How We Met: Jesse and I actually met at Myrtle Beach, SC, right on the cusp of age 19. We had both just finished our freshman year of college. I was with four of my girlfriends from my hometown, and he was with his best friend from home. Believe it or not, we actually met talking through car windows! This happened while we were driving up and down “the strip,” which is the main street that runs up and down the beach town. I actually had another boyfriend at the time, but my girlfriends and I thought these boys were so cute, so we hung out with them a little that week. Amidst hanging out, Jesse and I discovered that we went to rival universities, UNC and NC State, which are located about 20 minutes apart from each other.
Fast forward about a year and a half, I am freshly single, and Jesse and I run into each other at a NC State vs. UNC football game! We exchanged numbers, started hanging out and chatting constantly, and then the rest is history!
how they asked: Jesse and I had gone to look at rings back in February, but we were both in school, and I knew the proposal wouldn’t happen for quite a while. He told me that he just wanted to get a general idea so that when he started looking that he would know what I would want (no surprise that I wanted lots of flashy-ness and bling!). When it came summertime, I was studying for the CPA exam constantly. I had decided in the back of my mind that he was definitely going to propose when we went to Atlanta at the end of July. I just knew it. I had been sharing my feelings about this to my friend, and bridesmaid, Taylor, and she totally agreed with me. Little did I know, she was scheming with Jesse and telling him everything I said to her. She and I talked about it all of the time because she was also expecting a ring any day, and we were both too excited! After we got engaged, I learned that Taylor had seen the ring and knew about the timing of Jesse’s proposal for weeks before it happened.
The week we got engaged was the week of July 4th, and we had made plans to be at the beach that week with Matt and Taylor. Getting engaged this week had crossed my mind about a month before, but with Taylor and Jesse’s scheming, they quickly made me believe that Jesse did not have a ring yet and that there was no way it would happen then. SNEAKY LITTLE PEOPLE! I have told them since then that they are never allowed to lie to me like they did those few weeks!
The week of the proposal, Taylor and Matt got engaged on Monday, June 30th, and we were thrilled for them! This helped the plan between Jesse and Taylor because they now had an excuse to tell me that we all wanted to get dressed up and celebrate Matt and Taylor’s engagement. Taylor had expressed to me that she really wanted some nice pictures at sunset before we went to dinner and that she was going to bring her dad’s fancy camera and that I was in charge of being the photographer. I was so excited to take on this role! I love having my own picture taken, so I knew I was up for the job.
When Wednesday, July 2nd came around, I had no idea what was in store. Jesse and I spent the day at the beach as Matt and Taylor were supposed to arrive later that afternoon. Looking back I now understand why he seemed to be acting strange, but at the time I was so oblivious! When Matt and Taylor arrived, we were all just hanging out at the house, and around 6 o clock, Jesse asked me why I hadn’t started getting ready yet. We weren’t supposed to leave the house until 7:45, but I guess he knows my high maintenance self, and assumed I would take a while. “I’m not going to curl my hair, so it should only take me about an hour to shower and get ready!” I exclaimed. Then Taylor jumps in begging me to curl my hair so that she could curl hers at the same time (I remain clueless to what is going on). “FIIIINEEEEEE,” I remember saying, “I’ll curl my hair too.” So we both head upstairs while I go to help her pick out her outfit for “their” special photo session. She was planning on wearing a dress, and when I told her I would probably wear jeans, you can imagine what she said. “NOOOO, please wear a dress too! That way Jesse will be dressier and Matt will feel more comfortable about dressing up.” (Apparently I am extremely gullible and easy to manipulate because this seemed like a perfect explanation to me).
After Taylor and I got dressed and were adding finishing touches to our hair, Jesse walks in wearing a dressy button up and slacks, and asks if his outfit is too dressy (little did I know, this is exactly what he planned to wear the whole time). I told him I thought he could wear jeans if he wanted, while Taylor insisted he didn’t. For the next fifteen minutes, this scene replayed itself, while Jesse kept coming in with different outfits, each time asking what I thought, and each time I kept saying, “I don’t care baby, that looks nice too.” However, Taylor’s response was “NO” every time, insisting he wear the first dressy outfit. After about 5 outfit changes, Jesse slips back into his original outfit, sticking to his plan the whole time.
As we got in the truck, I remember being annoyed because Jesse still hadn’t told me how nice I looked (which is rare because he ALWAYS tries to tell me I look beautiful, being the sweetheart he is). In addition, on the way to the picture spot, which was also at the restaurant where we had reservations, he looks at me saying “I can’t believe you made me wear this dressy of an outfit.” To this, I react saying “UMMMMM HELLO! Taylor is the one that made you wear that!”
When we arrive at the sight, the sunset was PERFECT. I was so excited to be able to take pictures of the newly engaged Matt and Taylor, until Jesse refused to let me touch the camera. I remember even trying to grab the camera bag from him, but he insisted on doing it himself. So, I watched and sat back while he took pictures of Matt and Taylor for about 5 minutes, and then wrapped it up, as our dinner reservation was in ten minutes. As they finished, I handed my phone to Taylor to ask if she would take a picture of me and Jesse, as this sunset was too good to miss and we were dressed so nicely. She wouldn’t take my phone however, and insisted she take the picture using her dad’s camera and that she would email me the pictures. I really wanted to just take it on my phone (so I could obviously post it to Instagram right then), but she insisted. Little did I know, I was falling straight into their plan.
The first pictures Taylor took of us, Jesse had his arm around me with THE RING IN THE PICTURE! It was right beside my head, and I had NO idea. After a few poses, Jesse whispered in my ear to look over my shoulder, where I catch a glimpse of something VERY sparkly. I jump around and Jesse is already on his knee, sobbing. Y’all, he was bawling. So, naturally I start bawling too and my hands go immediately to my face as I gasp. Jesse finally made out the words, “Katie Ellis, will you marry me?” I was speechless. For those of y’all that know me, it is very hard for someone to leave me without words, and instead of saying “yes” I just barely got out the word “okay” while my shaking hand moved so that he could place the ring on my finger. The next thing we did was hug for what seemed like a five minutes as we were both just crying into each other’s arms, when finally Jesse says “please kiss me, already!” Of course I did and then proceed to jump, scream and shout, while Taylor is getting all of this on camera. The pictures she took will always be such a treasured gift to me, as they capture the moment so perfectly!
After I realized she was taking pictures, we all hugged and headed into the waterfront restaurant, Pogies, where the waitresses were expecting us and take us to our special table, already prepped with champagne and set outside with the perfect view. The people at the restaurant had seen everything and all came by to congratulate us! It was the most perfect night of my life, and I could not stop smiling. I am so happy that God blessed me with such a perfect man to be my husband.