Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes Reveal Why Wedding Planning Is on the Back Burner (Exclusive)
By Paige Gawley
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Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes are ready to take their relationship public! The pair, who got engaged on Monday night's Bachelorettefinale, spoke to ET's Rachel Smith about not having to keep the secret anymore and what comes next for them.
As America watched to find out who got Katie's final rose, she and Blake were busy celebrating his 31st birthday. For the wildlife manager, there could be no greater gift than getting to publicly announce his love for his fiancée.
"What a gift, right?" Blake said.
In between the birthday celebrations, Katie and Blake were also fielding calls from her family, who only learned of their engagement as the world did.
"My family’s not traditional. I don’t know if that was obvious or not," Katie said. "They’re just very happy and supportive. They knew we were together, they just didn’t know at what level. As we got closer to the end I think they kind of had an idea, so they weren’t really surprised."
On the finale, fans saw Katie's aunt ask Blake the tough questions. Watching that conversation air, Katie said, was "shocking."
"I knew what was kind of said because he told me, but to see it on the TV from my [point of view], I was like, 'Oh my God. How did you survive that? How are you still here?'" Katie admitted.
"You could see my posture. I just was lost. I wasn’t winning that no matter what," Blake chimed in of the conversations. "I shrunk. I lost that one for sure. Let’s take an L there. It was intimidating for sure, but I think it’s in the best way. She just wants the best for Katie. Whatever way she was going to figure that out, I was going to be the brunt of it."
With the support of their families, Katie and Blake couldn't be more pleased to be publicly live life as an engaged pair. The happily ever after didn't come easily, but their belief in each other never wavered, even as they watched the show play out.
"Katie told me everything prior, all the details, every little conversation, so I wasn’t going in blind to anything," Blake said. "Aside from that, I came on the season very, very confident. The first time I met her I had zero doubts and when I left here I literally had zero doubts."
"If you didn’t have the confidence, I think that would be a tough thing to watch," he continued. "I knew it was going to be me, it was supposed to be me, so as much as those things can be cringey at times to watch, I’m also very understanding of the position she’s in and being empathetic of, 'What would I do in that situation?' I probably would have done a lot of the same things, so I can’t be mad at her for that."
Throughout the finale, Katie, 30, questioned if she should leave the show, after both Michael Allio and Greg Grippo emotionally broke up with her. Once she made the decision to stay and sent her runner up, Justin Glaze, home, Blake struggled with the idea of an impending proposal.
Things came to a head for Blake when he began looking at engagement rings with the show's co-host -- and his ex-girlfriend -- Tayshia Adams.
"You saw me freaking out. I needed somebody in that moment," Blake explained. "Tayshia vouched for me even coming on the season. We had a friendship going in. I’m very close with [her fiancé] Zac [Clark]. The whole ex thing isn’t really a thing, she’s just more of a friend more than anything."
"Without her I probably would’ve freaked out even more," he added. "She really calmed me in that moment, just to have a friend there… I need her in that moment, for sure."
Katie agreed with her fiancé, telling ET that Blake looking at engagement rings with his ex "wasn't weird to me at all."
"I think to the normal person outside of reality dating, yeah, it seems weird. But we’ve all gone through this experience and we kind of have this special understanding of what it means to go through it," she said. "Just like Blake said, I don’t view Tayshia really as an ex. She was there as my friend and I was glad that she was able to help Blake navigate that very tough experience in picking out a ring."
After the ring was picked out and Katie professed her love for Blake, he took a dramatic pause and told her he couldn't give her everything she wanted, before getting down on one knee.
"I guess the way I was trying to word it was, 'This is going to be so much more than just an engagement. I’m going to give you the world.' And it just didn’t come out the way I necessarily wanted," Blake admitting, before quipping that the tough questions from Katie's family were "preparation for that moment."
"I had already accepted that he was not proposing," Katie said. "I was trying to be happy and [like,] 'OK, I accept this. Let’s just leave together,' which is why I’m hugging him. And then he gets on one knee and I’m like, 'Oh, it is happening. Oh, OK!'"
In the end, it was all worth it. Blake believes that his long Bachelorette journey -- he previously appeared on Tayshia and Clare Crawley's season of the show -- led him to his forever girl.
"I never thought it would’ve ended up like this, but I’m just so happy it did," he gushed. "The first time I went on, I went on for a show and to see what would happen and the opportunity and experience. This time around I went on for somebody specific, and that was Katie. It was a whole different experience for me."
"I came on here guns a blazin' knowing she was going to be the one, and it turned out that way," Blake added. "It’s just been everything I thought it was going to be and more."
Katie feels similarly, telling ET that she's "just so happy."
"These past couple months have been amazing. We’ve grown so much since that proposal that you guys have seen. I think it just shows how far we are going to go together," she said. "This really isn’t just a temporary relationship. I do feel very confident we are going to be together forever."
Now that they don't have to hide their relationship, the couple plans to take a trip to Blake's native Canada for a few days, before they spend the next period of time bouncing between Canada, Katie's new city of San Diego, California, and Africa, where Blake frequently works.
"We’re just going to essentially take turns, chunks at a time. There’s times where I’m going to be in Canada for a period, he’ll come to San Diego. If it allows, I’ll go with him to Africa and join him on the things he’s working on," Katie explained. "Sometimes we will have to be apart, but we’re just not really ready to put roots anywhere, so we kind of have this luxury of getting to be in multiple countries."
Something that's not happening anytime soon is wedding planning.
"We know there’s going to be one, but we have so many other things to handle, including the fact that we are citizens of other countries," Katie said. "There’s a lot of hurdles we really need to figure out, way before we can even think about a wedding date. That’s just not even on the top of our mind at the moment."
No matter where life takes them, Katie said, "I’m just excited to experience life with him."
Tune in to Tuesday's episode of Entertainment Tonight for more of ET's interview with Katie and Blake.