Scotty McCreery and Gabi Dugal got engaged in September of 2017, although it's safe to say that development was a long time coming. After all, the two, who are both Garner, N.C., natives, met in kindergarten and started dating during their senior year of high school. According to CMT, young Dugal even kept a diary on which she wrote “Mrs. Gabi McCreery” on the cover.

Post-graduation, the pair went their separate ways: Dugal went to the University of North Carolina and is now a pediatric cardiac nurse at Duke University Hospital, while McCreery attended North Carolina State University and won Season 10 of American Idol. However, their relationship stayed strong.

“She’s a rock for me and understands me like nobody else,” McCreery told CMT in 2017. “And she’s really been there through thick and thin with me, and she’s just awesome. I can’t say enough nice things about her. She’s another grounding force for me.”

Although Dugal appears in the music videos for McCreery's "The Trouble With Girls," "Feelin' It" and "Five More Minutes," she hasn't always been comfortable being in the spotlight, as he explained in a separate CMT conversation: "She’ll go to the red carpet with me, but she won’t do pictures," McCreery says. "She’ll just kind of watch from a distance."

"She tries to go to different shows with me. Day by day, she gets a little more into all this," he adds. "She told me the other day, 'I can see myself moving to Nashville one day.' I said, 'I told you you’d love it.'"

McCreery popped the question to Dugal on top of North Carolina's Grandfather Mountain during a hike on a favorite trail, using a custom-designed ring. In perhaps an even sweeter gesture, his single "This Is It" describes the mountaintop proposal.

"This is it, this is now / This is what I've been talking about / Looking out, can't you see forever?" goes the song's chorus. "You take my hand, just take it in / This is a moment we won't forget / On top of the world, here together / If there ever was a time for a perfect kiss / This is it."

McCreery and Dugal are planning to get married in 2018. Although he was busy prepping for the release of a new album, Seasons Change, in mid-March, wedding planning is going smoothly.

"We have most of the big things done,” McCreery told Rare Country in early February. “We are sending the save the dates out, and we need to pick out our wedding cake, but we are doing pretty good. Right now, we are inviting about 230 people, so, yep, it’s going to be a good-size wedding.”

Still, no matter how stressful things get, rest assured that McCreery and Dugal are leaning on each other to get through the day.

“I’ve been planning this moment for so long that it feels surreal for it to have finally happened,” McCreery said after popping the question. “Gabi is the perfect girl and my true love, and I cannot wait to begin building our life together as husband and wife.”

The Story of Scotty McCreery's "This Is It"