When Texan woman Mary-Cathrin McCarthy woke on April 6, she didn’t know she’d go to bed a married woman.
The 26-year-old actress knew she’d be wearing her wedding dress, but she thought it was for a quick pre-wedding photo shoot.
So, she got dressed up, had her hair and make-up done and headed to a nearby hotel for photos – only to be greeted by a video of the groom asking her to marry him – there and then!
Her fiancee, Brandon Cassata, had pulled the wedding date forward seven months in order to stop her stressing over the wedding arrangements.
“I just can’t even handle it,” McCarthy, 27, of Fort Worth, Texas, told ABCNews.com. “It was just the most beautiful, perfect day ever.”
Cassata proposed last July, having met Mary-Cathrin in a wedding party where he was the best man and she was the maid of honour. They set a wedding date – November 2, 2014 – but major surgery, a Cancer-stricken family member and a job change meant the most Mary-Cathrin had time for was buying the dress.
She didn’t have the time or energy to plan the rest of the wedding – and the stress was starting to take its toll.
“I’ve seen her stressed out before, and I don’t like seeing her like that,” Brandon told ABCNews.com.
So, he decided to take matters into his own hands and, with the help of Mary-Cathrin’s parents, started organising a surprise wedding.
“We all kind of agreed and said, ‘Hey, let’s do this for her.‘”
Brandon, Mary-Cathrin’s parents and her brother Tim started holding covert wedding planning meetings and, in just three months, the wedding was planned down to the last detail.
“The last few weeks were the toughest, because she was in between jobs and had the weekends off, so I had to sneak around to get my tux and get everything done,” says Brandon.
When her wedding day finally arrived, Mary-Cathrin arrived at the planned wedding location, a local hotel, dressed in her wedding gown and ready to take lots of bridal photos. Instead, she was greeted by a recorded video of Brandon asking her to marry him immediately.
Instead, she was greeted with a recorded video message from her fiance asking her to be his bride that day. Naturally, she said yes!
The whole thing was streamed to 70 guests inside the hotel who were patiently awaiting the bride’s arrival. When she walked in, she was met by Brandon and her parents and asked, “‘Mary-Cathrin, will you marry me today?’
‘Of course,’” was Mary-Cathrin’s reply.
“I would not have changed one thing,” McCarthy told ABCNews.com.
“To be honest, and I know this is a shock to a lot of people, there was not one ounce of my body that was mad or sad or had regrets. I was so full of love and appreciation.”
“I don’t know how they did it,” said Mary-Cathrin. “I’m usually pretty quick on picking up these things, but I had no idea.”