Bieber had been planning his surprise proposal for a couple weeks, says a source


Justin Bieber‘s proposal to Hailey Baldwin was a “total surprise,” but the “Sorry” singer has been planning the big moment for a couple of weeks.

“Justin picked out the ring before they flew to the Bahamas,” a source close to the Canadian superstar, 24, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “He took Hailey on a special trip to propose. She didn’t know.”

Leading up to the proposal, Bieber was “nervous but excited,” adds the source. “He is super happy that she said ‘Yes.'”

Though he only recently rekindled his romance with Baldwin, 21, after calling it quits again with on-again, off-again girlfriend Selena Gomez, 25, Bieber knew quickly his relationship with the model was different this time around.

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin hold hands when exiting Nobu restaurant in New York
Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber
| Credit: Splash News

“He knew a couple of weeks ago that he wanted to propose,” says the source. “He sees marriage as something very special. He would never propose if he wasn’t crazy about Hailey.”

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The newly engaged couple are both very active in their Hillsong church, and Bieber spoke to his pastor Carl Lentz before proposing, adds the source.

“It might seem spontaneous, but it wasn’t. He felt in his heart that this was right. He doesn’t want Hailey to ever be the one that got away.”

On-again couple Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin put on a shirtless public display of affection in Miami
Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber
| Credit: MEGA

Baldwin and Bieber have known each other since they were teens and previously dated, but “Hailey is still very young and when they dated in the past, it wasn’t the right time to get engaged,” says the source.

Adds another insider close to the couple: “She’s always had a crush on him but he saw her as a little sister. As they grew up there was definitely an attraction there, but he wasn’t in a place to commit to her.”

The pair also had to hit pause on their friendship after their romance soured, but found their way back to a solid place.

“Hailey was always there for Justin and liked him the way he was,” says the source. “She never tried to change him. His relationship with Hailey is easy and fun. He loves that she is always happy.”