Bringing Up Bates star Katie Bates is engaged to Travis Clark after just over a year of courting. Clark, 20, proposed to Bates, also 20, at The Ranch in Key West, Florida on Wednesday. Bates is the 11th of Gil Bates and Kelly Jo Bates' 19 children. The family stars on the UPtv series, which starts its 10th season on Thursday.
Clark proposed in an ocean pier gazebo, with a sign reading "Will you marry me?" behind him. Both sets of parents were at the proposal. Clark also performed a song he wrote for Bates, reports Us Weekly. "April 7, 2021, will forever be a special day for both of us," Bates told the outlet. "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."
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Bates praised Clark for putting "so much effort and thought into making this day perfect for me" and called the day "absolutely magical." Clark said the day was "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 added that Bates' reaction was "the highlight of the evening! Her smile was worth it all!”
Clark and Bates were introduced by mutual friends in June 2019 and began courting in March 2020. They had a long-distance relationship at first since the Bates family lives in Tennessee and Clark's family is in New Jersey. The two finally met at his New Jersey church and kept in touch through FaceTime dates. They had monthly chaperoned trips between the two states before their engagement.
"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," Bates told Us Weekly after the couple took their courtship public. "Travis made the evening [he asked to court me] so special, and right now, I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet!"
Clark is the latest addition to the growing Bates family. Back in February, Bates' older sister, Alyssa Bates Webster, 26, and her husband John Webster welcomed their fourth child, Maci Jo Webster. The Websters are also parents to daughters Zoey Joy, 2, Lexi Mae, 4, and Allie Jane, 5. The eldest Bates child, 32-year-old Zachary Bates, and his wife, Whitney Perkins, are also expecting their fourth child. Bates' sisters Tori Layne Bates, 25, and Josie Kellyn Bates, 21, are expecting their third and second children, respectively. Bringing Up Bates airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on UPtv.