Some love stories begin with a smile. Others, a DM. For country superstars Kelsea Ballerini and Morgan Evans, however, it started with a shot of tequila. The pair threw one back after meeting while cohosting a country music awards show in Australia, which cemented the foundation for an evening that would lead to their first kiss, nine months of dating, and eventually, a full-circle wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Toasting to their marriage with (what else?) another shot of tequila, the couple began their lives together as husband and wife. Keep reading to relive all of the milestones they've celebrated throughout their sweet romance.
- The pair fell in love while co-hosting the Country Music Channel Awards in Morgan’s native Australia.
- They shared their first kiss the night that they met.
- They got engaged after just 9 months.
- Their wedding was tequila-themed.
March 10, 2016: A Shot at Love
After being introduced as cohosts for the 2016 Country Music Channel Awards, the "Day Drunk" crooner suggested that they throw one back to break the ice. “He was like, ‘Let’s take a shot,'” the Feel Your Way Through author would later tell People. “I remember taking that shot and putting it down and looking at him like, ‘Oh…he’s super hot.”
More than that, however, Kelsea told Access Hollywood the pair’s chemistry was instantaneous. “It was like an instant connection. As soon as I met him, he was just careful with the way that I love. And I always felt very safe loving him.”
By the end of the night, the pair was locking lips. As Kelsea revealed to People, “Later that night, he leaned over and asked if he could kiss me, like a proper gentleman, and I said yes.”
April 10, 2016: Down Under
Just one month after meeting each other, the pair looked head over heels in a photo that Kelsea shared to her Instagram page. “Australia,” read the simple caption.
2016: City of Love
The lovebirds took their romance to the City of Light in 2016.
November 2, 2016: The Big Debut
The country music cuties made their red carpet debut at the 2016 Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, where Kelsea was up for Female Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year.
Christmas 25, 2016: Surprise!
Kelsea had a whole lot to celebrate on Christmas Day, 2016, and she shared the good news with the world in the form of a photo showing off some new bling...on that finger. “This morning, 9 months and 13 days [after meeting], he got down on one knee in the kitchen while I was burning pancakes and asked me to marry him,” she gushed of her new fiancé. “Loving him has been the greatest gift of my life. And now I get to do it for life."
Morgan also shared the photo, along with his new relationship status, on Instagram, writing, “When you know, you know…She’s perfect.” He went all out as far as the ring was concerned, too, telling PeopleStyle that the cushion-cut diamond surrounded by smaller stones was crafted just for his bride-to-be, so as to be “classic and beautiful, like her.” He explained: “I had the ring custom made with a diamond I picked from a local designer here in Nashville.”
February 7, 2017: Crushing Hard
Kelsea admitted that her main squeeze still had the power to give her butterflies in February 2017. “I feel like a kid that has my first crush every time I’m around him,” she confessed on Instagram, adding, “And I get marry him. WIN.”
May 29, 2017: Going the Extra Mile
Kelsea was taken by her future groom's romantic gestures in May, quipping via social media, “The guy who flies across the country to catch a show and spend a day off together is the guy you marry.”
September 3, 2017: On Top of the World
In September, Morgan traveled to be with his love once more, this time to share a special moment together high above the city. His bride-to-be showed off an adorable photo of the twosome being affectionate in a Ferris wheel, writing, “He’s in the busiest season of his life, and he still makes time to fly across the country to kiss me on top of a Ferris wheel. He loves me so well.”
December 2, 2017: Wedding Day
The twosome went for a casual beachy ambience for their 2017 destination nuptials, which took place at the Esperanza resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico—Kelsea even went barefoot while walking down the aisle! Her flowing Berta gown was still a complete show-stopper, however, with the bridal party in Monique Lhuillier and David Yurman accessories, and the groom and his brother—who also served as the best man—in tan Joseph Abooud ensembles.
The milestone was a huge one for Kelsea in particular, who would later tell Access Hollywood that she previously had some reservations about marriage. “I’ve always, like, loved the idea of relationships and love and all of that, but I wasn’t even really sure I wanted to do the marriage thing,” she shared. “My parents got divorced and it was a whole thing, so I was kind of always really aware of that.”
Keeping with their roots, the theme revolved around tequila, according to People, and they exchanged handwritten vows, which Morgan told the outlet his bride nailed. “Kelsea’s vows were, as you would expect, poetic, sweet—like, mind-blowingly good. our officiant was like, ‘Hey, Morgan, beat that!'” he recalled. “I said mine, and I was going to finish with a few lines of the first song I wrote for her. I got halfway through them, and she started to lose it, then I started to lose it—so I ended up having to cut it a little bit short!”
December 2017: The Honeymooners
The couple didn’t have to travel far to get to their honeymoon—they reportedly stayed at their Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, resort, where they reveled in their status as newlyweds with tons of photos with mushy captions galore. “Hubs is a photographer,” Kelsea wrote on one of her in a sexy white one-piece swimsuit.
October 2018: Making Sweet Music
The couple released their first musical collaboration in October 2018 with “Dance With Me.” “It was the first song I ever wrote for her, and my favorite song I’ve ever written,” Morgan raved about the track to Rolling Stone at the time.
April 2019: Soaking Up the Sun
Two years after tying the knot in Mexico, the couple returned to the country where they wed for a little fun in the sun. “'I’ve never been so happy to be sunburned,” Kelsea wrote of the trip.
July 2019: In Sickness and in Health
The pair’s next getaway turned out not to be *quite* so romantic after Kelsea got ill overseas. “Welp. I spent the better part of our time in Santorini with a wicked case of food poisoning,” she lamented on social media. Morgan was by her side to nurse her back to health, however. “I have the sweetest man who kept me stocked up on Powerade,” she enthused.
October 20, 2020: New Digs
The couple traded apartment life for the suburbs in October 2020, but not before paying homage to all the great times they had together in their first shared space. “Yesterday we moved out of our first place together,” Morgan wrote on Instagram. “Almost three years of marriage in there. So many great memories…Onto the next adventure.”
Spring 2020: Time Out
Kelsea and Morgan made the most out of their forced time-out during the quarantine months of 2020, which the “Miss Me More” singer later discussed with People. "I'm really grateful for the last year and a half, honestly, to be able to have time that we'd never had before to not just see each other once a week, but see each other every day and cook together and buy a house together and walk the dog together and just do really normal things that seem small," she told the publication. She added, "That was a really beautiful thing for our marriage."
October 23, 2020: Teaming Up
Quarantine also gave the couple a new lease on each other’s musical talents, as Kelsea explained to Us Weekly that October. “Morgan and I always kind of said we’re never gonna write together because, I don’t know, we just respect each other so much as songwriters,” she shared. “I was worried that I’d get in the room and be like, ‘Oh, it’s weird that I’m writing a love song about you, with you.’ Like, I just thought I’d be so in my head about it, But we ended up starting to write together the last few months and it’s been so much fun when we’re just itching to play music, we’ll both just pick up a guitar and start writing, so that’s definitely been a good silver lining.”
Morgan, for his part, would later express how much he valued his wife’s input on his songwriting, telling E! News in July 2021, “I also always say we're each other's biggest fans and also each other's biggest critics at the same time, so when she says she loves them, she means it."
July 2021: Hitting the Open Road
The couple itched their scratch to travel in July 2021 with a road trip to Northern California, which Kelsea gave fans a glimpse of on social media. “Rented a convertible and adventured the day away through Northern California,” she shared. After spending some time by the bay, whale watching and eating oysters, the singer revealed that she and her husband went on a hike, rewarding themselves with the “best West coast clam chowder."
November 18, 2021: Keeping It Real
Kelsea wasn’t shy about sharing her and Morgan’s secrets for navigating marriage together, telling People in November 2021, "We go to couples' therapy all the time. We have really good [couple] friends that we vacation with, but we also can sit down with and have the hard conversations."
And while the songstress conceded everything isn’t always sunshine and roses, she told the outlet that her realistic outlook is an asset to their union. "Because of my parents' divorce and the way that they loved me through it in their own ways, I have a different idea of marriage, but I would think I have a healthier idea of marriage," she said. "I don't see it as a fairytale-esque, ride-off-into-the-sunset kind of thing. It's work, but it's worth it….We approach our relationship so differently, but he shows up—he shows up in every way he needs to.”
December 2, 2021: Etched in Stone
Four years in, the twosome is as solid as ever. So solid, in fact, they they might as well be carved in stone—which is exactly the sentiment Kelsea shared via an Instagram photo of herself kissing her husband’s cheek for their anniversary. “You are etched into me, a carved heart on a new permanent,” she wrote.
January 25, 2021: The Best Present
The couple surprised Morgan's family in Australia after two-and-a-half years away for Christmas. Naturally, Morgan also filmed the sweet reunion for fans to see.