Katie and Erik

Image 1 of Katie and Erik

How We Met

Erik and I met through mutual friends years ago. At the time, he was dating someone else. A few years later, when both of us were single, Erik began his pursuit. He asked me out a number of times before I said yes. We actually laugh about this often. We officially started dating in January of 2016.

How They Asked

January 2021 marked 5 years together with the love of my life and this year we celebrated by pulling off the biggest surprise either one of us has ever been part of… We got married!!! 🍾 🥂

The Cover Story

Erik told both our families that he was going to propose to me up at Donner Lake on New Year’s Day. They all planned to be up there and surprise me when Erik walked me out on the dock.

The Actual Plan

We would skip the engagement process altogether, show up on the dock, reveal the surprise, and get married right then and there! The only two people who would know, other than Erik and I were Sean, our friend who married us, and Casey Simon, our photographer!

How It Really Happened

On the day of the big surprise, Erik and I went to breakfast. Stone House Cafe was where we had our first date so we thought it was only fitting to have breakfast there the day we would become husband and wife.

Our server had dropped off coffee and mimosas but hadn’t brought our food by yet. Erik and I were going over what exactly we would say when we revealed the surprise to our families. In the middle of that discussion, Erik pulled out a ring box (after struggling to get it unstuck from his pants 😂) got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him.

This was SO unexpected because the plan we had discussed was to skip this part and just go straight to the wedding/elopement. I immediately started crying. Erik got back up on his seat, hugged me, and kissed me.

Then, the bartender, who had just watched this all take place, came over and told Erik to get back on one knee so he could take a picture for us. He said we’d thank him later. Erik had already been so nervous and careful to not draw attention that he politely declined but the bartender wouldn’t have it. So we now have a couple of “remake” photos of his sweet, sweet proposal. One neither of us really remembered because we were both so nervous we basically blacked out. 😂

I asked Erik a few minutes later, “Did I even say yes?” He said, “You cried and nodded and I took that as a yes. But to be honest, I don’t even know what I said because I was so nervous.” We spent the next few minutes reliving it and trying to remember exactly what was said.

Then he took the ring – his grandmother’s original ring that was already the perfect size – out of the box, put it on my finger and I looked at it in awe and watched as my hand continued to shake from all the excitement. The server brought our food to the table but I couldn’t eat. I had completely lost my appetite. I was full of emotion and had no room left for food.

We sat there, laughing and smiling and talking about what had just happened and how we were going to explain this extra part of the surprise to our families in just a few hours. It was the most perfect breakfast!

And by the way, we did finally remember… When Erik got down on one knee, he said, “I want to make sure you still get a proper proposal, so Katie, will you marry me?” And, as he said, I cried and nodded in the same restaurant where we had our first date 5 years before. 😭🥰

Flash forward just a few hours (can you say, shortest engagement ever??), we drove up to Donner Lake and parked on the side of the road just above the dock and beach area where our families were hiding. I hiked my wedding dress up above my knees and put Erik’s big coat on so they couldn’t see it. We walked down on the dock, hand in hand, and stopped in front of them. They were all very confused as to why I was not more surprised to see them.

Erik began saying exactly what we had rehearsed during breakfast. He thanked them for coming and told them that they were all there because family is the most important thing to us. He said that because of COVID, no one knows what the future looks like and so while they thought they were there to witness a proposal, they were actually going to witness a marriage! Then, I took off the coat and handed it to Erik, revealing the wedding dress.

They all erupted in cheer! The looks on their faces were priceless. It was a combination of shock, happiness, love, excitement, and every other good feeling you can possibly think of.

I then told them that this surprise was the plan from the beginning but that Erik deviated from that plan and did, in fact, propose to me earlier that morning. I showed them the ring on my finger and they cheered again.

After the big reveal, lots of happy tears, and plenty of hugs, our families joined us up on the dock where we read our own vows and became HUSBAND and WIFE! 🥰

And, as if these surprises weren’t already enough, we had a few friends waiting back at our house where Erik told everyone to meet us for dinner. They also thought Erik was proposing and that they would be there to surprise me when we got home. The families were sworn to secrecy so the friends still had no idea.

Image 2 of Katie and Erik

When we arrived, Sean, our friend who married us, said “Can I have everyone’s attention? Introducing the newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Tom!” We walked through the door and everyone cheered. Most of them still thought we had just gotten engaged and that Sean had just messed up the introduction. But when they saw us – me in a wedding dress and Erik in a suit – they knew. One friend said, “Wait, did they get married?” And everyone went silent. Erik and I both put our hands up, flashed our wedding rings and everyone erupted in cheer again!

Image 3 of Katie and Erik

More happy tears. More hugs. A champagne toast and, finally, some food! The whole day was absolutely PERFECT. A month later and we are still on cloud 9. ☁️


Image 4 of Katie and Erik

Image 5 of Katie and Erik

Image 6 of Katie and Erik

Image 7 of Katie and Erik

Image 8 of Katie and Erik

Image 9 of Katie and Erik

Image 10 of Katie and Erik

Image 11 of Katie and Erik

Image 12 of Katie and Erik

Image 13 of Katie and Erik

Image 14 of Katie and Erik

Image 15 of Katie and Erik

Image 16 of Katie and Erik

Image 17 of Katie and Erik

Image 18 of Katie and Erik

Image 19 of Katie and Erik

Image 20 of Katie and Erik

Image 21 of Katie and Erik

Our Video

Special Thanks

Casey Simon
 | Photographer