Elliot and Kaci’s Surprise Proposal in Prague

“The course of true love never did run smooth” William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Prague ProposalHow We Met: It was an accident, I wasn’t looking for it, he wasn’t on the make; it was a perfect storm.

On the day Elliot and I first met, the receptionist at the Interior Design & Architecture firm I work at was out sick, so I was covering her position. Elliot, working for a Commercial Real Estate firm, came into the office for advice from my boss on a potential area his company was renovating. I, doing my job, offered him coffee. We made eye contact and I got flustered, but didn’t say anything more than, “Would you like creamer with your coffee?”. That was September.

Over the next three months, Elliot seemed to pop by the office often, and for very, very small things. I remember thinking – why doesn’t this guy just mail this stuff to our office? We never spoke, but I remember his presence always made me smile and I continued to blush.

Around Christmas, at the same office we first met — by some strange twist of fate or merely Elliot’s courteous hearted nature, no one can ever really know — Elliot brought my boss a holiday cookie, and another one specifically for me. Flattered, I noticed that the cookie had my name on it – which was odd, because I was unaware he had even knew my name.

Finally, in January, he called our office, and I answered. Recognizing his narrow window of opportunity to grab my attention; he drew me into a conversation… and a lunch.

Later that January, we had the “pleasure” of going our official first date: kayaking. As Shakespeare eloquently said, true love never did run smooth, and this date was no exception. Our kayaking adventure was on the coldest day of the season, ending in disaster. After nearly plunging into the water, and having to scale frozen banks to avoid icebergs & icy waterfalls. Elliot admitted that he lost the car keys. So we had to hitchhike. Although the date was a debacle, it was a memorable adventure nonetheless, and we were connected at the hip from that day forward. ​

How He Asked: Our fairytale began on a typical weeknight in Grand Rapids, Michigan; I was headed to Elliot’s house for our usual routine. We had been dating for over year, and shared this tradition where would cook dinner together and share the day’s excitements. When I arrived, instead of the common grocery list, he had prepared a “packing list” for me with the header “Every Trip Begins With Kay.”

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It was littered with nonsensical things, such as eight popsicle sticks, a passport and a hair net, socks (of all assortments), shorts, boots, and coats. He said I needed to complete my packing that night. Taking no hesitation given Elliot’s enjoyment for surprises, I went home and packed EVERY suitcase I possessed, with about every possible outfit, being sure to include eight popsicle sticks.

A few days passed with no word spoken about the list. Strangely, everything was normal; we went to work as usual, we ate dinner at usual…until Wednesday November 16, 2011.

Prague Surprise ProposalDetermined to avoid ostentation and make it a special, personal surprise, Elliot found a perfect pretext: at 10 AM, Elliot spontaneously appeared at my work. Surprised, I asked why he was not at his job too? With a pleased grin and an intricate plan up his sleeve, he asked me to join him, because “We were going on a trip.”

Outside I found Elliot’s car packed full with luggage, and his mother, our smiling chauffeur. With high anticipation, we all drove to the Chicago Airport. Elliot and I boarded a plane to New York City. Keeping with the event of the surprise, Elliot kept me blind from indicators of where we were heading, accompanied with headphones to block my ears from hearing any hints.

In New York, we embarked on another leg of the journey. I knew we were boarding an international flight, however had no idea where we were heading; nevertheless, eight hours later, I realized we were in Prague! We were in the Czech Republic!!!

After we touched down in Prague, we were whisked to a lovely hotel tucked away at the base of a castle. We were warmly greeted with an espresso, hot towels, and a cheesecake that we thought was a fine substitute for airplane fare.We then wandered the streets in awe of the lovely city.

Prague is an elegant city built by prosperity and preserved by poverty, perfect for storyteller endings. It was founded during the Gothic era and came into its own by the Renaissance; this contributes to a wealth of breathtaking architecture, ranging from dark and gothic castles to colorful and whimsical churches and houses.One can endlessly wander down the beautiful cobble streets and view the sites and architecture. With this, Prague is a city of romance and history. Some call it the “golden city,” while others claim it is the heart of Europe.

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By the end first evening, we were famished. Elliot had arranged a romantic dinner local restaurant tucked near the base of the Charles Street Bridge, a famously historic monument that crosses the Vltava River.After dinner, and still no proposal, we headed back to the hotel. Exhausted, I was ready to turn in for the evening, but Elliot insisted we go out again for “the best gelato in all of Europe.”

We drank in the romantic city as we strolled through the Old Town bridge tower, often considered one of the most astonishing civil gothic-style buildings in the world. As we crossed over the Vlatra River on the Charles Street Bridge, we passed by the continuous alley of baroque statues that decorated the view of the street lights reflecting on the river. Elliot paused and asked a passing tourist to snap a photo of us. In that moment, a violinist began to serenade us as he dropped down on his knee and asked me to spend the remainder of my life with him. I started crying and he was getting nervous (Apparently Elliot had acquired a vendor’s license from the country of the Czech Republic just so that he could get the opportunity to propose to me on the bridge. The license was for ten minutes…anything beyond that we could have been in trouble with the law since the local police did not know about it and they looped the bridge every ten minutes).

Surprised, sleep-deprived, excited, and overwhelmed; I said YES!

It was so exceptional; Elliot had hired someone videotape the ordeal and he even proposed with his grandmother’s ring, which was especially beautiful and significant. As it turned out, there was no gelato, instead a delicious proposal.

Weddings are culturally valorized as incredibly significant events in our lives, and our journey to Prague and the memories we cherished there are of no exceptions.

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Wedding photo by: Abbey Moore Photography