“We first went to Welcome Lake in Pennsylvania, then to Norris Lake in Rocky Top, Tennessee, and ended at Conway Lake in Orlando, Florida. I have been praying and waiting for this moment, and I wanted it to be perfect for Esther!” the reality star, 27, told Us Weekly in an exclusive statement.
The big moment took place at the home of a family friend in Orlando. When the couple arrived, a backdrop lined with marquee letters spelling “marry me” greeted them. After Bates popped the question (and Keyes said yes!) the couple enjoyed a special dinner, dance and fireworks.
Nathan, who is the fifth oldest of the 19 Bates children, made it clear that he didn’t craft the perfect proposal all alone.
“To be honest, I could have never pulled it off without help from my friend Bill Mott in Pennsylvania, my sister [Erin Bates] who decorated the location in Tennessee, my sisters [Alyssa Bates and Carlin Bates] who decorated in Florida, and my friends Dan and Janie Drummond, who allowed us to use their car, boat and house to create a magical evening!” he said.
The pair became Instagram official in December 2020. While Keyes, 23, can’t wait to be a bride, she wants to revel in her magical engagement for now.
“We are excited to start making future wedding plans!” she told Us. “But at the moment, I’m trying to just soak in all of the joys of being Nathan’s fiancé!”
The EMT, who previously courted Ashley Salyer, is the first of his brothers to get engaged in eight years. The Bates sisters, however, are keeping their calendars booked with weddings.
Last month, Us revealed exclusively that Katie Bates is engaged to Travis Clark after one year of courting. The pair also got engaged in Florida, with Katie telling Us the proposal was “absolutely magical.”
“Taking this next step in our relationship is something we have prayed about and have looked forward to for a long time!” she said in April. “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.”
Bringing Up Bates airs on UPtv Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.
Scroll to see photos from the pair’s magical evening: