Mr. David Howland Zander and Mrs. Patricia Johnson Zander of Blythewood are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Kelly Ann Zander, to Keith Cameron Patterson, son of Ruth Ann Patterson of Hickory, North Carolina, and Kim Craig Patterson of Summerville.
The bride-elect, a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, is the granddaughter of Barbara Allen Zander. She earned bachelor’s degrees in history and secondary education from the College of Charleston in 2011. She is employed with Charlotte Country Day School as a seventh-grade social studies teacher.
The bridegroom-elect, a resident of Charlotte, is the grandson of Reed Parkhurst of Hickory and Elizabeth Patterson of Greensboro, North Carolina. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Winthrop University in 2008, and he is employed with Townsquare Interactive as an SEO analyst.
The couple plans a May wedding in Charlotte.
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In their own words
Q: How did you meet?
Kelly: Keith and I met at an afternoon birthday party in March 2015. I went with friends, now bridesmaids. I remember not really wanting to go, struggling to get ready, and throwing on an “I don’t care” outfit. When we arrived, I was totally consumed with texting on my phone. Everything else was more important – until I saw a ping pong game going on with Keith at the table. I remember being immediately attracted to Keith, not even knowing his name and referring to him as “white Lacoste” because of the polo he was wearing. I somehow made it into the ping pong game with Keith, and soon after that, we cruised out to the basketball court to play a few games of Horse. I remember thinking, “OK, does this guy really like being with me or is he just a competitive person?” Little did I know, and blushing while I say this, both were true! Keith and I swapped numbers before I left the party and the rest is … history!
Q: When did you know your fiancee was “the one”?
A: The first date!
Keith: At church the morning after the birthday party, I ran into Kelly’s roommate. Since Kelly wasn’t there, I decided to get the 411 on her from the best source. Unfortunately, after hearing about Kelly, I didn’t contact her. Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking. Luckily for me, I wised up and contacted her the next day. Knowing she was a teacher and I worked late, I knew I had to do some sort of early morning coffee date. I invited her to have a coffee with me before work on Tuesday. Around 5 a.m. I showed up at Starbucks half asleep and nervous. I guess I didn’t know teachers got in that early. I remember thinking “How does she do this every day?” Luckily, that tired feeling went away when I saw her walk in. Seeing her made my heart jump. It was then that I knew I she was someone special.
Q: Tell us about the proposal.
Keith: The ring had been burning a hole in my pocket for a week. Although we were both ready to be engaged, I really wanted to make it a special occasion.
Now, before we get into how it happened, you have to know our backgrounds. Kelly was born and raised in Columbia. She is a Gamecock fan through and through. I, however, was given the choice of college teams to cheer for at an early age. Since I really liked the orange of the Clemson Tigers, I chose them as my team to root for. Now, even though Kelly went to College of Charleston and I went to Winthrop University, we both held onto our early fandom.
It’s football Saturday. We are in Columbia for a Gamecocks vs. Texas A&M game. Kelly, her mom, and her sister, Erin, are all getting ready to go when I ask Kelly if she saw what I had left her on her bed. While she was upstairs reading the sweet note I wrote for her that morning, I was busy downstairs changing. Yes, I was changing into a USC Gamecocks polo, something I swore I would never do. But, more than anything, I wanted to get her attention and show her how important she was to me.
So there I was, at the bottom of the stairs, in a Gamecocks polo, on one knee. She barely made it down the stairs before noticing what I was wearing and what I was holding. I asked her to marry me.
She said yes.
I still have the shirt.