man proposing to surprised woman
Maria Grinchuk

If you're thinking that a ring is in your future, you're probably wondering when your significant other is going to pop the question already! Actually, there’s a clear winner when it comes to the most popular day to get engaged (read on to find out!). However, because 2020 was unlike any other year, the most popular proposal dates and engagement season actually shifted quite a bit. 

Pre-COVID, 40 percent of engagements occurred between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day—with many of those dates occurring on and around Christmastime. After all, what could be a better holiday gift than a sparkly new engagement ring? But while some of 2020's top proposal dates fell within “engagement season” as the industry calls the Thanksgiving-to-Valentine’s Day timeframe, we saw many other dates, particularly in warmer-weather months, gain popularity during this unique year as well. So if the question “when do most people get engaged” has been burning in your mind, here were 2020’s most popular days of the year for proposals.

#1 - Valentine’s Day

In the past, Christmas Day has been the clear winner for the most popular day to get engaged. But this year, Valentine’s Day took the top spot as the most popular day to get engaged—possibly because in 2020, it took place before COVID swept the U.S. And, of course, Valentine’s Day is a holiday that’s all about love. We must admit, receiving a ring sure beats a box of chocolates or bouquet of red roses, doesn’t it?

#2 - New Year’s Day

Another popular engagement date that took place in the “before times” of 2020. It seems that holidays centered around celebrating and joy are most popular—and of course, New Year’s Day is no exception. Last year, New Year’s Day took the third spot for most popular proposal date. Technically, any proposal that occurs at or right after midnight constitutes a New Year’s Day engagement—and we know that many couples like to kick off the new year right, with a smooch and a proposal!

#3 - Christmas Day

The typical engagement season (Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day) centers around Christmastime. And while Christmas Day usually takes our top spot for the most popular day to get engaged, it dropped to third place this year—probably because Christmas looked a little different for many families in 2020. Still, this celebratory holiday was a popular date to pop the question. 

#4 - Christmas Eve

Some families exchange gifts on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day, so it seems logical that many proposals occur on this day as well. Also, Christmas Eve dinner is often a special occasion, so a proposal before, during, or after this meal adds to the joyful, holiday feeling.

#5 - Fourth of July (Independence Day)

Last year, July 4th took 10th place when it came to the most popular dates to get engaged. In 2020, it moved up quite significantly to number 5. Why? Most people have off from work on Independence Day and summertime in 2020 meant more opportunity for outdoor (and COVID-safer) activities and proposals. Plus, there’s nothing quite like a little summer lovin’, right?

While our top five most popular days to get engaged may not be too surprising, there were other surprises further down the list. For example, instead of dates surrounding the typical engagement season (New Year’s Eve, the weekends before or after Christmas), we saw many couples choose proposal dates in the spring, summer, and fall. Why? Well, since meeting, gathering, and celebrating outside is a safer idea than doing so indoors, many proposers likely chose dates when an outdoor proposal was possible. Dates like June 20th, September 12th, October 10th, and May 16th may seem random, but weekends during warm-weather months actually make a lot of sense. Clearly, outdoor proposals were huge in 2020 (31% of our respondents proposed in a scenic outdoor location) and couples used the nice weather in late spring, summer, and early fall to their advantage. Holidays like Father’s Day and three-day weekends like Indigenous People’s Day when outdoor (small and safe) gatherings may have been possible also appealed to proposers. 

In 2020, around 50% of proposals were planned in less than a month. Compare this to 2019, when 41% of proposal plans were made between 1 and 3 months beforehand. Because holidays and other special occasions may not have been family gathering opportunities due to COVID, proposers didn’t have to plan their big moment around these events. Proposals could be more low-key, private, and spontaneous, which is so special in its own right (sorry, Jumbotron!). So while in the past, proposals and holidays went hand-in-hand; in 2020, proposers had the flexibility to pick the right moment, a beautiful setting (hopefully with some nice weather thrown in), and popping the question in a romantic and intimate fashion.