The American Idol winner shares a new engagement photo with fiancée Gabi Dugal exclusively with PEOPLE

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This past September, American Idol Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery popped the question to his longtime girlfriend, Gabi Dugal, during a hike on the duo’s favorite trail near Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina.

And you know a couple’s engagement photos are going to be good when the wife-to-be has been scrawling “Mrs. Gabi McCreery” in hearts across her diary since grade school. Fast forward to three months later and the pair have ditched the hiking boots for a dreamy engagement portrait session, sharing one of the photos exclusively with PEOPLE.

Sporting a blue sweater and jeans, McCreery, 24, returned to the Tar Heel State’s majestic outdoors with Dugal for their shoot with Amber Wilson Beasley and Krista Fournier of Six Foot Photography.

scotty-mccreery
Scotty McCreery and Gabi Dugal
| Credit: AMBER WILSON BEASLEY & KRISTA FOURNIER OF SIX FOOT PHOTOGRAPHY

RELATED VIDEO: American Idol Star Scotty McCreery Pops the Question Hiking in North Carolina

The future bride also kept it casual, sporting jeans throughout the session and a grey sweater, later swapped out for a pastel bell sleeve shirt. The country singer and Dugal, a nurse at Duke University Hospital, plan to tie the knot sometime in 2018.

In the meantime, there’s a wedding to plan. “We’ve already figured out the place and the time,” McCreery previously told PEOPLE (though he’s mum on specifics), “and now it’s just putting it together. We have too many guests, and now we’ve got to cut it down. That’s the hardest part.”