"You're always hoping your songs affect people in a good way," McCreery tells PEOPLE
Just add cupid to Scotty McCreery‘s list of credits.
The American Idol alum’s song “See You Tonight” played a key role in helping make a proposal aboard a Southwest Airlines flight from Detroit to Las Vegas even more memorable.
When Greg Freyer surprised his long-distance girlfriend Rebekah Ellis by popping the question aboard her flight back home to Vegas after she visited him for the weekend in June 2014, she didn’t even know he was on the plane.
“We got up at 3:30 in the morning, and I told her I was leaving for work and we hugged our goodbyes, and of course it’s sad because you don’t know when you’re going to see each other again,” Freyer, 24, tells PEOPLE. “We always hate saying goodbye. But instead of going to work, I really went to the airport.”
Freyer boarded his girlfriend’s flight in disguise so she wouldn’t know he was there, and once the plane was in the air, he had the crew play “See You Tonight” over the intercom, and he walked up the aisle to get on one knee and propose.
“That song described our relationship perfectly,” says Freyer of the miles between him and Ellis, 23, at the time. “It talks about ‘hearing your sweet voice.’ Her voice is always the sweetest, most tender voice on the phone, and I just always loved hearing it when we couldn’t be together.”
Of course Ellis said “yes” – sort of. “She was so shocked I don’t even think she said yes, she just nodded her head,” says Freyer.
Fast forward a few months later aboard another Southwest flight, and McCreery, 21, was reading the March 2015 issue of Southwest: The Magazine. He came across a letter written by Freyer thanking the airline for their help in facilitating the in-air proposal.
“I’m not much of a reader, and normally when I’m on a plane, I’m sleeping, but that particular day I couldn’t sleep,” says McCreery. “So I pulled out the magazine to pass the time and all of a sudden I saw my name, so I was like: ‘Let me read this.’
“It was a pretty cool story, and it’s always cool to be part of something in people’s lives that big.”
After reading the letter, McCreery set out in search of the couple, hoping he could meet them and invite them to one of his concerts.
Thanks to social media, Freyer and Ellis – who tied the knot in March – heard about McCreery’s interest in meeting them, and the group finally got together before McCreery’s show in Camden, New Jersey, on Sunday.
“It was just so awesome,” says Freyer. “I mean the whole thing was absolutely incredible.”
McCreery is just happy his song played a part in their love story.
“They said it was their song because they were long distance. He’d always say, ‘I’d drive a million miles to see you,’ and that’s a lyric in the song,” says McCreery.
“That’s really the goal,” he adds. “You’re always hoping your songs affect people in a good way.”
McCreery’s new song “Southern Belle,” the first single off his upcoming album, drops Aug. 24.
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