Katie and Ben met in college at the University of Alabama through mutual friends, but Ben did not think he had a chance with her at the time, so they remained friends until they were both out of college and she was just beginning grad school. At that time, Ben was living and working in Huntsville as she was starting her Masters program at Emory University in Atlanta. They began to text a little more throughout that summer of 2013, so once a quick work trip came up for Ben to go to Atlanta, they decided to meet up for dinner together. Ben says he will never forget the strapless sundress and wedges she wore on that day -- he couldn't miss his chance. Since then, they have been together for 6 years!
In January 2014, after they had only been dating for a few months, Ben left to go to Quantico, VA to enter Officer Candidate School for the Marine Corps. Ten weeks later he graduated and commissioned into the USMC, and one of his favorite memories is driving down from Quantico in his uniform to meet her in Raleigh for the weekend. He wore the uniform because he definitely wanted to try and impress her. That weekend went by like a blur, and that’s a weekend that he will forever remember with her. AWW!!
Another favorite memory is when Katie visited him in Pensacola, FL while he was beginning flight school in March 2015. They decided to adopt a dog from the local animal shelter, and he remembers spending the rest of the week long visit just being cuddled up in his apartment, spending time with their new dog Koa (new to them, she was 6 years old at the time) and watching movies. He could go skydiving with her, or binge watch Friends/Parks and Rec all day with her. Whatever they were doing, if it was together -- it was perfect.
Fast forward to this June. Koa is now a little over 10 years old, Katie has completed her Masters program, and they are living together in their historic home in downtown New Bern, NC. Ben had just finished some flight training, and they were planning on taking a 2 week vacation to the Blue Ridge mountains in north GA for a little R & R. Based on their conversations and discussions about engagements in the previous year or so, she had to know that popping the question was going to happen soon. When Ben randomly asked on vacation if she’d like to get super dressed up and go to a fancy dinner at a fancy winery at sunset, she replied with a questioning “...sure.” As they got to the winery and dinner went along, he became more and more nervous, trying to make conversation flow with a beautiful ring in his jacket pocket. After dinner, they walked up to the top floor balcony and looked over the winery and the hills, this is where he got on one knee and asked her to marry him. While she may have been expecting it, it was absolutely perfect! Katie absolutely loves the ring and can’t stop staring at it! Ben says he is a lucky guy and is excited for the memories to come in the future!
They don’t have wedding plans yet -- they are giving themselves a little time to just enjoy being engaged! They will likely get married at a winery! Congrats Katie and Ben!!