There was a golden moment on July 11 at Montana’s Glacier National Park around sunset — and not because of the sky’s magic-hour glow.
Kadie Latimer, a 28-year-old aesthetician from Kalispell, Montana, thought she and her boyfriend were modeling for local photographers. Little did she know that Joel Booth, a 30-year-old dentist, had secretly asked them to help surprise his girlfriend of nearly three years with a special marriage proposal.
During the shoot, photographers Rachel Catlett and Jeremiah Spray distracted the young woman by asking her to pose looking over her shoulder. Meanwhile, Booth sneaked behind her with an adorable co-conspirator, a 9-week-old golden retriever.
When Latimer saw her boyfriend holding the puppy, she assumed the pooch had wandered away from a nearby campground. But he told her, “It’s our dog.”
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“He hands her to me and asks, ‘Don’t you want to see what her name is?’” she told TODAY. “So I read her collar and it said, ‘Kadie, will you marry me?’”
“Then he got down on one knee and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Is this really happening?’" she said.
At that moment, Booth called for his adult golden retriever, Jackson, who was supposed to run over with the engagement ring. But the dog caught wind of a squirrel and ran off into the woods. So instead, a friend dashed over with the ring before wrangling Jackson.
“Jackson was supposed to carry the ring,” Booth told TODAY. “We practiced it many times and he failed.”
Because Booth is a “jokester,” Latimer wasn’t sure if the proposal was just part of the photo shoot. She even asked, “Are you joking?” But he slid a diamond ring on her finger and asked, “Will you marry me?” She instantly said yes.
“I was pretty sure she would say yes,” Booth said. “But you’re still nervous doing that because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”
Now the couple is excited to start a life together with Jackson and their newest edition, Bowie, named for the spot where they got engaged: Bowman Lake.
Booth said he’s grateful to everyone who helped keep the surprise a secret, including the staff at his dental office and the photographers, whom he called “incredible.”
Catlett said she and her husband loved photographing the proposal and even cried during the “magical moment.”
“It was super special for us, as Jeremiah proposed with our own golden retriever, Brinkley, seven years ago, so it brought back a lot of memories,” she told TODAY. “We had a blast photographing them both, as they are beautiful people inside and out.”