In a video of the special surprise shared by Idol, Bryan explained, “We just did a day of auditions and we found out that like, two minutes away, there’s a real, live wedding happening.”
“We heard that they’re big fans of mine so we’re going to go have some fun and crash a real wedding, real quick,” said Bryan.
Bryan, 41, was met with cheers when he entered the reception at the Charles Morris Center in downtown Savannah’s historic district as guests danced to one of his songs. He popped some champagne before dancing along with the bride, groom and guests to another one of his hit tunes, “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).”
Bride McKenna Neidlinger Lipski told PEOPLE she and her groom, Austin Lipski, were completely surprised when Bryan and a camera crew walked into their wedding.
“I couldn’t believe it,” recalled McKenna, a huge Bryan fan who has seen him twice in concert.
The newlyweds learned later how it all went down. “The American Idol producers called the venue manager and asked it it would be ok for Luke to crash our wedding reception,” explained McKenna. “The venue manager had to contact my mom to make sure we would be ok with it.”
McKenna’s mom said, “absolutely,” and kept the secret until Bryan walked through the door.
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Bryan also graciously posed for photos and joked with the couple about scheduling their wedding on the day of the hotly contested University of Georgia/University of Florida football game — which the former won.
The country star and fellow judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie have been filming the series’ reboot for at least the past month. It will premiere on ABC in 2018.