Katie and Ryan

How We Met

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“When a Country Boy meets a City Girl”

This one night back in April, 2013, my BFF Amy and I attended the Hope Gala in Baton Rouge. We took many pictures that night and of course posted them on Facebook. The next day I had a friend request from this guy, Ryan Wilbanks. I looked and it said I only had 1 friend in common with him which was Amy. I asked her if she knew the guy, and she said yes, they went to middle school together. She said he probably saw the pictures that I was tagged in last night and he thinks you are pretty. I rolled my eyes and didn’t think anything more about it.

About a month later, this Ryan messages me and tells me “I have to admit something… I added you as a friend because you are strickingly gorgeous. If this is weird, Im sorry…Its your fault.” I laughed so hard. I don’t usually feed into messages from people I dont know, but after talking to Amy about him, he seemed like a “normal” guy.

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A few months went by, and in August of 2013 we started talking and he asked for my number. That same day he called me. I can remember having butterflies. His voice was so deep and he had a little country twang that made me melt. We talked on the phone every single night for hours. We found out right away that we were raised very similar and we both shared the same faith and love for Jesus. We just hit if off so fast that it felt like we had known each other for a lifetime.

We set a date, that would be 2 weeks from the first time he called me, to go on our 1st date.

The plan was that he was planning a surprise date for me. As I sat at home waiting for him to pick me up, I told my mom and dad that I knew even before our first date that this was the guy I was going to marry. They hesitantly just laughed.

He picked me up and we started heading towards St. Fransisville. I had no idea where we were going. We ended up at the haunted Myrtles Plantation. We sat down to eat dinner, and then realized that we were going to miss our tour, so we asked for our food to go and we ran put it in the car and we joined in the tour at the plantation.

When the tour was over, we weren’t ready for the night to end. I recommended we go to Hemingbough. It was dark, and the entrance was wide open, so we just walked right in. We walked around and finally sat on the stage in the arena where typically weddings are held. It was pitch black. We talked about life, our dreams, and each other. I asked if there might be an alligators in the water on the other side of the stage. Not seconds later we heard the sound of an alligator closing its jaw. It was surreal, and felt like my own little romantic Cajun movie. We laid down on the stage, gazing at the stars. You could see them so clearly. Ryan prayed over us as we both knew that this was the beginning of something amazing and we wanted God’s blessing to be over it from the start. As soon as he prayed, I kid you not, doves flew out of a tree right above our heads. We laughed for a very long time about how straight out of a movie this whole thing felt.

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LANDON

When me and Ryan met, Landon, his son, was just 3 years old. Ryan said that he has always been extremly cautious of who he introduces to Landon. I was pretty nervous about meeting him, and how it would go. Would he like me? The day I met him he was a little cautious as to who I was. As the day went on, he warmed up to me so quickly. We came up with a name he could call me – Kiki.

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Later on that same day, the 3 of us were watching Iron Man, Landon’s favorite movie. Half way through the movie, he just randomly said “I love you daddy!” Ryan responded back with, ” I love you too.” Then a few seconds when by and I heard, ” I love you too.” And I turend and realized he was looking at me. I will remeber that moment forever. This little boy let me into his heart in less than 24 hours, and since that moment right there I have been his Kiki. It has been an amazing adventure so far with Landon. He is FULL of energy and has the biggest imagination in the world! I wouldn’t trade my Wilbanks Party of 3 for anything in the world!

How He Asked

Me and Ryan met right before my 29th birthday. All year long he kept saying I am going to make you mine forever before you turn 30! So, my 30th Birthday rolls around on September 11, and nothing happens. I started to ask by dropping little hints like so I’m 30, I thought something was going to happen. Now I have always tried to not be a crazy girl pressuring her man to take it to the next level, but you cant make me a bunch of promises and not expect me to question where its at.

My parents said they had tickets to the LSU game for that Saturday the 13, so me, Ryan, and Landon all headed to Baton Rouge to get the tickets from my parents. We met them at starbucks. Maybe I was acting just a little pouty that day since I felt like something big was going to happen for my 30th and it didn’t. Im sitting outside of starbucks in Perkins Rowe and out walks Amy. Amy currently lives in Dallas, so I was very confused as to why she was here. She says surprise and I dont really react at all becuase Im trying to process what is she doing here! She finally says, you aren’t going to the game, you are mine, come with me! She blind folds me and off we go!

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First stop, we go to On the Border, my favorite restuarant. I remain blind folded all the way to the table, where another Bestie, Katherine Prudhomme, is waiting for us. From there, we go to Perkins Rowe and  I am instructed  to pick out some jewelry and some shoes. I start to get a little suspicious and I ask if I am getting engaged tonight. Amy gives me her best Oscar award winning speech and even shed some tears to ASSURE me that I was not getting engaged and that this was all about my 30th birthday. I beleived her. We then went and got our hair done. Then we ended up at Cami’s house where my life-long BFF’s, Cami, Monique, Raine, and Brandon (on facetime), where waiting for me. We sat there for about an hour just catching up and having fun. Then I was instructed to get dressed.

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I was once again blind folded, and this time when I took it off I was at my surpise Birthday Party. I was so surprised by the amount of people there. My sister and Bro-in- Law had come in from Houston to set this party up for me. My entire family and Ryan’s entire family was there, of course with many friends also. I was so excited to see everyone and eas just enjoying my little party. Little did I know that Ryan was in the back trying to calm his nerves for something big to happen.

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The Dj played a song that me and Landon consider “our song”. We danced, then he told me he needed to dance by himself. So I went off to look at the picture wall that was made of pictures of me from birth till now. Ryan came over and few times and tried to tell me Landon wanted to dance with me some more. I assured him that Landon wanted to dance alone and I wanted to look at these pictures. Apparently, I was supposed to dance with Landon till the song was over, but neither the 4 year old or the 30 year old were playing along to the secret plans. After “our song”, a slow song came on and Ryan took me on the dance floor. I at this time did not realize that the song playing was “Will you Marry Me” by Jason Derulo. Ryan grabbed me and looked to Landon and said ok buddy lets do what we practiced. At this moment I started to shake as all of a sudden I realized what was happening. Ryan looked at me and said I made you a promise and I plan on keeping it, Will you Marry me? Or something along those lines, because at this point I was shaking so bad I couldn’t tell you what was said.

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But of course, I said YES!

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Our Video

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Special Thanks

Natalie S. Miller
Photography
Brian McCollister
Videography