Katie and Pat

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How We Met

Pat and I met through a mutual friend, however, there was more to it than simply going on a blind date and hitting it off. Pat lived in Florida at the time and our mutual friend, Amy Jo, and I lived in Chicago. Pat had seen photos of me and asked Amy Jo if I was single. I was and Amy Jo knew we would be a perfect fit so she excitedly told him yes and that he should reach out to me. I was not one to go on blind dates and honestly didn’t date much at all, but I totally trusted her when she told me I should get to know him.

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Pat emailed me and we laugh now at the fact that 1. He emailed me and 2. I responded a few times then blew him off. I was also “too busy” to hang out when he was in Chicago visiting Amy Jo. However, I later went on a trip to Florida with Amy Jo and another friend Megan and we ended up staying with Pat a few nights. We hit it off immediately and I flew back a week later to visit him. That wasn’t something I would normally do so everyone knew he was someone special. He moved to Chicago less than a year later and almost two years from the date we met we got engaged!

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The beach photos were taken by our friend Amy Jo Royall who introduced us. She photographed us when we were visiting a few weeks before the proposal. We all joked that they were #pregagement photos. Turns out they were!

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how they asked

Pat and I planned to take a quick trip to the Grand Canyon while we were in Arizona visiting his family for Thanksgiving. His dad, Tim, joined us and we drove up to the South Rim a few days before Thanksgiving. After a busy day exploring, Pat found a more secluded spot for us to hike to and enjoy the sunset. We are both photographers and love to road trip, visit national parks, hike and camp so this was nothing out of the ordinary. Little did I know, they had planned for Tim to capture Pat proposing at this gorgeous spot overlooking the canyon just after sunset when the light was perfect. We arrived at the spot about a hour before sunset and hung out with the handful of people that were there.

We realized we all had some crazy connections (one girl lived near my parents in Chicago and another couple went to the same high school as Pat’s parents). The group also bonded when some elk walked out to the point. We all gathered to see them and it got everyone talking even more. After sunset, the soft dusk light filled the canyon and I made Pat’s job easy and actually setup my camera and handed it to Tim asking him to take a photo of us – unknowingly setting up the proposal for them! As Tim was taking the picture Pat asked me to look at him, then to hold his hands and that’s when I knew it was happening. He got down on one knee, told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and asked me to marry him.

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I excitedly said yes then turned around to see the small group of people we had met snapping photos, cheering and crying. Tim (who is not a photographer and was SO nervous to have such a huge job) captured the most incredible photos that I will cherish forever.

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It was the perfect evening followed by a great week celebrating with family. We got to spend Thanksgiving with Pat’s family and when we returned to Chicago minutes after walking in the door to our apartment my entire family surprised us both (my brother had even flown in from San Francisco).

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We had a celebratory dinner with my immediate family and the next day my extended family joined us in Michigan to cut down Christmas trees and hangout at our favorite distillery, Journeyman. It was the BEST week and I will never forget it!

Special Thanks

Amy Jo Royall
 | Pregagement Photos
Tim Garrett (Groom's Dad)
 | Proposal Photos