Following a season of The Bachelorette that kept us on the edge of our seats, the 30-year-old marketing manager's journey came to an end on Aug. 9 when she gave her final rose to Blake. Now, the happy couple is sharing an update on their budding romance, which continued once cameras stopped rolling.
"Every day, our love continues to grow stronger and stronger," Katie said after the lovebirds reunited on the After the Final Rose stage. "We are not even the same couple that you guys just saw go down on one knee. We are so much more already, and we're just so excited to start our lives together."
Katie went on to tell co-hosts Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe that she didn't regret going on this challenging process to find love. Indeed, viewers got to see just how challenging it was when Katie had a fiery exchange with contestant Greg Grippo before Blake took the stage.
"A thousand percent, it was all worth it," Katie shared while seated next to Blake. "I think everyone can agree that this was exactly who I was supposed to be with. He fought to be here for me and chose to stay even when I'm telling him to his face that I considered leaving. He was confident enough to hold both of us to the end."
For his part, Blake told Tayshia and Kaitlyn that the couple is ready to stop living in the shadows. "It's been awesome—we've been waiting for this for so long," he said of the finale. "We're just ready to get out and live real life now."
When asked to reflect on the fact that he came into the process after Katie had already started forming relationships with the other men, Blake was quick to agree that it would have been tough to predict this outcome. "It's wild how it all kind of spiraled out of control, in the best way," he admitted.
Katie added that it meant a lot for Blake to put himself out there by showing up on her season when he did. "It's the most romantic thing someone has ever done," she said. "He took all these risks for me. No one's ever believed in me like that."
When Katie talked to E! News in June, ahead of her season's premiere, she teased that it would be one for the books, and she was not kidding. There were multiple steamy makeouts, some self-eliminations we didn't see coming, and two new hosts: former Bachelorettes Tayshia and Kaitlyn, who stepped in after longtime host Chris Harrison's departure.
But the most shocking moment for Bachelor Nation came during this season's infamous hometown visits. After fan favorite Greg Grippo dropped the "L" word in the heart-pounding Aug. 2 episode, things went downhill fast, with Katie proclaiming, "I'm done!"
But if that moment was her thorn, luckily for fans—and for Katie—the Bachelorette had a change of heart and stuck around for her rose.
"I'm just so lucky," Katie said tearfully from the ATFR stage while sitting next to Blake. "I love him so much."
Click here for our full coverage of the wild finale.