I proposed to my then-girlfriend Krysten during our vacation to Rome & Paris. Both our trip and my idea to propose had been independently planned for quite a while. As I tried to think of a great way to propose, I realized none could be better than in Rome. Krysten had been to Italy before and I knew it was her favorite place in the world. Even though I expected to like Paris more (and I did), I couldn’t pass up the chance to propose in her favorite place.
Now that I had settled on Rome, I had to decide exactly when and where it would happen. Having never been there before, this was a little tough. I did ask for some possible locations from a close friend who had lived there, but she simply said the entire city was beautiful and there wouldn’t be any bad choices. I eventually decided on our last night. Our first couple of days were pretty busy with sightseeing, but the last day would be more relaxed and we had dinner reservations at a very nice restaurant.
So I spent the first couple of days in Rome a little anxious and very thankful Krysten hadn’t yet had a reason to peek in the hotel safe where her ring sat. On the morning of the last day – the big day – we had a change of plans. The restaurant wasn’t near too much we wanted to see, and our hotel couldn’t tell us anything good about it. But there were supposed to be lots of nice places to eat near Piazza Navona, a very beautiful place we had visited earlier. So we got a little dressed up that night and headed over. We found a very nice place about a block away for dinner and a bottle of wine. Afterward we walked back through the Piazza, and I said I’d like to get a picture of us in front of the big fountain that sits in the middle, called Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, or Fountain of the Four Rivers. I thought this was a perfect way to make sure we’d always have a picture of that moment, without giving away what I had up my sleeve – or in my pocket, actually.
I must say that I knew proposing so far from home, in a non-English speaking country, would present certain challenges. One would be getting the perfect picture. So far in Rome we’d had good luck finding people who were friendly and spoke enough English that we could ask them to take a picture. That night I frantically scanned the Piazza, looking for someone to ask for the most important photos of our entire trip. And good English was more important than ever, because as I handed them the camera, I wanted to quickly tell them what was about to happen so they weren’t surprised by it too. But of course that night I had a hard time finding someone. It was a little late, and the Piazza was not quite packed like we had seen it earlier during the day. We were looking for so long that eventually Krysten was ready to give up, saying that the photo with this fountain wasn’t that important. And I couldn’t tell her why it was so much more than that! I finally found a very nice lady who was happy to take the camera, but she didn’t speak a word of English and so she had no idea what she was about to capture.
Although she suspected it might be on this trip, Krysten was still a little surprised that night when I got down on one knee and took out her ring. Through a few tears she said yes and gave me a hug. By now the woman with our camera realized what was happening too. She snapped a few more pictures for us and then gave it back with a big smile on her face that would be understandable in any language. Everything might not have happened exactly as I expected, but I wouldn’t change a thing about that night. What had already been a great trip became the best one of my life.