Nisha and Vivek

Proposal Ideas Plitviče Lakes National Park, Croatia

How We Met

We had been working in the same office for nearly a year, and despite Vivek’s consistent efforts to get my attention, I simply refused to talk to him. Yes, I didn’t make this easy at all, but Vivek never really gave up. One day, a colleague who had just changed jobs called me out of the blue and asked me if I could get Vivek’s number for her. I’m still not quite sure why she chose to ask me to do this, but THAT was the best thing that could have happened to us. As you can imagine, it was the start of a long conversation on Facebook Messenger, which quickly moved to a late night chat on WhatsApp. From stealing quiet glances at each other at work (no one knew we were a ‘thing’ then) to questions like “have you tried the chocolate bar at The Dubai Mall yet?” (I love chocolate and he knew that), the story of us had just begun! Vivek was always the first to get to work and would leave me little post it notes saying ‘Hi! :)’ and enough M&Ms to keep me going all day (what can I say, he’s thoughtful like that). We were still trying to figure out what it was we felt for each other when the annual office Christmas party came around. As if it was the most natural thing in the world, Vivek asked me what colour dress I was planning to wear. Not sure what he was getting at, I said I haven’t decided for sure and asked why he wanted to know. Excitedly, he sent me a picture of different coloured ties and asked me if any of them would match my dress. I can still remember how we exchanged secret smiles sitting across from each other throughout the party. It wasn’t until a couple of months later when I asked him the big ‘what are we?’ question, did he answer with “isn’t it obvious that you’re my girlfriend?”. We had not officially said it till then, and on 6th March 2015, over chicken shawarmas in the car, he asked me ever so cutely if I’d be his girlfriend. Naturally, I said yes. I can’t explain why I felt the way I did so early into our relationship, but it was right at the beginning of it all that I just KNEW he was the one for me.

How He Asked

An ardent traveller, Croatia was on my list of places to see in the world for a while now. A few months ago, I asked Vivek what he thought about a road trip through the country in the summer, and he happily said let’s do it. After a lot of planning, we set off on our much-awaited vacay – flying into Zagreb. Little did I know, he had spoken to my parents before we took off and asked for their permission to pop the big question during our trip. A couple of days into our trip, I took a photo of Vivek at the Diocletian’s Palace in Split, which he posted on his Instagram account and tagged #CroatiaFullOfLife, the Croatian National Tourist Board. They, in turn, reposted his picture on their Instagram account, started following him and messaged him directly asking where he had been in Croatia so far, and where he was going next. Vivek told them we were heading to Dubrovnik and then driving back to Zadar before our last stop – the stunning UNESCO protected Plitviče Lakes National Park – where he was planning to propose.

Nisha and Vivek's Engagement in Plitviče Lakes National Park, Croatia

The team at the Croatian National Tourist Board got really excited and asked if there was anything they could do to help. Vivek told them he pretty much had everything under control, but they insisted on at least getting us the entrance passes for the park, which Vivek humbly accepted. A couple of days before the big day, Tomislov from the social media department of the board texted Vivek and asked if they could feature the proposal on their social media channels to which Vivek said they could definitely do that. They also asked him not to make plans after the proposal so that they could take us out for lunch to celebrate followed by the longest and fasted zipline in Europe, Beware of the Bear at Pazi Medo. On 13th July 2017, we left the beautiful town of Zadar around 9AM and reached Entrance 1 of Plitviče Lakes National Park about 2 hours later. Surprisingly, the weather was also on our side that day as it was quite cool for July. We were greeted at the entrance by 3 members of the Croatian National Tourist Board who walked us through the most scenic route of the park allowing us to stop and take pictures as and when we wanted to. The board members told Vivek they had the perfect spot for the proposal and asked him to hold off till they got there. After walking for a couple of hours, we reached the point where you take a ferry ride back to the entrance of the park and were told that we would be leaving the park shortly to enjoy a lovely traditional lunch together. I didn’t even notice one of the members walking well ahead of us and stopping the crowd from one end while another did the same from the other side. Nikki, a friend who was travelling with us and taking so many lovely pictures of us throughout the trip, seized this opportunity and told us to pose for a picture because the place was just so beautiful. Before I knew what was happening, the team member up ahead of us told us to turn towards her for another photo and when I turned I found Vivek on his knee with a ring! Not expecting this at all, I tried to pull Vivek up all the while repeating “what’s wrong with you?!”. When it finally hit me, I quietly asked him if he asked my mama (and my dad of course), and he said yes of course and waited as patiently as he could for me to say yes, which I finally did when he asked again “will you marry me?”.

We are so thankful to our families, friends and the Croatian National Tourist Board for all their love and support! 10 days later, I’m still getting used to the ring on my finger and cannot believe I’m going to be spending the rest of my life with this amazing man. I’ve been told by many that I’m a lucky, lucky woman – and I couldn’t agree more! This little message he left me on a 10 kuna note before we left the country says it all..

Special Thanks

Nadia Ali Khan
Photographer