Katie and Levi

How We Met

I was 14 years old when I first met Levi, and he was 15. We first met at a church event and were introduced through mutual friends who insisted that I had to meet the cute new boy they were all raving about. Our introduction was quick and passing, but Levi shares from this moment on he had a “huge crush” on me. Almost an entire year later, that same mutual friend had a birthday party in the summer of 2013. I went into the party knowing he would be there, knowing he had a thing for me at one point, and knowing how shy and awkward I was at now age 15. I was preparing myself for a night of avoiding him and giggling with my friends in the corner. We had both never had official boyfriends or girlfriends before each other, so when it came to talking to each other we were as awkward as could be. We went the whole party with the extent of our conversation being “Hi good to see you again” and a quick “you too, you look great!”. That night after returning home, being the teen I was, I sent him a message apologizing for not being more talkative and he said the same. Following that we got together for several more dates, having our parents and older siblings drive us around of course. September 22nd, 2013 he officially asked me to be his girlfriend. He wrote me a song, gave me an oversized stuffed panda bear and a hoodie with his name on it.

Katie and Levi's Engagement in Villa D'este (Gardens in Tivoli, Italy)

Little did I know that saying yes to being his girlfriend would be the best decision I ever made. Today we have been together for over 5 years. We have watched each other grow through late middle school, all the way through high school and most of college. In that time we have become completely different people. We have matured, discovered our passions, become stronger in our faith, all while growing in our relationship together. I just turned 21 years old and Levi is coming up on 22, and even though we are young we are so ready for this next chapter. This life has taken us through so many incredible seasons already, and we are beyond excited to see where the years to come together will lead.

How They Asked

I have been studying abroad in Rome, Italy for the past 4 months. Levi had brought up the idea of coming to visit me before I even left, and last week he finally came to visit. We decided to take a day trip an hour outside of Rome, to Tivoli. Here there are these stunning gardens called the Villa D’este. Before leaving for the trip Levi mentioned he had found a nice restaurant in the area that he made reservations for, so I should dress a little nicer. After missing our train in the morning, thanks to my terrible navigating, we took a taxi and arrived at the gardens. He insisted we start from the bottom, where there was this extravagant fountain and then work our way back up. I pretty much had to run to keep up with him as he sprinted down to the bottom. It was absolutely breathtaking when we finally made it. I turn to him and say I’m going to ask the family next to us to take a photo. He pauses and says “well what about that guy? I bet he could take a really good one.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Villa D'este (Gardens in Tivoli, Italy)

Wait here ill go ask him.” Levi then walks literally halfway across the garden to get this one man to take our picture. I walk over to join them and hand the man my phone to take a picture. The photographer asks where we are from and says that he is a travel photographer from Florence and wants to take our photo for his blog. We agree and I feel Levi start to pull away from me, I look over and he is down on one knee asking me to marry him. Through lots of happy tears, I, of course, say yes. After that, we walk through the rest of the gardens, still in shock and looking down at my left hand every second at the stunning ring.

It’s the golden hour and we head to our restaurant’s reservation, which is a stunning open-air dining area. There are Roman temple ruins to my left and a lookout over a waterfall to my right. It was the absolute most magical day of my life and knowing that he put in the effort to plan it all while being thousands of miles away still blows my mind. Needless to say, I will be swooning over this day and my sweet fiancé for the rest of my life!

Special Thanks

 | Photographer