How Brad Paisley Helped Make a Fan's Marriage Proposal Unforgettable
After a man missed his chance to pop the question at one concert, Paisley brought him back for a second try
Brad Paisley just can’t resist a good love story.
On Saturday night at his concert in Laughlin, Nevada, the singer showed two fans just how far he’ll go to make sure they have a happy ending.
Two weeks ago, Paisley fan Jason Smith brought his girlfriend Courtney Larger to Paisley’s Phoenix show with an engagement ring in his pocket, hoping to be noticed by the singer and get the chance to pop the question on stage.
When his plan was thwarted by a worker who kept Smith from getting close to the stage, the 30-year-old insurance adjuster set up a Twitter account to plead his case directly to his musical idol. “Waited 4 yrs to propose to my gf @ your concert and your guy stopped me…devastated,” Smith tweeted. He then added, “I actually made this Twitter just to let u know, bc 2 of your songs mean everthing [sic] to us and I wanted to propose to one.”
“I knew Brad appreciates romance,” Smith tells PEOPLE. “I had read the story about how he saw his wife in a movie and then cast her in his video, so I knew that he’s a romantic guy and believed in this kind of thing.”
Sure enough, Paisley reached out personally to Smith, inviting him back to the Nevada concert with meet and greet tickets.
“I couldn’t live with the fact that this guy missed his chance to propose during one of my songs in Phoenix. I had to fix that,” Paisley tells PEOPLE.
Smith told Larger, 23, he had won a contest with free tickets to the Nevada show and the couple drove five hours from their home in Tucson for the concert. In the midst of the show, Paisley called the pair on stage and Smith got down on one knee in front of his tearful girlfriend, who seemed too overwhelmed to say yes, until Paisley reminded her.
“It was great – it was surreal,” Smith tells PEOPLE. “It made me realize that he really does care about his fans. Who else can look back and say they had that kind of engagement?”
Afterward, Paisley launched into his song Little Moments in honor of the couple – a tune, Smith says “always makes [Larger] cry.”
“Ironically, that song is what got me married too, so I really relate,” says Paisley, who wrote the song when he was dating his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley. The two married in 2003.
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The singer knows a little something about romantic proposals from personal experience. His own involved a carefully orchestrated plan with Paisley surprising his now-wife at the end of a pier in Marina Del Rey, California – a place special to the couple who had been dating long-distance at the time.
“It’s a really long pier so she couldn’t see to the end, but when she got there, I was standing there,” Paisley told PEOPLE in 2008. “She was crying. And then the funniest part is I got down on one knee and said, ‘Will you marry me?’ and there were public toilets on the pier so as soon as she said ‘Yes,’ there was this whoosh – this horribly loud flush!”