"I have the honor -- you're gonna make me cry -- I have the honor of asking you on behalf of the Grand Ole Opry if you would please accept our invitation to become the newest member?," Yearwood said on the Opry stage.
Alaina literally got knocked off her feet by the Christmas surprise.
"I felt like Bambi," Alaina told People following the invitation. "My knees ... all of a sudden, I [had] to get closer to the floor. Then it was, 'There's a slit in my dress, stand back up.' That's all I could think."
As if the moment wasn't emotional enough, Alaina was informed that mother Kristy White and father J.J. Suddeth were in attendance.
"I have not cried like this in a really long time, I guess I needed it," Alaina said. "I'm not kidding, I was backstage and I was like, 'Can you please tell the Opry the only thing I want is to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry.' Then I snott-ed on stage over it."
Posted by Grand Ole Opry on Saturday, December 18, 2021
Yearwood has grown close over time with Alaina, a fellow Georgia native who's seen through her singer-songwriter dreams in Nashville. Yearwood lovingly calls Alaina Junior because of their similarities. Alaina's hero turned peer appears on Alaina's 2021 album Sitting Pretty on Top of the World via the duet "Getting Good."
"They could not have picked a better person to ask me," Alaina told People. "She's been the best person to have in my corner. She was like, 'You have to sing a couple of more songs.' I was like, 'I can not. I don't even know what songs they are.'"
The big news caps off an eventful year for Alaina, highlighted by the Hallmark film Roadhouse Romance and the release of her book Getting Good at Being You: Learning to Love Who God Made You to Be. Her 2022 begins with a headlining tour and her official induction into one of country music's most exclusive clubs.
Alaina's first Opry appearance came on June 10, 2011, a week after being named runner-up to American Idol season 10 champion Scotty McCreery. She made her 50th appearance on the Opry House stage earlier this year.