Young and Mills wed in front of more than 200 of their closest friends and family at the Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, California on Nov. 3.
“That’s definitely the moment that was most difficult to get through and not sound like a big baby,” Young says about their emotional ceremony. “I cried writing my vows. When you’ve been together for 10 years, on and off, it’s really overwhelming to sit down and put into few words how you feel about somebody.”
Young, who first met Mills at Arizona State University more than 10 years ago, proposed in February.
Young turned to St. Louis-based jeweler David M. Kodner for Mills’ custom oval-cut ring.
Mills worked with Justin Alexander Signature to create her custom wedding dress earlier this year. “It just really embodies me,” she says about the form-fitting gown.
Mills’ favorite aspect of her custom gown was the low back. She perfected her bridal look with soft waves and natural makeup by 10.11 Makeup Artistry.
Mills wore white Valentino shoes for her walk down the aisle.
Mills chose eight bridesmaids who have seen her through all stages of her life.
Young’s ring took specializing to get just right. “I dislocated [my ring finger] knuckle playing football when I was 12. And so if you jam a ring over it, it swells up and gets stuck on there,” he says. “When you’re that young, you never think, ‘This is going to affect me for the rest of my life.’”
Luckily, jeweler Steve Goldfarb of Alvin Goldfarb had a genius idea. “He said that he could make a ring that clasps like a watch for me, so he made it from scratch with a clasp,” Young said. “I’ve never gotten to wear a ring on this finger before!”
The couple served their guests steak, chicken and Southern fare in between dancing and speeches.
Mirrored tables at the reception were marked with cities (including Los Angeles, Nashville, Scottsdale and more) that are meaningful to the couple and decorated by tall floral bridges by Butterfly Floral & Event Design.
Young’s friend and fellow country singer Luke Combs (with girlfriend Nicole Hocking) hit the stage before a six-piece band took over.
Young’s “idol” Gavin DeGraw also sang love song “More Than Anyone” at the féte (planned by Elite Events).
“We chose people in terms of performers that are really important to us and are close friends,” says Mills about their surprise performers, like Lee Brice. Adds Young: “If everybody in the country music family could’ve been there, we would’ve asked them all to sing!”
The Youngs also served two wedding cakes by Exquisite Desserts, including a vanilla cake with banana-cream filling and another vanilla creation with strawberry filling.
“We’ve been together for a long time and we do want kids soon,” says Young, who is heading out on his headlining “Here Tonight” run later this month before hitting the road with Kelsea Ballerini after his sophomore album, Ticket to L.A., drops on Dec. 7.
“This is the beginning of our life together,” Young tells PEOPLE. “I’m excited to say husband and wife!”
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