Season of Love

Season of Love

Yes, Valentine’s Day is on its way! For this is the season of love!

The 14th February is one of the most popular days in the calendar for proposing marriage.


The main attraction of that date, of course, is that love is all around! People are thinking romantically. Many are physically marking the occasion, often with an anonymous love message (whether a card or, nowadays, an e-mail [how romantic!]). They may prefer a red rose. Or what about a meal out?

I’m not denying that Valentine’s Day is a commercial opportunity.  However, it’s also a spur to think and act romantically, and that’s beautiful and all to the good.

So “love is in the air”, as the song goes, and that makes it easier to catch the mood and join in.


Whereas sending an anonymous message of love is a godsend for those who are shy, what about a marriage proposal? That can be quite another matter!

The nitty-gritty

When and where do you propose?

Do you want to do it in public? What if you’re turned down? You don’t want public humiliation.

If you’re in private, how do you bring it into the conversation?

One way to propose

I used to be shier than I am now and I had self-esteem issues. I wanted to propose (actually not on Valentine’s Day, but the principle holds good). I was fairly apprehensive, in truth, although I felt I was in with a good chance!

So I whisked my intended off for a few days in Rome. Now that’s romantic, isn’t it?!

I thought long and hard about the proposal. What if the answer meant rejection? I therefore decided to put it off to the last day, so that the majority of the holiday could pass without embarrassment.

The only problem with this was that I was on edge from the word go!

Resolution came by accident, in the event. We were in the ravishing Villa d’Este, on a fabulous day, on our second day in Rome, and had the place to ourselves. When we stopped at a bench, I didn’t hesitate and dropped to my knees.

Very fortunately, the answer was “yes” and the rest of the trip was magnificent!

Not everybody is going to be lucky enough to have Rome (and the elements) on their side.

What you do need to do is to weigh up the odds. When you’ve resolved to commit, be prepared. That means buying the ring, and deciding where you’ll propose. You might choose to do this at the end of a meal (whether self-cooked or in a restaurant), but not if you’re going to be so nervous that you can’t eat!

Wherever it is, try and set the mood (so the proposal doesn’t come totally out of the blue).

An idea

For a more elaborate plan, you could book a spot at, say, a boutique hotel or restaurant. A civil celebrant (such as myself!) could be lurking as you both come in. You propose marriage, get accepted, and give me the nod. I then come in and perform a brief engagement ceremony for you both. (The ceremony would have no legal significance, but be so beautiful!)

How romantic is that?

Yes, it truly is the sesaon of love!

Valentine s Day

Ever the romantic, I couldn’t resist a bonus blog about Valentine s Day.


Its origins spring from the imprisonment of a certain Valentine by the Ancient Romans for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians (who were being persecuted).


You can probably see the connection, although you need a bit of imagination to make the leap to 21st century celebrations of Valentine s Day!

Modern day

Yes, I know I’m cynical, but, let’s face it, nowadays it is a chance for florists, card-makers, vintners, chocolatiers and restaurateurs to put their prices up.
More romantically, though, it is the most popular day for women to receive wedding proposals (although men prefer Christmas Eve). Let’s look at how to go about making a proposal.


The proposal

Of course there are all sorts of ways of proposing. Some will choose to accompany the proposal with a Valentine s Day gift.

In the vast majority of cases, you will want to choose a quiet venue – a booked table in a nice, intimate restaurant may do the trick. Soft music and subdued lighting should provide a suitable atmosphere.

Alternatively, the setting can be the home – perhaps to the accompaniment of a lovely meal (a dish you both enjoy!) and a certain amount of champagne! A proposal over a chocolate pudding often works well.

You can mention the romance of the day and how much it has encouraged you to express your love – but, naturally,  it’s got to be down to you what to say.

In truth, I didn’t propose on Valentine s Day (I chose an Italian garden in July!), but it was romantic and that’s key.

Make it a special day and enjoy it!

Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made life-cycle civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe.