In June-July of 2015, Megan and I had a long-awaited 6 country Europe trip planned. Months before the trip I had decided that it would make for a great opportunity to propose. Since we had been planning this trip for so long, I knew that Megan wouldn’t be expecting a proposal and that it would definitely come as a surprise.
After a bit of researching the location to propose in, the beauty of Prague quickly made it my top choice. The fact that Megan and I both have family roots going back to Czech Republic made it all the better of a choice.
I began researching photographers in Prague and loved the work of one particular photographer. Some of his photos from other engagements and weddings helped me decide on the exact location where I’d pop the question.
Czech Republic was the 4th country on our trip. We had minimal luggage and I didn’t want to have to worry about hiding a ring from Megan through four countries — nor did I want to risk having to get a ring through airport security and customs multiple times. We were to arrive in Czech Republic via train from Berlin, where we would be visiting Megan’s friend, Leonie. This was a perfect set-up to minimize the amount of time I would have to keep the ring on me and travel with it. I decided to purchase two rings, a traditional diamond engagement ring, and a secondary ring with a purple amethyst stone (that was affordable enough that I would be comfortable putting it in the mail). I mailed Leonie the amethyst ring. I was able to sneak it away from her on the final night in Berlin and take it with me on the train to Prague.
The Night Before
We arrived in Prague on a Thursday afternoon and my arrangement with the photographer was for a 1 hour photo session at 8am the following morning. He recommended the early start time to avoid crowds. Over dinner and drinks that evening I revealed to Megan that “I had a surprise activity for tomorrow” — after many failed guesses (her first guess was “are we going to the zoo!?” — random), I revealed that I had hired a professional photographer to capture photos of us in beautiful Prague. At this point in the story, most reactions are “why did you tell her that?!?” Well, I needed for Megan to have a reason to be dressed up and at the meeting point by 8am the next morning. Without this set-up, we would have had Megan at the bridge in a t-shirt and jeans (plus jacket for the cold), hair in a bun, wondering why her non-morning-person boyfriend woke her up at 7am insisting that they must be at the Prague Bridge by 8am. “To view the sunrise” wouldn’t even have been a valid excuse as the sunrise was at 4am that time of year.
The dinner conversation quickly took an amusing turn after the reveal:
M: What?? You hired a professional photographer? Why would you do that… that’s suspicious.
C: Prague is a beautiful city and I really wanted professional shots of us here.
M: Oslo was beautiful city. Tallinn and Berlin were beautiful cities. Why didn’t you hire professional photographers there?
C: They’re expensive! I chose Prague because it was the city we were most excited about taking pictures in. The views will be amazing.
M: Your dad just bought you a new camera. Why would you hire a professional photographer?
Suspicion levels were definitely rising and she was probing me with question after question, but I kept a straight face and kept justifying hiring a photographer in Prague. It actually worked out really well as Megan didn’t believe the photographer was really going to happen and that it was a diversion for a different planned surprise of some sort. The fact that it was also so early in the morning made a possible proposal unlikely in her mind.
On Friday morning we ate breakfast and then took a cab to the Charles Bridge. Megan admittedly didn’t believe the rumored photographer was real until we officially met him at the front of the bridge. After quick intros, we took pictures on the Charles Bridge for about 10 minutes, while making our way towards the final spot, a point off to the side of the Charles Bridge with a view of the bridge to the left and the Prague Castle across the Vltava River in the background. Once we arrived at the proposal spot, the photographer prepped for a new set of shots and gave a few verbal cues that made it pretty clear to Megan what was going to happen next. Since she could definitely see it coming now, that eliminated any hesitation on my part to drop to one knee and propose.
She said yes.
We finished the rest of our photoshoot, which quickly became our engagement shoot. We were then able to spend the last half of our trip enjoying Prague, Budapest & Madrid as a newly engaged couple.