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Take Part in the Romance of it All; Get Engaged This Valentine's Day

Some say the day has links to the feast of Lupercalia in ancient Rome, where young people paired up by drawing names from a hat. The feast was later renamed for St. Valentine, a Roman priest who put love before all else - including his life.When Emperor Claudius II sought to increase his military base by forbidding young men to marry, Valentine performed clandestine ceremonies for desperate lovers.

Ultimately caught and imprisoned, Valentine was executed on February 14, 270. That day, it's said he sent a note to the prison guard's daughter, thanking her for her friendship in his final days and signing it, Love, Your Valentine. In France and England, birds allegedly began mating on February 14, further evidence that the day was destined for romance.

With Valentine's history to set the mood and spring just around the corner, February has always been the perfect time to pop the question. Pledging one's troth on the most romantic day of the year not only adds a personal touch of passion to the day, but may make it easier to surprise the intended.

A no-holds barred day of romance might set off alarms any other time of year, but on Valentine's Day, it's fair game. Pull out all the stops and finish with the grand finale - the diamond ring. Or, keep it simple. Choose a special place and present a heart-shape box of truffles with the ring inside one of the candy papers. Offer to draw a bath, fill it with floating candles and take her breath away by placing the sparkling diamond on top of one. The proposal doesn't have to be legendary to be memorable; just participating in Valentine's historical ardor will heighten the holiday's romance for years to come.