Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton will tie the knot today (May 14) at an undisclosed location in Miranda's home state of Texas.
The happy couple, who began dating in 2006, sparked relationship rumors the year before, when their undeniable chemistry was apparent during the taping of CMT's '100 Greatest Duets.' The future bride and groom performed the David Frizell/Shelly West classic hit, 'You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma' -- a providential song given Miranda eventually left Texas to move closer to her beau in the Sooner state.
Blake and Miranda continued to juggle a relationship with their demanding careers, with Blake's fame skyrocketing on the heels of his fourth No. 1 single, 'Home' (which includes Miranda on background vocals). Miranda saw her own success begin to soar with her first Top 10 hit, 'Gunpowder & Lead,' and a vast collection of awards, including an ACM Award for Album of the Year in 2007 for her platinum-selling, critically-acclaimed project, 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.'
The marriage talk began after about four years of dating, when Blake suddenly came clean on his plans to wed his longtime love. "We've had our high points and low points, but I do think that we're stronger together now than we've ever, ever been," Blake hinted to The Boot back in March of 2010. "For the first time, I can see that [engagement] happening, and she can too ... So who knows?"
Just two months later, Blake appropriately asked Miranda's father for her hand in marriage, before proposing in May of 2010. "They sat down together and had a conversation," Miranda told Cowboys & Indians magazine. I don't know how it went, though I presume it went well. But that was really important to me. That goes back to my roots. I think every man should ask the girl's dad for her hand."
The 'Honey Bee' singer sealed the deal with a gorgeous diamond and platinum ring, which was selected without any help from his fiancé. "It's absolutely beautiful. It has a vintage feel, and that's one thing I always wanted," she gushed to People magazine about her new sparkler. "It's platinum and has a big stone in the middle and two half-moon stones on the side. He picked it out all by himself, and I'm so proud of him!"
It wasn't long after the official engagement that Miranda began working on a pre-wedding fitness plan, including a new diet and plenty of exercise -- and went down two dress sizes in the process. "I don't know how much weight I've lost. I just know people tell me, 'You look great,'" she tells US Weekly magazine. Opting for almonds over Cheetos, the singer-songwriter, who had to balance a new eating plan while traveling across the country on her Revolution tour, cut out some of her favorite foods to get down to a new svelte figure. "No mayonnaise, no potatoes or bread ... really just vegetables and meat."
The 27-year-old singer will have the chance to show off her hard work when she walks down the aisle. And while the blond beauty has opted to keep her wedding dress a secret, Blake made his attire for the big day public knowledge early in the engagement. "Miranda told me she wants me to be comfortable," he told The Boot in August. "She said, 'I want you to wear your blue jeans and boots, and we'll find you a cool jacket,' which shocked the hell out of me!"
Miranda quickly kicked the wedding planning into high gear, with Blake's decision-making limited to one role: choosing the entertainment for the reception. The reigning ACM Male Vocalist of the Year called on his good friend, Neal McCoy, to do the honors.
"I don't think we could've gone to Las Vegas and found the most entertaining person there and got anybody funnier or got a crowd going better than Neal McCoy," Blake told The Boot. "Mostly he's just a friend, and I felt [strange] asking him to play at the wedding, because he's still Neal McCoy, even though he's a buddy to me. When we asked him, I think he was kind of shocked that we thought of him, but he said he was honored to do it. So, I can't wait to see what he's got prepared for that night."
Neal was only too happy be the official wedding singer. "Blake is a good friend of mine," Neal explained to Country Weekly. "Blake reminds me of myself, he's a little goofy -- he's a lot goof -- actually, and he's really funny. He and Miranda pulled up chairs to the side of the stage [at a concert in Oregon], and I guess they were blown away by the spontaneity and goofiness of my show, so they asked me to play their wedding reception. They wanted to pay me, and I told them, 'Of course you don't have to pay me! That'll be an honor to play it.' I'm sure it will be really fun and a who's-who kind of thing with all the people attending."
The rest of the details for the big day were left mostly to Miranda, which suited the groom just fine. "Here's the thing -- I am thrilled to be married to Miranda Lambert, but I don't give a crap about weddings," he admitted to The Boot. "So, it's a big deal to her, and I'm excited for her, but I don't have a lot of input because I don't have a lot of ideas about it. Every wedding I've ever gone to, I've either fallen asleep or been so miserable that I had my iPod in and nobody knew it, or I was playing Angry Birds on my phone. Even if it's your wedding, if you're a guy, it's boring. So, I'm excited about the actual ceremony to happen, because after that, the reception is going to be a party, and that's what I'm looking forward to."
The lovebirds didn't need to wait till the wedding to start the party. Miranda headed to Louisville to celebrate her nuptials with a few of her gal pals at the Annual Kentucky Derby last weekend. Her groom decided to take a more low-key approach for his final night out as a single man.
"Me and my buddies are going to take a camping trip somewhere," Blake revealed to Parade magazine. "Maybe try to find something to go hunt. Turkey or bears or something like that. Something country. The last ten years of my life has been a bachelor party, so I don't need an extra one night to add to my life. I've had plenty of that stuff."
The pre-wedding hunting trip was guys-only, but the sport is something the couple enjoy doing together -- which is why they're serving venison at their reception. "We're having deer meat served at our wedding -- we've already got a pile of 'em ready," Blake divulged to Us magazine. "It was actually [Miranda's] idea. So when your girlfriend thinks like that, it makes it easy for me just to show up and have a good time!"
Earlier this week, Miranda proved she was serious about the choice of meat for the reception. "Last thing loaded for the wedding!!! Harvested by....me!!!!!" she tweeted, along with a picture of a package of deer cutlets with her name on them.
With two superstars tying the knot, the event will likely be one of the most star-studded events of the year. Two guests already confirmed to be in attendance are Reba McEntire and her husband, Narvel Blackstock. The couples are not only close friends, but Narvel and his son, Brandon, also manage Blake's stellar career.
"I really do have a maternal relationship with Blake, so I'm looking forward to it," Reba tells The Boot. "It's going to be a very different wedding but I'm looking forward to it ... Anything to do with Blake and Miranda is always a lot of fun."
The couple have remained silent on their honeymoon plans, but we do know the newlyweds will be back to business in about ten days. Blake heads to his home state on May 25 to co-host the first of two Tornado Relief Concerts, along with Reba, to help residents recovering from the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the state last month.
"Oklahoma defines who I am, and seeing the effects this disaster has had on my neighbors, I knew I had to do something," stated the generous star. "Reba and I have a lot of love for this state, and we wanted to do what we can to help. This place is my home, and these people are family to us."
Surrounded by family and friends, the future Mr. and Mrs. Shelton are eager to take the next step in their fairytale romance. "I'm going into it with complete confidence," Miranda tells Redbook magazine. "Marriage is gonna be your stability through everything. It's someone who always has your back. And it makes me want to be a better woman so I can be that for Blake. Forever."
Blake agrees. "She's one of those few people you meet and have a connection with, and you don't really fully understand it, but you know it's a pretty big deal," he tells The Boot. Still, in true Blake fashion, he couldn't help poking fun at the significance of the big day.
"Hey y'all friends, fans and freaks," he tweeted earlier this week. "I'm not going to be here for a few days so stir s--- up for me while I'm gone. I'm going to get buried."
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