Catie Bossard received the surprise of a lifetime during a recent trip to Vail, Colorado, with her boyfriend, Zach Baldwin, who pulled off a romantic marriage proposal after two months of secret planning.
After the initial engagement, 24-year old fitness coach Bossard experienced yet another moment of surprise when she learned that her beau had planned their wedding to take place that same exact day — complete with family, friends, and all the wedding day essentials.
“I was not expecting the proposal that weekend at all, but I knew Zach and I would be getting engaged soon,” Bossard tells The Knot exclusively. “We had been talking about engagement since we moved to Denver together in February. I had a bit of input in the ring, but Zach did all the designing with Douly’s Jewelers in Denver. Nevertheless, it is a moment I will never forget. Now a wedding on the same day… I really never saw that coming!”
It took a moment for Bossard to accept Baldwin’s second proposal. She finally responded, “Let’s do it!” when she viewed her family members and close friends from Texas walking their way on the mountain.
“Zach had to have asked me about three times, but it never really sank in until that moment when I started to piece together what was happening,” Bossard recalls. “My thoughts were, if he managed to get everyone here and is asking, he must really have it all together, so why not?”
The couple’s photographer, Landon Momberg, captured the whirlwind proposal and wedding on-camera, telling The Knot that Baldwin – his old college roommate – had initially approached him to photograph the proposal.
Not long after, Baldwin – a 25-year old account manager – reached out to his buddy once again to explain he was planning a surprise wedding. “He told me to hide at the top of the mountain and follow them to get pictures of him down on one knee,” Momberg recalls of the proposal. “We got up on top of the mountain at noon, and Zach and Catie got up there around 1 p.m., went back down the mountain to change and hang out, and went back up top to do the wedding around 4 p.m.”
Baldwin came up with the idea for the proposal/wedding plan while having dinner with a coworker. “He was joking about having our family all in town and knocking it all out in one day,” he tells us of his work friend’s idea. “When I thought about it more and more, it just seemed too perfect. I was very well aware that Catie never wanted to plan a wedding. We are not a traditional couple, so why have a traditional wedding? At the time, I really did not think it was as big of a deal as I do now. I just wanted to make Catie happy.”
The groom’s plan played out perfectly. Momberg tells The Knot that the scenic location made the events easy to shoot. “The scenery/weather was incredible, and everyone was so excited for Zach and Catie; that made the shots totally authentic,” the talented photographer recalls. “Everything flowed really well that day, and things just lined up – all thanks to Zach’s planning and getting everyone there for the big surprise.”
Logistics proved to be challenging for Baldwin during his hush-hush planning. “My first step after getting permission from the moms [was starting] a Facebook group called, ‘The Big Surprise,'” he shares. “We did most of the logistics on there for traveling. I cannot tell you how much time I spent on the phone with Catie’s mom, sister, and friends. We were very careful not to text unless I gave them the go-ahead that Catie was at work or I was traveling. Catie is still surprised I was able to contain the secret.”
Now that she’s had time to reflect on her husband’s surprise and their mountaintop wedding, Bossard wouldn’t change a thing. She admits to having no plans for a second ceremony. “I am very satisfied with our small and intimate wedding,” she tells The Knot. “We have discussed doing a big backyard BBQ celebration in Texas with more family and friends, and something small with Zach’s family in Iowa, but definitely not another wedding. It was the perfect day, and I would not have done it any other way.”
Momberg is impressed his friend pulled-off the well-planned fete. “Zach took a really big risk by arranging everything behind Catie’s back, but it was really thoughtful and they couldn’t be happier to be engaged and married in the same day!” the photographer tells us.
The bride describes the proposal and nuptials as a “modern day fairytale,” sharing that people have been shocked by the couple’s unique wedding story. “No one can wrap their mind around the fact that he pulled off a surprise wedding in two months,” Bossard concludes to The Knot. ” All I can say is that Zach is a one-of-a-kind man, and I am so happy to spend my life with him.”