At dawn on a cold November morning in Prague, I had the happiest moment in my life. My best friend, the woman I love more than anything in the world, agreed to be my wife. On the Charles Bridge with the rising sun muted by clouds and with the vista of one of the most beautiful cities in the world as a backdrop, I asked the question that I’d been itching to ask for a while. And I got the best answer in the world. “Yes!”.
Well, there was a “Nooooo waaaaaay!” first, and not quite what I was expecting, but definitely the most Melissa thing she could have said. It was the perfect moment.
Even better, I was able to capture the moment. I had my camera and tripod with me, under the guise of taking a time lapse of the city as the sun came up. I tried a few different spots looking for a nice shot, and when I found it, I set the camera clicking away. After a little convincing, we jumped in front to make faces and take some funny shots. While Melissa was busy poking her tongue out, I brought out the ring, and transformed from a boyfriend to a fiancé.
I had worried for a long time about proposing, which sounds weird, but I imagine it’s something a lot of people go through. I’d found the perfect girl, and I wanted to give her the world. I wanted the perfect ring, the perfect proposal. She should have a perfect story and it would fit neatly into our perfect life together. It took me a long time to realise that because I had the perfect girl, WHATEVER I did would be the perfect proposal. The ring would be perfect because I had chosen it for her. So, on my way to Germany to reunite with Melissa, I asked her father for her hand in marriage. We were standing in Cars Land in Disney’s California Adventure Park, because it was the first time I’d been alone with him since I’d crashed their family holiday. In New York a week later, after doing a lot of research and getting a lot of good recommendations, I found the most beautiful diamond and got it set into an elegant ring, perfect for Melissa tiny spider fingers.
I knew that I wanted the moment to be everything that she had hoped for, so I was trying to think of something grand. I didn’t really have the money for a carving “will you marry me?” into the moon with a giant laser, so I went with Plan B. We were in Germany partly so we could see Europe, and we had been planning some small trips. We were thinking about going to Paris before Christmas, but I didn’t really want to mix that experience with us getting engaged. When we get there Paris will be romantic enough on its own. We had both heard so much about the beauty of Prague, so when we decided in a weekend visit I knew I would have my perfect moment.
The hardest thing about being on the other side of the world to your family and friends is not being able to share moments like this with them. Skype helps, but we wanted so desperately to be able to toast and laugh and embrace with the people we care about the most, the people who have witnessed our relationship grow, the people who love our love. So while it’s hard not having them in the moment, we can’t wait to get home to them and share it properly.
Okay, you can now stop crying / vomiting over the sweetness of it all.