Love Stories: Erik + Karlee

EK11.2014 129When Karlee Beggs, 23, first met Erik Kuykendall, 26, she was drawn to his sense of humor—he, coincidentally, was drawn to how she laughed at his jokes. Now, after dating long distance for nearly two years, these two lovebirds are ready to walk down the aisle and start their lives as one. This is their love story.


What is your favorite thing to do together?

E: We love doing anything outdoors. We hike, go to sporting events, and travel as often as possible.

K: We like being adventurous. Some of the most fun things we have done together are skydiving and taking a cross-country road trip–two things we will never forget!


What has been your most memorable date?

E: One of our very first dates was in downtown Chattanooga, TN. We went out to dinner, got ice cream, and walked across the bridge that overlooks the Tennessee River.

K: I lived in New York City during the fall of 2013, and Erik came to visit me. His last day in the city was my favorite. We went all across the city doing tourist-y things, like visiting the Statue of Liberty, Yankee Stadium, and we also saw a game in Madison Square Garden.


When did you realize you had met “the one”?

E: When I visited her in New York City, I knew she was the one. We spent an entire day together and had such a good time.

K: We had only been dating a few months when we went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic; I knew right then that I loved him. When I saw him serving the people there, it really hit me that he was the one I wanted to marry.


Tell us about the proposal.

E: I wanted it to be a surprise and take place in Chattanooga, because we love going there together. I wanted it to take place on the bridge where we had one of our first dates. I invited both of our parents to be there for the surprise, too.

K: It was freezing outside, so I almost did not want to walk across the bridge. Erik talked me into it, and when we got halfway across, I noticed our parents were holding a sign that had pictures of Erik and me on it. It said “Will you marry me?” Then he got down on one knee!


Karlee Erik ringWhat was your experience like shopping for the ring at Diamonds Direct?

E: Simple, easy, and very exciting. Our sales associate Mary was so helpful, because I knew nothing about engagement rings before coming into the store. Since Karlee knew nothing about the proposal, I had her friend come along to help me.


What are you most looking forward to about spending the rest of your lives together?

E: The little things, like having dinner together every night and going to church together. I’m also looking forward to big things such as starting a family.

K: Finally living in the same city! We have been long-distance for the entirety of our relationship.


What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given about love?

E: It takes patience, kindness, and compromise if you want it to work—but it’s worth it.

K: Keep God at the core of your relationship and be willing to pick your battles.


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