Ready to take the next step! Bringing Up Bates star Katie Bates is engaged to boyfriend Travis Clark, Us Weekly can exclusively reveal.
Travis popped the question on Wednesday, April 7, at The Reach, Key West, in Florida. The proposal took place in an ocean pier gazebo, which was decorated with candles, a large heart constructed of red roses and a sign that read, “Will you marry me?” With their parents present, he also sang a song he wrote for Katie and played guitar.
“April 7, 2021, will forever be a special day for both of us,” Katie exclusively tells Us. “Taking this next step in our relationship is something we have prayed about and have looked forward to for a long time! We are excited about what God is doing in our lives, and we can’t wait to see what He has in store for our future.”
She adds: “Travis put so much effort and thought into making this day perfect for me — from the beach backdrop to the venue and decorations to the beautiful song he sang! It was absolutely magical, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend!”
Travis was ecstatic with the results too. “Our engagement day was so much better than I could’ve ever imagined, and I know there were many friends and relatives who worked behind the scenes to help make it all possible!” he tells Us. “Seeing Katie’s reaction was the highlight of the evening! Her smile was worth it all!”
Us broke the news in March 2020 that Katie and Travis, both 20, were officially courting after being introduced by mutual friends in June 2019. The couple talked for a month as they began their long-distance relationship and ultimately met for the first time at a church event in his native New Jersey. They stayed in touch via FaceTime dates and monthly chaperoned trips to New Jersey and her home state of Tennessee.
The pair traveled and got to know each other better for nine months before making their romance public. They told Us at the time they announced their courtship that they were thrilled to “officially become boyfriend and girlfriend.”
“Travis and his family are active in their local church and also travel together to sing, so our families have been able to visit at nearby concerts and church events,” Katie revealed. “Travis and I are so thankful that the Lord, not only allowed our paths to cross, but that we have been able to begin this new phase of our journey together. Travis made the evening [he asked to court me] so special, and right now, I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet!”
The reality star noted at the time that Travis maintained their connection despite the distance by sending “surprise pizza and ice cream deliveries” to her in Tennessee.
The twosome are still long distance for the time being, with Katie in Tennessee with her family and Travis in New Jersey.
Katie has some experience with nuptials, as she works with her sister Josie Bates at The Effortless Beauty, the 21-year-old TV personality’s wedding and event hair and makeup company. Katie — who is the 11th of Gil and Kelly Jo Bates’ 19 children — has also served as a bridesmaid four times in her siblings Josie, Zach Bates, Tori Bates and Carlin Bates’ weddings.
Katie previously joked about awaiting Travis’ proposal in November 2020. “Planning to start a jewelry business,” she captioned an Instagram photo with her boyfriend at the time. “If you’d like to help, give me a ring.”
Travis, meanwhile, hinted at his plans to pop the question in February. “Thankful I get to call you my Valentine’s for two years in a row,” he gushed via Instagram. “Looking forward to many more.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see more photos from the engagement!