How we met: Katie met her fiancé Kyle through her mother during college. Katie and Kyle’s moms both go to Riverbend Community Church and play in the same band, Carolina Sunshine. Katie occasionally sang with the two moms in their side band, Heart Song. Wendy, Kyle’s mom, had talked about Kyle several times and shown Katie his handsome high school photo. As it’s said, moms know best. The two moms were convinced that Kyle and Katie would make a wonderful couple. But, it wasn’t God’s timing for the two to unite, not yet anyway.
A year later, Katie remembers mentioning to her mom that the only guy she was “friends” with on Facebook that she would even consider dating was Kyle Patrick. Her mom just smiled and kept her mouth shut.
Yet another year passed. It was the summer of 2010, when Katie saw a Facebook post from Kyle about his horrible day. Something tugged at her to write an encouraging message on his Facebook wall. The two began to occasionally exchange friendly messages online for the next two months before they would actually meet again face-to-face.
Their first reunion occurred when Kyle invited Katie down for a baseball game in Charleston, SC. Kyle was working with the local semi-pro baseball team, the Charleston Riverdogs, at the time and had a few free tickets to give Katie and a friend. Katie was working on the weekends at a local reception hall and was more than excited to have an excuse to go to Charleston. Little did she know what kind of journey she was about to embark on. She ended up driving down to see Kyle twice in one week!
Needless to say, the two hit it off and were soon inseparable. She even supported Kyle’s decision to move out to Arkansas in the fall to pursue a professional career in journalism. The night before Kyle was to head out that way he hosted a going away party in downtown Columbia. Toward the end of the party Kyle put his arm around Katie for the first time and she placed her hand on top of his to show her interest back. Right before the two said good night to each other, he surprised her with their first kiss (even though it was a tad bit awkward!) The two continued to get to know eachother over the next few months and Katie made several trips out to Arkansas to visit him before he eventually moved back to South Carolina.
how they asked: The morning of May 24, 2013, Kyle picked me up at 4:50am to go somewhere for my birthday surprise. I was so excited and had no clue where we were going or what we were doing. Then all the sudden we stopped in a cul-de-sac of beach houses and parked in front of one of them. I asked Kyle if we were lost and he said no. I asked him if we knew anyone that lived in these houses and he said no, just trust me. So I did. We got out of the car, it was still dark outside, gathered all our beach gear and started walking down a long deserted road toward Folly beach. I couldn’t stop smiling and asking if the boogie man was going to jump out and get us. Kyle thought that was pretty funny. After about a 5 minute walk down the road we ended up on a beautiful deserted beach. It was a small romantic beach with rocks piled on each side. Looking out into the ocean we saw the Morris Island Lighthouse. We found a nice spot facing where the sun would rise in just a few minutes and set up our towel. Kyle pulled out two wine glasses and I poured us each a small glass of my favorite wine. We toasted to the sunrise as we watched the sky quickly turn a gorgeous blend of pink, purple, and orange. As I leaned up against the man of my dreams I thought to myself. This feels perfect.
Once the sun was completely up Kyle asked me if I was ready for the second half of my surprise. I beamed with excitement and said, “Yes please!” We stood up and Kyle walked me closer to the ocean. He told me to close my eyes and wait. So many thoughts were twirling around in my head. What could it be? Is this the moment? I saw a shadow pass in front of me. Are we not alone? I reached out to see if I could touch the shadow. No luck there. Maybe it was a bird. Then I hear his voice. “Are you ready?” Of course I was ready! He walked back to me and held my hands. “Open your eyes.” When I did he was standing right in front of me with the biggest smile on his face. He looked so happy. He said, “I love you.” I told him the same thing back. Now he looked nervous. Then he spoke, “I’ve loved you since the day I saw you…and realized I loved you.”
I couldn’t help but giggle. He went on to talk about how we have been through so much together. His move to Arkansas, the struggles he faced out there and the ones we faced being apart from each other, the moment he surprised me on Hilton Head Island beach with a plane ticket to help him move home, my moving to Charleston and us having to be long distance again, the moment he told me he was transferring down to Charleston and we would finally be together in the same town. It was beautiful thinking about our entire relationship and everything we had overcome together. He had been my rock for the past two and a half years. We talked back and forth about how we wanted to be together and love each other forever. He said, “Well, let’s take care of that.”
All the sudden he got down on his knee and opened a box. “Katie Ann McMurphy, will you marry me?” I nodded my head frantically and barely was able to get out a “yes!” He stood up and we kissed and embraced for a very long intense time. He said, “take that ring off…or I can” (referring to the ring my mother gave me for Christmas that I always wore on my left ring finger.) I moved mom’s ring to my right hand and he slid the most beautiful perfect diamond ring on my finger. We kissed and embraced again for a long while. Tears falling down my face. This was the happiest moment of my entire life!!! The man of my dreams had just asked me to be his wife and spend the rest of our lives together! I jumped up and down, we laughed, we kissed and he gently wiped away my happy tears. He walked me down into the water holding hands. I was beaming with excitement! We embraced some more and enjoyed the moment together.
He suddenly asked me, “So, are you ready to take some pictures?” to which I replied “YEAAA!” Then all of the sudden he turns around and yells “Jeanne! Come on out!” Our great friend and an amazing photographer crawled out from behind the dunes. I jumped up and down and ran to her. She was wiping tears from her eyes. She had been there the whole time photographing the most important moment in my life thus far. I was ecstatic! I had always wanted photos of that moment and had always wanted Jeanne to be the one to capture it. We hugged and talked for a few minutes and then Jeanne took us all around the beautiful beach and took our engagement photos. During the whole photo session I couldn’t stop smiling and kissing my new fiancé! I repeated the words fiancé and engaged over and over. It still hadn’t set in. Kyle and I both agreed that we didn’t feel any different. But we were so giddy and excited at the same time.
Once we finished taking pictures on the beach we all drove to downtown Charleston and took more photos there. Then Kyle took Jeanne and I to breakfast at Toast. It’s one of our favorite places to eat breakfast in Charleston! We spent the rest of the day in the market place and watching a movie at Cinebarre in Mt. Pleasant.
That evening Kyle said we had dinner plans. I got all dressed up and ready to go. On the way to the restaurant, Kyle mentioned that we wouldn’t be having dinner alone and that everyone there was under the impression that this was a surprise birthday dinner. Names and faces kept running through my mind. Who could it be? All our Seacoast friends?
Once we arrived at Madra Rua, we walked straight into the back room and saw my best and closest friends! We all screamed with joy. I was literally shaking with excitement as I went around the table hugging each of my dearest friends, tears rolling down my face for the second time that day. I had actually mentioned each and every one in that room by name through out the day wondering how I was going to tell them. Once the excitement of seeing everyone died down a little, Kyle and I announced our engagement. Every one screamed again and were all very supportive of and excited about our wonderful news. Jeanne then handed me a gift to open. It was a printed book of all the engagement photos she took that morning. If you know me, you know I LOVE pictures. This gift was the most amazing thing I could have ever hoped for. We spent the rest of the evening looking through our engagement photos and just enjoying being together. It was the perfect ending to the perfect day!
Photography by Jeanne Mitchum Photography