Chuck Wicks had it all planned out.
After years of noticing her across crowded rooms and following nearly a year of dating, the Ty Bentli Show radio co-host knew it was time to pop the question to girlfriend Kasi Williams, sister of country superstar Jason Aldean.
And as far as he was concerned, the best place to do that would be on a horse-drawn carriage as the couple wound their way through the snowy Canadian countryside during a romantic getaway last Thursday.
There was just one problem.
“Our horse had a major case of gas,” Wicks told PEOPLE with a laugh, just hours after he asked Williams to marry him. “It wasn’t right, so I told her we should just go in the hotel and get a drink. I mean, I needed a drink after that!”
So the two headed into the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, but it was at that very moment that Wicks noticed the beautiful setting just outside of the hotel.
“There was a bridge and it was snowing and just so quiet,” Wicks, 39, said. “I mean, you could hear a pin drop out there.”
After setting up a tripod that he had purchased especially for the occasion just a few months before, Wicks began recording, hoping to capture the precious memory.
“I had her believe we were going to take a picture, but then I got down on my knee, and let’s just say I had a death grip on that ring,” Wicks admits. “At one point, I put my head on her stomach because I was trying not to bawl. I just love her so much.”
Indeed, that love has been blooming for a while now, as Wicks admits that Williams, 34, had grabbed his attention long before they started dating.
“I’ve known about Kasi for a number of years, but I never realized she was Jason’s sister back then,” recalled the “Stealing Cinderella” hitmaker. “I would always see her at industry events and such with someone else, but we never really spoke.”
But following Williams’ divorce, she caught Wicks’ eye again at the 2018 ACM Awards.
“We were at a party for Jason and there she was again,” Wicks told PEOPLE. “I didn’t see a guy around her this time, though. I remember Jason’s wife Brittany gave her a little nudge toward me.”
From there, Wicks began doing some research on Instagram and found out that Williams was, in fact, single, and made his move by commenting on one of her photos. On a random Sunday afternoon shortly thereafter, Williams direct-messaged Wicks, asking if he would want to meet her and her friends at a local bar. The only problem was that Wicks never saw the note — but he went anyway, just by pure coincidence.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
“We hit it off right off the bat and stayed out until midnight that night, and then we made a date to go out to dinner that Friday night,” Wicks said. “The first time I met her, I loved her. I knew she was special right from the start.”
And while he was completely confident in his feelings about Williams, the Delaware native admits he was a tad hesitant about what his long-time pal Aldean, 42, would think.
“I’ve known Jason for a long time, but yeah, I was a little tentative at first about dating his sister because what if it didn’t work out?” Wicks said. “It was a little nerve-racking. I didn’t want to screw it up.”
But things did work out, and soon Wicks was shopping for an engagement ring.
“I’ve been hiding the ring in the house for the last four and a half months,” Wicks gleefully told PEOPLE. “I had it hidden in a backpack in the garage, so every day Kasi would get out of her car, she would walk right past it.”
Wicks had even asked Kasi’s father Barry Williams for his permission to marry his daughter not once, but twice in recent months. The first time occurred over the holidays, when Wicks, Aldean and his future father-in-law were playing a game of cards.
“We were probably drinking too much and I was losing money,” Wicks admitted with a laugh. “But I started telling them how much I loved Kasi and the whole bit, and I started crying. Luckily, Jason was super cool, saying that he just wanted his sister to be happy. And her dad hugged me and said that he would love to have me in the family.”
Wicks ended up asking again a few weeks later when he was totally sober. And once he had received approval from the guys, Wicks was ready to pop the question.
“This morning I woke up and I even told her, it’s just so easy to love you,” Wicks said Friday. “I love everything about our relationship. We have just been walking around this morning wondering if this is all real. It almost feels like a Disney movie. It’s hard to believe this is all happening.”
It is indeed happening. In fact, Wicks told PEOPLE that the two already have discussed the timing of the much-anticipated nuptials.
“We are both so ready. We definitely don’t want to wait around and have some long engagement,” admitted Wicks. “As long as we can get the venue, we are thinking of getting married this fall. I love this girl so much and we want to start our life and a family together sooner than later.” (Williams is already mom to an 8-year-old daughter, Avery.)
And for Wicks, everything is suddenly falling in place.
“We were meant to find each other and to share this moment together,” says Wicks, who sustained serious injuries in a car accident back in 2017. “It’s just makes everything that has happened in the past make much more sense.”
Their coupling has even inspired the radio host to get back to his first love.
“I’m going right into the studio when we return from this trip to start working on new music,” says Wicks, who released Turning Point back in 2016. “I have a feeling our love is going to spark a whole new musical journey for me.”
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