by Sarah Grossbart | Thu., May. 2, 2019 3:00 AM
The champagne was free-flowing, the floral arrangements breathtaking and the bride's ensemble—a white fringed Lela Rose sheath—on point. Even Oprah Winfrey, a close family friend, was among those on hand to toast to the happy couple.
But even with so many envy-inducing details, there's a solid chance that Katherine Schwarzenegger's favorite part of her bridal shower this past weekend was when groom-to-be Chris Pratt turned up at mom Maria Shriver's L.A.-area mansion up mid-way through to gush to their guests about all the things that had so enamored him with his future wife.
The list, of course, was incomplete considering it's a topic he could wax on about ad infinitum.
There's a reason the 39-year-old star of Avengers: Endgame only waited some seven months to get down on one knee and offer up an estimated five-carat oval diamond to the author and lifestyle blogger. In the 29-year-old ASPCA ambassador, the native of Lake Stevens, Wash. has found a kindred spirit, someone as equally outspoken about her Christian beliefs who enjoys kicking back at his farm on Washington's San Juan Islands. "I've kind of grown up with a bunch of different animals, so it feels very comfortable and at home, and just a beautiful part of life," she told E! News.
And, of course, she's just as at ease striding down a red carpet in Monique Lhuillier, having spent her entire life at least tangentially connected to Hollywood thanks to her famous folks.
"For someone on the outside, it might seem their engagement came too quickly," a source told People. "But for everyone close to them, it feels like they have been dating much longer than they actually have."
Early on, the pair approached their coupling as potentially permanent. And now that they're getting down to the business of cementing their forever, they couldn't be more thrilled.
An insider told E! News the University of Southern California grad has "found her Prince Charming" in Pratt, a man she once copped to having a crush on in an unearthed 2017 Access Hollywood interview. It's a role the action star is all too willing to play. "Chris hasn't been this happy in awhile," said another source. "He just loves Katherine so much."
Generally speaking, Pratt isn't someone who dates casually. He's admitted to knowing he would wed ex-wife Anna Faris "pretty soon" after they met on the set of their comedy Take Me Home Tonight in 2007.
"We were friends first, but she left her husband at the end of the movie," he told Elle of her short-lived union to actor Ben Indra, "and we started dating when we were back in LA. So we were friends, and I was there for her. And we had just played love interests, so we had this tight bond spending so much time and spending nights in Phoenix, but we never crossed the line. But we were, I think, developing feelings for each other at the time, you know? The day that she told me she was leaving her husband, I knew that I was going to marry her."
He just as easily might have rushed in full throttle after fellow churchgoer Shriver introduced him to her eldest daughter last spring. But mere months removed from announcing the end of this eight-year union to Faris, he was determined to ease his way back into the whole finding a life partner process. As an insider told E! News at the time "Chris intentionally took his time to get back into the dating field."
But try as he might to be pragmatic about love, there comes a point in every successful romance where it simply feels unnecessary to move forward with your foot hovered above the break in anticipation. And for the dad to 6-year-old Jack Pratt, his son with Faris, that moment came right about the time their burgeoning relationship was outed, when they were spotted enjoying a casual Father's Day picnic.
"Chris was taking things slow with Katherine at first," said the insider, but by then they had pretty much decided on exclusivity and weren't all that bothered to let the outside world in on the magic they'd found. Noted the insider, "He's not afraid to show his affection for her in public."
That much became clear as the PDAs began piling up: an awe-inducing Instagram post to mark her 29th birthday in December followed by their matching engagement announcements in January. And mere days ago, the pair checked off a relationship milestone native to Hollywood—the all-important red carpet debut. Proving just how connected they are, they worked the step-and-repeat at the Los Angeles Convention Center in coordinated silver and black.
VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
That synchronicity has translated to their upcoming vows.
"I feel like we're all really involved in wedding planning," the Maverick and Me scribe told Entertainment Tonight at the March premiere of Superpower Dogs. "I think that, you know, for me my family is very involved. I'm very involved, [Chris is] very involved....So it's a great combination of everything and just a really exciting and fun [time]." (Pratt, naturally, has already charmed his future in-laws, getting a head start with former bodybuilder and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger back in 2015 when the Hollywood insiders exchanged tweets of mutual admiration.)
Right now they're eyeing a "fall, winter kind of thing," Pratt shared at the February premiere of his flick The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, adding that there was "a lot to get done."
Doubtlessly the day will begin with a touching church wedding. After all, their shared devotion to their Christian faith is what brought them together both abstractly—one source tells E! News that Pratt "believes God put Katherine in his life,"—and in the very literal sense. When Pratt connected with Shriver during one of his regular Sundays at church, she saw the chance to play matchmaker for her eldest daughter, a woman so committed to her religion she often types out bible passages and spiritual quotes for her nearly 74,000 Twitter followers.
Her intuition was spot on, of course. Like an increasingly growing sect of Hollywood, Chris credits much of his success to a higher power.
"When I came to Los Angeles, I came from Hawaii and I had all of this blond hair and I was tan and I met an agent, because I really wanted to be an actor and get an agent, and he said, 'Wow. Bro you must surf?' And I said, 'Yeah,' and that was the first of many lies I told to get where I am today," he said while accepting the Teen Choice surfboard for Choice Sci-Fi Movie Actor. But also, he added, "I would not be here with the ease and grace I have in my heart without my lord and savior, Jesus Christ."
The way Pratt sees it, spreading his love of Christianity is a way to give back for the many blessings he's received. At 19, he had already spent a spell as a stripper to make ends meet and followed that up by waiting tables at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company by day and sleeping in his van at night.
It wasn't as bad as it sounds, he swore in a 2014 interview with The Independent, because said ride was parked in Maui. "It's a pretty awesome place to be homeless," he said. It would be different if I lived on the streets of Chicago and ate garbage from a dumpster. We just drank and smoked weed and worked minimal hours, 15-20 hours per week, just enough to cover gas, food and fishing supplies. You know, it was a charming time."
But now that he's a certified movie star with a multimillion-dollar fortune that regularly earns him a spot on Forbes' list of highest-paid actors and dad to impossibly cute Jack, who survived a harrowing premature birth, well, he's got some things to be grateful for.
And if his open talk of bible study inspires someone else to check it out he feels he's done a bit of the Lord's work. "Nothing fills my soul more than to think that maybe some kid watching that would say, 'Hey, I've been thinking about that. I've been thinking about praying. Let me try that out,'" he recently told the AP.
In Katherine he's found himself a willing apostle, someone who isn't shy about discussing her beliefs. "He's constantly around other people who have no faith or are apologetic about it, but not her," a source told People. "She is willing to talk about it to anyone who will listen."
So friends have no doubt that they'll be singing a few hymns at their upcoming vows. "They're going to want a religious wedding," says the source. "I know that Chris does, and I assume that she does, too. God is going to be a part of this marriage."
As are many, many tiny Pratts. With Schwarzenegger already quite close to Jack, the duo are eager to give him a few siblings. Asked what he saw in his future, Pratt confidently told ET, "Lots of kids." And perhaps plenty of days out on the farm in his home state. "Maybe less time spent working, more time spent enjoying life," he continued. "I always want to be that guy that works to live, not lives to work. I think [I want to spend] just a lot of time at the farm and a lot of time catching a lot of fish and seeing lots of sunsets."
After all, now that he's found his ideal partner, why shouldn't they strive for a happily ever after that's literally picture-perfect?