Recording Artist Luke Bryan and Wife, Caroline arrive at the 2017 CMT Artists Of The Year Awards Show at Schermerhorn Symphony Center on October 18, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Davis/WireImage)
Jason Davis/WireImage

Luke and Caroline Bryan's Relationship Timeline: A Country Love Story for the Ages

Luke Bryan and his wife Caroline have one of country music's most inspiring love stories.

Country music superstar Luke Bryan and his wife Caroline Boyer Bryan are two of the most entertaining figures on social media. The couple is known for sharing their creative family pranks and sweet interactions with their kids through silly pictures and hilarious videos. But behind those fleeting moments on the internet, there's a foundation of mutual love and respect that Luke and Caroline have built over nearly two decades.

"It's all about communication and giving each other time to go do the things that we're passionate about," Bryan told People in 2021. "But the communication is so critical. When you get your wires crossed ... I know it sounds cliché, but never go to bed mad. You really have to abide by that stuff."

Luke and Caroline have been married for 16 years, so he must know what he's talking about. With that, you might be wondering: how did these two meet? Like most great country music love stories, Luke Bryan and his wife's began in bar. The rest, as they say, is history.

Here is a timeline of Luke and Caroline's entire relationship — from a college romance to settling down and starting a family.

1998: A Georgia Southern Love Story

The 43rd Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards - Luke Bryan and Wife Caroline pose on red carpet

Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Caroline and Luke's love story began in 1998 at a bar called Dingus Magee's while they were attending Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga. Luke was a senior and Caroline was just coming in as a freshman. Luke said it was love at first sight for him. "I had to drink a lot before I could go talk to her, but I did. Somehow I managed to ease over there and somewhat be charming. It was one of those situations for me, it was like, 'Who is that and how do I go talk to her?'" Luke said at a media event.

Though Luke says he instantly told his friends that he and Caroline would marry, he wasn't the one to make the first move. "He was always a gentleman. We hung out as friends first and he never made a move on me," Caroline told People (via CountryFanCast.) "I kissed him first! He was always so scared of making a girl feel uncomfortable, he wouldn't cross a line."

Early 2000s: Dating on and Off

Once Luke and Caroline became a couple in college, their future together wasn't a sure thing. The two dated on and off for quite a few years before finally settling down.

"We'd date a little in college, and then we'd break up," Luke once told Kellie Pickler and Ben Aaron on Pickler & Ben. "And then I would be devastated. We'd get back together, break up. Then she would be devastated."

The romance came to a longer halt once Luke graduated and started trying to navigate a music career. They spent a great deal of time apart after Bryan graduated in 1999, but Bryan said the time away was actually beneficial for them as a couple.

"We were apart for 5½ years, which was kind of a blessing because I went off to Nashville, got all this going," he said. "She finished college. She went and actually had a career."

2004: Luke and Caroline Reconnect

It wasn't until 2004 that Luke and Caroline reconnected and truly became a permanent couple. Bryan once told HuffPost that they ran into one another in Statesboro, Ga., the same town where they met, while Bryan was playing a show.

"I was playing a little bar in Statesboro and she just happened to kinda be in town," he said. "We kinda saw each other and talked a little bit and then started emailing back and forth a little bit. And she was like, 'Hey, you want to come to my family's Christmas party?' I went to the party and the rest is history."

They soon became engaged. Bryan proposed to Caroline in front of Nashville's replica Parthenon at the city's Centennial Park.

December 2006: Wedding Bells for the Country Couple

Luke and Caroline finally said "I do" during a tropical wedding on December 8, 2006 in Turks and Caicos. It was an intimate ceremony in front of family and friends. As you might expect from these two, there's some wackiness in their wedding photos. A favorite of Luke's shows the newlyweds walking down the beach while blatantly grabbing each others' butts.

"There's a photo of Caroline and me walking down the beach squeezing each other's butts that we love. It's our same personalities we have today — just so goofy," Luke told People for an article that shows the act in question."Whenever we look at our wedding album, that one always makes us laugh — it was and still is pretty funny. Great memory."

Naturally, the American Idol judge almost ruined the romantic trip with one of his hijinks.

"I tried to windsurf and I threw my back out," he told People. "I had to go to a chiropractor and take a muscle relaxer to stop my back from freaking out!"

Their honeymoon differed greatly from their wedding day, as they spent it in the mountains in Colorado.

They tied the knot about one year before Bryan released his breakout debut single, "All My Friends Say," and the singer once revealed that Caroline helped support them in the early days of their marriage.

"When we got married, her career supported me when I was making about $10,000 a year," he told People. "She was the one bringing in the dough."

March 2008: They Welcome Their First Child

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 17: ***EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE*** Recording Artist Luke Bryan and his wife Caroline Bryan backstage at Dierk Bentley's 5th Annual Miles & Music For Kids celebrity motorcycle ride and benefit concert at Riverfront Park on October 17, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Less than two years after they married, it was time to start a family. Luke and Caroline welcomed their first child, Thomas "Bo" Boyer Bryan, on March 18, 2008 in Nashville. Upon announcing his first son's birth, Bryan said he finally has a "fishing" buddy, and that statement has been proven to be true throughout the years.

Bryan spoke of the pride of becoming a father with People, saying, "I thought being on stage was an amazing feeling, but there is nothing that can top watching my wife bring our son into this world. There is no way I would have missed this for anything."

August 2010: It's Baby #2 for Luke and Caroline

Luke and Caroline weren't done building their family after the birth of their first son. After suffering a heartbreaking miscarriage in 2009, the Bryans welcomed their second a child — a little boy named Tatum Christopher — on August 11, 2010. Luke and Caroline often shorten Tatum's name to Tate, with nicknames "Tater Tot" and even "Tot."

Bryan was elated to be bringing another child — and another fishing partner for him — into the world.

"All I ever hoped for was one boy and to have two, it's going to be fun," Luke told People. "I've already got new fishing spots picked out for us."

When Luke isn't touring, he often share photos and videos of himself fishing with Bo, Tate or his nephew, Til. The hobby is clearly something that has been passed down through the generations of Bryan's family, as his mom LeClaire often gets in the fun as well.

2014: Luke and Caroline Take In Their Nieces and Nephews After Tragedy

Bryan has built an incredibly successful country music career and a beautiful family with Caroline, but the singer has also endured multiple tragedies in his lifetime. His brother, Chris, passed away in a car accident when Bryan was just 20 years old. Then, in 2007, his sister Kelly unexpectedly passed away. His brother-in-law Ben Cheshire was left to raise his and Kelly's three children: daughters Kris and Jordan and son Tilden. However, tragedy struck again when Cheshire passed from a heart attack in 2014.

After the passing of his brother-in-law, Bryan took in his nieces and nephew. The girls were older, so they did not come to live with the Bryans full-time, but the couple did take in their then-14-year-old nephew Til until the time he moved out for college.

"Obviously my nieces and nephew, they didn't ask for this," he once said, according to People. Their life was amazing before Caroline and I took a more prominent role, even after losing their mother. Now my focus is trying to do what we can to help them."

One of Bryan's nieces, Kris, is now married. Til is now a student at the University of Georgia.

2016: Luke and Caroline Celebrate 10th Wedding Anniversary

In December 2016, Luke and Caroline celebrated 10 years of marriage, and the singer commemorated the day with a very special gift to his bride. He upgraded the diamond on her engagement ring, adding a brand new, beautiful stone to the set. Caroline debuted the updated piece of jewelry at the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony, and when asked about it, Bryan shared his signature humor.

"It was a little 10-year anniversary gift," he told People. "Ten years with me feels like a thousand. It was certainly the least I could do!"

February 2017: They Launch Charitable Effort in Honor of Niece

Aside from the fun aspects of fame, Caroline also uses her platform and success as a means to elevate others. In 2017, Caroline's infant niece, Sadie Brett Boyer, was born with Down Syndrome and passed away due to congenital heart disease complications. The child's parents started The Brett Boyer Foundation in which Caroline and Luke support with events like "Bike For Brett." Caroline and Luke also created "Brett's Barn" by renovating a barn on their property to house rescue animals that children with serious illnesses can visit on special days to lift their spirits.

August 2020: They Send Their Nephew Off to College

Luke and Caroline experienced one of the hardest things a parent or caretaker can do when they sent their nephew Til off to college in 2020. Til had been living with the couple for more than five years, so it was undoubtedly emotional to see him go. Caroline shared a photo of herself hugging Til on the day of the drop off with an emotional caption.

"I left a big piece of my heart today in Georgia," Caroline writes. "Been dreading this day for years, but I guess it's time for Til to fly. Still can't handle it right now! Good luck in college my sweet boy."

December 2021: Luke and Caroline Celebrate 15th Anniversary

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 16: Caroline Bryan and Luke Bryan attends the 2009 CMT Music Awards at the Sommet Center on June 16, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Tony R. Phipps/WireImage

Just like their 10th anniversary before it, the country couple celebrated another marriage milestone with their 15th anniversary in December 2021. Bryan celebrated the moment on social media, writing, "Don't know how you put up with my goofy ass. I love you too the moon and back." 

May 2023: Their Son Bo Starts Driving

Luke and Caroline experienced another parental milestone when their 15-year-old son Bo passed his driver's permit test in May of 2023. Caroline shared a video to commemorate the moment on social media. The clip shows Bo in the driver's seat (with Tate in the back). Caroline celebrates the moment while Bo asks one thing of his mother: "Just don't be screaming when I drive, please."

Caroline simply looked at him and said, "I make no promises."

August 2023: Their Youngest Son Turns 13

Luke and Caroline officially have only teenagers and above in their house. Their youngest son, Tate, marked a big milestone when he turned 13 on August 11, 2023. Both parents took to social media to celebrate their little guy. Bryan shared a fishing photo of Tate, writing, "Happy 13th birthday to my fishing buddy. I love you Tot. You are the sweetest kid on the planet."

Caroline posted multiple photos of herself and Tate along with a touching caption.

"And just like mini me, my shadow, and shared personality is 13 years old today!!" she writes.  "Little more emotional than I expected. We love you to the moon and back Tot!!! You'll always be 'the baby!'"

What is the Couple Doing Now?

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 09: Caroline Boyer and Luke Bryan attend The 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 09, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

"With boys in my house, I'm constantly on-the-go and cleaning...Luke being the messiest one," Caroline told Country Weekly (via Taste of Country). Though country star Luke now spends his time on as a judge on ABC's American Idol (he's on the judging panel with Katy Perry and Lionel Richie) and performing on stage at massive venues in front of sold-out crowds, Caroline maintains a balance in their home. "I have no aspirations for anything else in the industry," she stated. "My main focus are my kids and seeing Luke as much as possible. Also, I really have no talent anyway."

But Caroline is only being modest when she says she doesn't have a talent for the spotlight. Country music fans have really taken to her. Check any of Caroline's Instagram posts and one will find numerous comments from Luke's fans who would love to befriend her due to her vibrant personality and sense of humor.

From time to time, Caroline will grace the red carpet of the ACM Awards or the CMA Awards alongside Luke—and put up with all his silly antics along the way. She also pops up in his music videos for "Crash My Party," "Huntin', Fishin' And Lovin' Every Day," "One Margarita" and "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset."

This story was first published in 2018. It was updated in November of 2023. 

READ MORE: Luke Bryan Shares Whether His Kids Will Follow in His Musical Footsteps