• Ali Boundy


This is a story about how two of my best friends got engaged in Lake Tahoe, California, and I got to be a part of it.

Charlotte and I have been doing an annual boudoir photoshoot since I fell in love with my camera in 2016. Usually around Valentines Day we would spend an entire day doing different outfits, makeup, scenes, locations -and best of all- SELF LOVE, all wrapped up in a little bow as a gift for her boyfriend, Zach. This year she wanted something different though. I don't know what changed her mind, but she asked if we could do a winter family shoot of her, Zach and their pups in lieu of the usual boudoir day. Excited, I agreed.

Now, I feel like I should tell you guys that Zach and I are also close friends. Before Charlotte got certified as a personal trainer, I used to train with Zach. I probably like him better than I like Charlotte, but don't worry, she knows that. We've been in the same fantasy hockey league, attended hockey games, and he's always down to be Char's arm candy when I need a couple to model for my wild creative ideas.

A few weeks after the decision, I got a text from Zach:

Over the course of the next few weeks, Zach had the prettiest ring designed by Point No Point Studio and we spent lots of time trying to make it the perfect day. In order to text about it without Char getting suspicious, I had a code to see if the coast was clear. Basically, I would propose an outrageous Fantasy Hockey trade, and he would agree to the trade or decline it based on whether or not he was with Charlotte and available to speak at that time. Zach, if you're reading this, I'd like to casually remind you that if we ever do get the NHL season back, this trade would never ever ever happen.

The hardest part was trying to make it special without being suspiciously over the top. Char wanted to keep what she thought was just a winter family shoot REALLY casual and I was just not having that. If Zach had anything he wanted to implement to make it more special, I found a way to make Charlotte think it was HER idea.

One of her favorite restaurants in Tahoe is Garwoods and Zach wanted to surprise her with some more friends waiting there to celebrate. I just casually reminded her that Garwoods was close to the place I wanted to shoot and she was in. Her idea, right? Easy.

And then we had a shipping snafu with the ring. Zach shipped it to my house, because Char is a bloodhound who could sniff out any sort of Tom Foolery in the household. We didn't, however, think to put my name on the shipping label.

Zach and Charlotte work at the same gym. I train with Charlotte, so there were some exchanged whispers about the plan while Char was in the restroom. The next day, I went to the gym, trained with Charlotte, then told Zach to meet me at the post office soon after. I needed his ID to pick up the package, since my name wasn't on it. Successfully we got it, he got to see the ring, and I got to hide it in my dresser drawer. Things were happening!!!!!

Naturally, with something this big, Zach knew Char would want all of her people involved and in attendance for the big ask. This part was easy to trick her into thinking it was her own idea. Char and I's other best friend Shelby is a phenomenal makeup artist, so I told Char to ask her to do makeup for the shoot - a no brainer. To Char's surprise, Shelb actually tagged along for the hike and the shoot. Additionally, our friend Chrissy is a fantastic florist and elopement designer, so she thought up an intimate little set up and came along too.

I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story...


After the proposal, we went to Garwoods where a handful of their friends were waiting to congratulate them over some Wet Woodys. Char cried a lot. It was great.

Dream Team-

Ring: Point No Point Studio

Makeup: Shelby Lundquist

Campfire Planning: Wild Rose Floral

Restaurant: Garwoods

Location: Lake Tahoe, California

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