Maren Morris + Ryan Hurd — Country’s Greatest Love Stories

The courtship of Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd is a true Nashville fairytale.

The pair met in 2013; at the time, both were scrappy songwriters coming up in Music City who just so happened to be paired together for a studio session. Their creative chemistry was obvious: During the writing date, Morris and Hurd wrote “Last Turn Home,” which Tim McGraw later decided to record.

“It was the start of a wonderful writing relationship,” Morris told People in 2017. “It’s one of my favorite songs that we’ve ever been a part of. It’s just crazy to look back on that moment where we were both just songwriters, solely, and that song has held so much weight over the years.

“The meaning behind the song actually means more now to me and Ryan, in a weird way — years later, it sort of hit us what the song meant,” she adds.

Although the couple was obviously on the same wavelength, they didn’t jump into dating right away. Instead, they got to know each other as friends first, before realizing there was something deeper between them.

“We had been friends for only a couple of years, but there was always this writing chemistry in the room, and eventually, the timing of it was undeniable,” Morris tells People. “We had such a foundation built off writing so many songs over the years that we were like, ‘Why are we avoiding this?'”

Naturally, the musicians turned this courtship into music. Hurd’s “Love in a Bar” — which contains lyrics such as “And the truth can’t lie / And we’ve been saying it with our eyes the whole time / That you have my whole heart / Yeah, we found love in a bar” — is an “autobiographical song” based on the couple’s slow-motion romance, he told People in a separate interview.

“We would write, and then after, we’d go over to a bar in Midtown and have a couple beers,” he says. “That’s when we started making a real connection, beyond a creative partnership.”

Hurd’s proposal to Morris — which happened over the Fourth of July weekend in 2017, when the couple was at his family’s lake house — was just as special and personalized. It took a bit of work making that last bit a reality, however.

“We had, like, 15 people at this little house,” Hurd tells Rare Country. “I had had that [ring] in my pocket for a while, and I was just looking for a good time. I woke up on the 3rd and I said to myself that that was the day. But there was no point where we were alone together.”

Thankfully, he and Morris managed to steal away for about 20 minutes and have some alone time together in a rowboat on the lake, where he was able to pop the question in privacy.

“It was a beautiful night and there weren’t a lot of people on the water,” Hurd recalled. It was July 3, so there were fireworks all around the lake, and I told her I bought all those fireworks just for her.”

The couple’s exact wedding date is still a mystery, although at the end of January 2018, Morris posted an Instagram photo with the caption, “Two months till we say ‘I do,'” indicating that the nuptials are happening sometimes in March. Several weeks later, she also apparently had her bachelorette party, as she shared an epic-looking photo on Instagram featuring a gaggle of friends, including RaeLynn, Cassadee Pope and Kree Harrison.

“Not sure what I did in a past life to deserve these people, but I’m thankful,” Morris captioned a photo from the festivities, along with the hashtag #GettingMurd.

Despite the secrecy, Morris has certainly been thinking about the big day. She tells Taste of Country Nights she plans to wear a short wedding dress, just like her mom once did, and has a very specific vision for the wedding.

“I just want [the wedding] to feel like us the people, and not us the artists,” she says, adding close friends and family are also a priority. “We’re gonna have some tequila, my dog’s gonna be there. For someone who’s getting married — I know that sounds weird. I want it to feel like a party. I don’t want it to be a stuffy, sit-down, plated dinner.”

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