Stephen Barker Liles of country duo Love and Theft surprised longtime girlfriend Jenna Michelle Kennedy by taking to his knee and "begging" her to marry him earlier this week. Kennedy agreed, and the two shared smiles and tears while a family friend photographed the moment.

The proposal took place along the beach in Fort Myers, Fla. People reports that the couple had dinner reservations, but Liles called ahead and told the restaurant to say their table wouldn't be ready for 30 minutes so he could convince Kennedy to walk along the beach with him. That's where his friend Justin was set up with his camera.

"[She] asked what they were doing, and I said, 'Probably just watching the sunset!'" Liles tells People, referring to the cameraman. "Then we walked closer and I got down on one knee and begged her to be mine forever."

The ring is a 2.34-ct. yellow center cut diamond. Kennedy's mother and three siblings each gave their blessings. Look for Mr. and Mrs. Liles to be introduced in May 2014.

"I am so blessed to have [Jenna] in my life and for us to become one," Liles said after the proposal. "She is my best friend and I am so grateful for the Lord bringing her into my life." Kennedy is 26 and Liles is 29. The singer's bandmate, Eric Gunderson, was married in August 2010.

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