“Wait, what?!” Surprise proposal & engagement in Bellagio on Lake Como


We got an email in the middle of February with this subject: Need help shooting an engagement. It looked like a quite common inquiry, but it became much more interesting than we've expected at the end.

Koji was explaining to us that he is taking a trip to Europe with his girlfriend Shannon in May, and during that time he needs to find a place to finally ask her the big question. He saw our proposal video from Amsterdam and wanted to have such a memory as well. Our big planning has begun.


The very first idea was Amsterdam as their first stop was just there, but because Shannon loves outdoors and climbing, we changed it to Excalibur climbing wall in Groningen. When we got this information, we proposed Edinburgh and Nordkette in Innsbruck and few days later Koji came up with an idea to do it in Liverpool, because Shannon is also a massive Beatles fan.

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So yes, the planning took some time but after we exchanged about 34 messages, Koji finally decided for the perfect location. He found Villa Melzi in Bellagio and we all agreed that it’s an ideal combination of the hilly scenery of the Bellagio peninsula together with a fairytale looking garden of this neo-classical Italian villa. We just knew that the proposal is going to be epic and unforgettable at this place.

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As you can see, there’s no proposal moment on the pictures and you might be asking “Why do they call it proposal then?”. It’s because this story is a little bit more complicated but on the other hand, those unexpected events actually made it more special for all of us. To be honest, the day before the proposal itself, we didn’t know what exactly are we going to shoot in Italy.

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We had our plane ticket, we had all the equipment ready, we were just looking for some last practical information to make our “mission” as smooth as possible and suddenly we got a message from Koji saying: “I think I may end up just doing it today.”. We were like “Wait, what?” (just like Shannon when Koji proposed). Well, if you’re interested to get know, what actually happened, take a look at the story below, where Shannon explains the rest.

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“Koji had his proposal planned for May 2nd, down to every last detail, including the exact spot where the photographer/videographers would hide to capture the moment once they arrived from Prague that day. This explains why on May 1st after arriving in Varenna, Koji was so upset that the weather report predicted “severe thunderstorms, torrential downpour” for the following day. I said what’s the big deal? Let’s just do our ‘fancy-exploring-Como-day’ today instead! He went for a walk to “calm down,” aka, call his mom, my mom, my sister, talk to townspeople, ask everyone if he should take advantage of the beautiful day or wait for the photographers to arrive on May 2nd as planned, despite the rain. Everyone in that town knew about the proposal but me. Well...we ended up boating to Bellagio on that sunny day and walked to Villa Melzi. In this spot, he was supposed to be handing me my sunglasses (BACKSTORY: We’ve been taking funny pictures mimicking @muradosmann #FollowMeTo in every place we’d traveled, with Koji handing me funny items). I setup for the shot, facing the other way, and turn around expecting...sunglasses! I was not-cute-out-loud-sobbing for the next 24 hours in joy. The photographers came the next day as planned, and instead did our AMAZING engagement photos/video, using the iPhone video proposal as the intro (you can watch it below). This was just absolutely perfect Koji, I love you so much.”

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This is the true story. We could fake it and ask these two to pretend the proposal to have pictures and video as planned, but their honest joy of the previous day was so strong, there was no need to do that.

Shannon & Koji, thank you again for your amazing energy and from the bottom of our hearts we wish you the best and especially love, because love is all you need. :)

See you soon!


Check out the gallery with all photos.