the big question this Valentine’s Day, below are a few helpful hints to make sure he or she remembers the big moment forever.

Be Artistic

Everyone has a special talent, and odds are good your future fiancé is well aware of yours. If you can paint, sing, write a poem or anything of the kind, take every shred of talent you’ve got in the tank and find a way to use it for the big moment. One person decided to include a ring in a flipbook animation. Others have turned to magic to help make the proposal a unique surprise. Whatever you decide, just make sure you don’t skimp on the details.

Go Somewhere Beautiful

Who doesn’t love a good view? It’s Valentine’s Day so there’s a perfect excuse to bring the person of your dreams to the location of his or her dreams. They’ll think you’re just trying to be romantic, little do they know that you’re there to change their life. Sunsets, beaches, underneath the Eiffel Tower and on top of the Empire State building are clichés for a reason. Pick someplace you know he or she will love and, if you can, get there ahead of time to set up a camera. You can catch a beautiful bit of scenery as well as a beautiful moment.

Go Somewhere Special

Was there anything cuter than that time Jim proposed to Pam on “The Office?” It’s because he couldn’t wait and did it at a gas station that they once stopped at on a date. It was very poorly thought out and would have been wildly inappropriate in any other circumstance. Still, what made it work was that it had a sentimental meaning to the couple. That shouldn’t be hard to recreate in real life. Return to the place you had your first date, the first place you kissed or the first place you said “I love you.” If those are out of the question, return to some crummy old restaurant that you both mutually hated. If your loved one has a good sense of humor, the bit might be just dorky enough to create a memory that will last forever.

A Grand Gesture

It’s a marriage proposal and, theoretically, you’ve only got one shot at this. Why not pull out all the stops and go for a little spectacle? Obviously there’s no need to go for the overly done and totally cliché proposal at a sporting event, but if you’re confident he or she would be into a big public moment, go for broke and try organizing a flash mob, getting a skywriter to spell out the proposal or film your very own movie trailer proposal and surprise her in the theater. Feel free to gather friends and family to watch the big moment and be there for him or her the moment you’re engaged. Don’t forget to get the answer on camera – hiring dancers is expensive so you’ll want to relive the whole thing again and again. Just make sure, before you decide to pull the trigger on something big, that your future fiancé isn’t the type to go red and crumble with shyness.

A Prank

OK, let’s all agree that this is super risky and, potentially, kind of a dumb idea. Having said that, if you’re going for a memorable proposal, why not bring your significant other on a wild emotional ride before making them the happiest person in the world, albeit a confused happy person. You could be like the guy who promised his girlfriend a romantic night on the town only to drop a bucket of slime on her and then promise his entire life to her. A more risky option is to be like this guy who made his future fiancé think she was going to die! Seriously, I can’t stress enough how risky this idea is. But the payoff could go viral, so there’s that.

Use Your Pet

“Mom, we love the big guy! Can we keep him? PLEASE?!”

Two dogs sit next to a sign with the above words in one of PawNation’s 12 romantic wedding proposals with animals. If he or she doesn’t love your pet, he or she doesn’t love you. However, if you’re ready to pop the question, this potential relationship hurdle has already been cleared. So why not incorporate the little fur ball of your choice into the big moment? You’re starting a family after all. Tie a ring to a collar, teach your dog to fetch a note with some kind words on it or pretend there's a "mess" in the living room and let him or her find the ring. If you don’t have a pet but are still an animal lover, feel free to venture to the zoo or an aquarium. It’ll take a bit of prep work but, why not? How many people can say a zebra, monkey or whale aided in their engagement?

Be A Fan

One of the first things people usually talk about on a first date is movies, TV shows or books that they might mutually love. For many, that spark burns so bright that it carries through the relationship to comic-cons, “Star Trek” conventions and constant celebrity retweets. Be who you both are with your marriage proposal and incorporate your mutual fandom into a romantic moment. “Harry Potter” fans have found several creative ways to pop the question, according to The Daily Mail. Then again, maybe you don’t want to go that campy. One rocker asked “Scrubs” star Zach Braff to record a quick video where he helped him pop the question to his lovely bride-to-be. We’re all only six degrees of separation from someone awesome – start cold calling some phone numbers to add a little star power to your proposal.

While I’d recommend any of the ideas on this list, none of this is what’s important. Above all else, remember it’s not how you ask the question, it’s that you ask the question. Good luck, I sincerely hope he or she says “yes.”