Blue Ivy Carter may just be the cutest matchmaker alive. Beyoncé and Jay Z's 3-year-old daughter is the reason Tina Knowles began to talk about tying the knot with Richard Lawson, the new bride tells PEOPLE.
"[In September] we went on a boat with Beyoncé and Jay Z for her birthday, and when we came out one night dressed to go to dinner, Blue said, 'Oh, ya'll look beautiful. When are ya'll getting married?'" Tina, 61, tells PEOPLE.
"Richard said, 'Oh, Blue, soon. Do you approve?' And she said yes," the newlywed adds. "That's the first time we talked seriously about getting married."
Seven months later, Knowles and actor Lawson, 68, said "I do" aboard a yacht in Newport Beach, California, with Blue Ivy serving as the flower girl.
The couple has known each other for 33 years but only just rekindled their connection a year and a half ago, after finalizing her divorce from ex Matthew Knowles in 2011.
Tina, who is taking her new husband's name, says she knew four months into dating – when she had surgery and Lawson flew out and helped nurse her back to health – that he was the one.
"I wasn't very comfortable with it because I was like, 'This is not the way to start a relationship off. It's not very romantic,' " remembers Tina. "But he just proved to me that he was there, that he was really in my corner, and he took such good care of me, and he was so patient.
"That's when I knew: This is something special."
For all the details on Tina Knowles Lawson's wedding, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday