July 02, 2012 04:00 PM

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Jake Owen has a brand new release debuting this fall — and it’s arguably his best work yet.

The “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” singer, 30, and his wife Lacey Buchanan Owen, 22, will welcome a baby girl in November, they tell PEOPLE exclusively.

The couple got engaged on stage during Owen’s show on April 7 and wed — barefoot on the beach — one month later.

“We actually found out Lacey was pregnant after I had asked her dad for his permission,” the country crooner tells PEOPLE.

“From the day I met her, there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to marry her, and we always knew we wanted a family.”

“The way we saw it, the baby news was a bonus on top of the engagement, but we didn’t want anyone to think we were getting married because Lacey was pregnant, and we wanted to celebrate our wedding first.”

Adds Buchanan: “We didn’t want to go public with it until we found out if it was a boy or a girl. The pregnancy was just something we wanted to keep for ourselves for a little while.”

Owen raced home to Nashville from his latest tour stop (he’s on the road with Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney for the Brothers of the Sun Tour) for his wife’s first ultrasound appointment Monday. But both were shocked by the news that they’d be having a little girl.

The dad-to-be says his sister “swears by” the Chinese Birth Calendar, an ancient method of predicting gender. So Owen and Buchanan utilized it as well, and were expecting to have a baby boy.

“So when the technician said it was a girl, were were like, ‘Are you sure?'” he recalls. “She said she was as sure as she could be.”

Their baby girl is due in November, but the singer (who has a new single out called “The One That Got Away”) says he is trying to slow down and enjoy every moment.

“Not only do I have a beautiful wife I get to spend my life with, I’m getting a baby too!” he says. “You know with other people’s babies, they’ll say, ‘Do you want to hold the baby?’ And I always am excited to do that, but then you have to give the baby back. Now we get to keep the baby!”

— Kay West

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