Kellie Pickler’s Engaged!

Our Country

They say good things always happen in threes, right? It's been a happy period for country girls' love lives of late. First, Carrie Underwood announced her engagement to Mike Fisher right before Christmas 2009. Then Miranda Lambert followed suit in May, flashing a ring from longtime boyfriend Blake Shelton. Now, another Nashville gal is officially off the market.

The newest bride-to-be is American Idol alum Kellie Pickler, who said "yes" to songwriter Kyle Jacobs on June 15. The date holds particular significance for Pickler, as it is the birthday of her late grandmother, who raised her.

As Pickler tells PEOPLE, the day traditionally was "sad and hard." However, "It turned out to be the most amazing day of my life," she explains. "My whole world changed. We both feel like we got my grandmother's blessing."

Jacobs, who's written hits for such greats as Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw, chose a romantic sunset walk on a Florida beach as the perfect setting to pop the question. Afterwards, the couple hugged, prayed, and toasted with champagne.

Pickler, whose childhood was marked by her absent mother and frequently incarcerated father, notes to PEOPLE that Jacobs has taught her how to have a healthy relationship.

She's come quite a long way since last year, when she confessed, "I'm not ready--I'm 22, I just started out--I'm not ready to put my husband first," to radio show GAC Nights: Live From Nashville. "[I'll wait until] I'm to a point into my career where I can say, 'This can come in second and I'm ready to have a family.'"

She's clearly at that point now: "Kyle took away all my fear of marriage and has shown me the way love is supposed to be," she says.

Pickler's even renewed her relationship with her dad, and plans to have him walk her down the aisle. "I'm in the happiest place I've ever been," she enthuses.

Back in June 2009, Pickler fought off tabloid rumors that she was involved with Kid Rock. Both she and Jacobs, whom she met in 2007 through friends, announced through Twitter that the rumors were false and unfounded.

Today, on her Twitter account, she proudly tweeted: "Yes, it's true. Can't wait to say 'I DO!'" Meanwhile, Jacobs tweeted, "Thank you Jesus!" (The cute photos posted are from their respective Twitter pages.)

Congrats, Kellie and Kyle, you make an adorable couple!

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