Dan + Shay's Shay Mooney Engaged to Hannah Billingsley: 'She's the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me'

The singer opens up to PEOPLE about the tear-filled proposal

Photo: Rick Diamond/ACM2016/Getty

Shay Mooney and Hannah Billingsley are building their love – from the ground up.

The couple – one-half of country duo Dan + Shay and Miss Arkansas 2013 – were engaged Tuesday in Arkansas, they announced on social media.

“I liked it … so I put a ring on it,” Mooney, 24, joked in his post sharing the happy news. “I’m the luckiest man in the world. Hannah, I love you.”

Added 25-year-old Billingsley, “Words aren’t enough. Truly the happiest day of my life. 8/9/16 I love you so much Shay.”

The couple, who have been together since 2014, first met through mutual friends and initially built their relationship over text messages.

“From the very first time I saw her, I knew I wanted to marry her,” Mooney told PEOPLE exclusively. “She’s stunning. I finally convinced her to come to a show in Fayetteville, Arkansas.”

And a year and a half later, the “Nothin’ Like You” singer-songwriter got down on one knee with an engagement ring in hand.

“She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me, so I had to lock it down. She’s my better, and much better-looking half,” he joked.

Mooney popped the question in Fayetteville, near a country church with both sides of the family hidden inside to surprise Billingsley after the proposal. In a twist of fate, Mooney and bandmate Dan Smyers’ “From the Ground Up,” their current single about a couple building their lives together, came on the radio as the pair pulled up to the church.

“I had so much I wanted to say to this beautiful girl when I was proposing, but I was so shaky and nervous I don’t even remember what I said, or if what I said made a lick of sense,” he told PEOPLE. “Hannah cried. As you can see in the picture, she cried a lot!”

“I just wanted to thank everyone wholeheartedly for the well wishes and congratulations,” Billingsley added. “It’s been a special week made even more precious by the love of so many! Thank you thank you thank you!”

Dan + Shay’s sophomore record, Obsessed, is available now. Catch the duo on the road throughout the fall with Darius Rucker and Michael Ray on the “Good for a Good Time” tour.

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