In November 2018, Luke Combs posted an Instagram photo of himself and girlfriend Nicole Hocking enjoying a gorgeous Hawaiian sunset. It was a special occasion: Hocking was flashing an engagement ring in the shot.

"She said yes a while ago, but this is a way better place to take pictures than the kitchen," Combs explained in the caption. "Can't wait to spend forever with you @nicohocking. I love you!"

Hocking, who works for BMI, shared the same photo on Instagram and quipped, "You're stuck with me forever!"

Their engagement was a long time coming: The affectionate couple started dating in 2016, when Combs was just an up-and-coming musician. In fact, at the time, he had "no publishing deal, no record deal, no booking deal," he told People. "Everybody was like, ‘Yeah, this is never gonna work,' and so I didn’t have anything when we met."

But Combs was strategic about courting Hocking, who was born in Fort Myers, Fla., and is an alum of Florida Gulf Coast University. Naturally, he used his songwriting talents; in fact, he penned "Beautiful Crazy" about her.

"That got me some serious brownie points. That was before we were officially dating," Combs told ABC News in 2018. (He also quit chewing tobacco thanks to Hocking.)

Perhaps even more important, Combs has always gushed about Hocking online, and never fails to make her feel special. "This is my baby, and this is my favorite picture of her," he wrote in August 2018, captioning a photo of Hocking looking happy on vacation. "She’s gonna be mad at me for posting it, probably because it’s not perfect, but she is. This picture encompasses everything that has made me fall in love with her. Her natural beauty, her smile, personality, and the way she lives life. She’s having a rough day, and I’m far away, which is the hardest part of what I do, but I’m coming home baby, I’ll see you soon."

After Combs took home the 2018 CMA Award for New Artist of the Year award, he also took to Instagram to thank Hocking for her support.

"I won a CMA award last night but I showed up a winner because of this amazing woman," he wrote. "Thank you for believing in me, supporting me, and eating cookout with me at 1:30AM after the awards. I love you so much Nicole Hocking, you’re incredible inside and out."

Combs and Hocking wed on Aug. 1, 2020, after a lengthy engagement. The small ceremony took place at their home in southern Florida; they'd rearranged their plans to work within COVID-19 pandemic protocols. Ironically, a tropical storm that later turned into a hurricane (Combs' debut single and first No. 1 song is "Hurricane") was bearing down on their location when the couple said, "I do."

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