Gabby Barrett and Cade Foehner are engaged!
The former American Idol contestants are tying the knot and PEOPLE has all the details of the surprise proposal, the gorgeous ring and whether or not their former Idol judges will be getting an invite to the wedding.
“I’ve been thinking about proposing for quite a while,” Foehner, 22, said. “It’s getting harder and harder to be apart. Doing all the traveling we have to do, sometimes we have to go a month without seeing each other. That’s a little much for me, so I decided to go ahead and do this thing!”
During a trip to Los Angeles to participate in pre-marital counseling and visit their pastor, the duo quickly realized they were staying in a very familiar hotel.
“The hotel we were staying at while we were there was the same one me and Cade met and hung out in for the first time during Idol,” Barrett, 19, told PEOPLE. “So I told Cade we have to go back and check out the room and he agreed.”
Before a mini-photoshoot they were taking for a friend’s portfolio, the photographer suggested they take photos in the room where they first met.
“She started taking the pictures and then she said, ‘Hold on I need to switch lenses.’ Cade start saying all these sweet things and I didn’t think anything of it because he normally does it all the time,” said Barrett. “But I noticed he kept going on and on and then he eventually said, ‘I want to spend the rest of my life with you.’ Then he got down on one knee and he asked and I said, ‘Yes!'”
“I did not see this coming,” she added.
Though Cade had already purchased the ring, he didn’t usually travel with it — and wasn’t planning on proposing during this particular trip. But, when he realized they would be staying at the same hotel where they first met, he thought, ‘It can’t get any more right than this.”
“My sister overnighted the ring to our church,” he said. Barrett added, “The ring is very me.”
The duo first met during last season of American Idol in 2018.
“I thought he was cute, but I didn’t think there was going to be anything that came out of it,” said Barrett.
But before they knew, the couple had fallen head over heels for each other.
“Her love for God — that rocked my world from the start,” Foehner told PEOPLE. “Her humility and who she is as a woman is wrapped up in her beliefs in God. Having that pushes you to want to be humble and want to live a life like Christ. She’s absolutely captivating. I’ve known for quite a while that I want to spend my life with her. I could literally stare in her eyes for a million years and could not get tired of that.”
And while the two acknowledge some people may believe “they’re too young” for marriage, Barrett and Foehner are prepared for what’s ahead.
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“We do not date like most people do,” admitted Foehner. “We strive for a biblical relationship, so that requires a lot of strength in other areas. We are trying to be holy in our relationship. So we cannot physically do five years. We both know — we’ve talked about it and prayed about it.”
He added, “What’s the sense in sitting around and waiting around to be married? I’m ready to do this thing and when I’m 80 years old I’m going to look back at the time I wasted not being her husband.”
While they’re still enjoying their newly engaged bliss, a wedding date hasn’t been discussed — but they do have an idea of what time of year they want to tie the knot.
“We want a wedding in colder weather,” said Barrett.
“The judges are like family to us,” Barrett told PEOPLE. “Idol was the very beginning of our love story and we would love for all of our family to be there.”