From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
PEOPLE EXCLUSIVE

As Kristin Cavallari looked out at the 140 guests gathered to celebrate her wedding to Jay Cutler at Nashville's Woodmont Christian Church on June 8, she had to stop and take a deep breath. "I was nervous just to walk down the aisle because everybody is staring at you!" says the former reality star, famous for her bad-girl antics on MTV's hit shows Laguna Beach and The Hills. But it didn't take long to find a solution. "I just stared right at Jay," she says. "And I had the biggest smile on my face."

She certainly has plenty to smile about. Together since 2010, the bride (who plans to change her name but use Cavallari professionally), 26, and the Chicago Bears quarterback, 30, got engaged in April 2011 but called it off that July. Four months later they were back together, and their first child, son Camden Jack, now 10 months old, was born the following August. "The first wedding that I was planning was the complete opposite of this one," Cavallari says, reflecting on their journey together. This time, "we wanted it to be smaller and more intimate. It was perfect."

After exchanging traditional vows ("I would have been too nervous to write my own!" she says), the couple proceeded to their reception at a nearby historic warehouse and began the celebration with their first dance as husband and wife to "Wild Horses" by the Rolling Stones. Guests enjoyed a family-style southern menu including chicken biscuits, pork tacos and grits, while family and friends toasted the happy couple—and the groom gave a touching speech about his new bride. "He had me bawling my eyes out. It was the sweetest thing he could have done," says Cavallari. "He was telling everybody how much he loved me. It was my favorite part of the night."

While guests partied away to the sounds of a Motown band, the newlyweds snuck off to their honeymoon suite. "We were just like, 'We can't believe we did it!'" Cavallari says, laughing. Their brief split "made us realize how much we meant to each other," she says. "We weren't ready to get married two years ago. But now everything is right."