Thomas Rhett Shares the Moment He Knew Wife Lauren Akins Was the One

Thomas Rhett and his wife, Lauren Akins, first met in elementary school in Tennessee, and they became close friends in middle school before briefly dating, staying friends for years before they eventually got together for good. Speaking to his record label, Rhett looked back on his relationship with Akins ahead of their upcoming wedding anniversary, sharing that he knew for years that his now-wife was the one for him.

"It’s been a long time comin’ for sure. I mean, me and Lauren have definitely been to school together since we were in first grade but didn’t really know each other really well ‘til church camp about sixth grade," he said. Recalling seeing Akins at church camp, Rhett said that he "fell in love with her that day. I was like, there is not a prettier human being that exists in this world and I was like, 'I will figure out a way to marry this woman one day.'"

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"We dated for a little bit in high school and then broke up for a very long time and got back together when we were about 21 years old," he continued. "And now we’re about to celebrate eight years of marriage, so it’s been a pretty wild journey with her, but wouldn’t trade one minute of it, even the hard parts. When you find your soulmate, you just kinda do anything you can to stick to it, and for me to just be the best husband I can be."

Rhett and Akins married in 2012 and now share three daughters, Willa Gray, Ada James and Lennon Love. The couple will celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary on Oct. 12, and they'll be celebrating together at home this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have had a really sweet last six months with our new family of five," Akins told PEOPLE in August. "It has been my dream come true having him home. It was a bit of an adjustment for him [because] he's used to going, going, going every three or four days. I think it was hard for him to have to go from such a fast-paced life to slowing way down. Then to be in it with me and three kids every single day, every single night, was hard for him because he's able to catch up on sleep when he goes to the bus and gets full nights of sleep."