Life in KC

Animal-loving KC couple get engaged at the zoo

Kansas City couple Nessie and Kyle Searcy got engaged during a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kansas City Zoo.
Kansas City couple Nessie and Kyle Searcy got engaged during a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kansas City Zoo.

Sprinkles fell as Kyle and Nessie Searcy began the greatest adventure of their lives at a behind-the-scenes Kansas City Zoo tour.

The rain hardly mattered. The Kansas City couple, both 29, were given the rare chance to watch lions, elephants and giraffes being fed thanks to a pal who used to work at the zoo.

It was practically a fairy tale for Nessie, an animal lover.

“I was most excited about seeing giraffes,” says Nessie, a Realtor.

Kyle, a bartender and server at Jose Pepper’s in Overland Park, requested that the giraffes be their last stop. He and Nessie walked into a barn, up the stairs to an elevated feeding platform and then: “I looked to my left, and there’s a giraffe head peeking out,” she says.

She walked in first and didn’t look back. The zookeeper encouraged her to feed pellets to the giraffe, who poked his head through an open area in his enclosure.

“A couple minutes go by, and I’m thinking I’m kind of hogging the giraffe,” she says.

She turned around to apologize to Kyle, who was down on one knee.

Kyle slipped a custom-designed pink sapphire on Nessie’s finger and asked her to spend the rest of her life by his side. She said yes.

“I remember my voice trembling a little bit,” says Kyle. “We hugged for a long time.”

They sat in the barn sipping champagne and taking in the moment after two years of dating. The couple were married in October 2014 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

Years later, the zoo tour is still fresh in their minds. Their voices break as they recall it. As Nessie puts it: “So many different awesome things happening in one moment.”

“Behind the Proposal” is a monthly feature about Kansas City area couples with interesting engagement stories. Know someone who came up with a creative way to pop the question? Email info@inkkc.com.

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