08/13/2008 at 06:00 PM EDT
Jewel sure knows how to pull off a hush-hush wedding.
Without family, friends (or paparazzi!) knowing, the singer and rodeo star Ty Murray eloped to the Bahamas
on Aug. 7. "To pull off the wedding quietly made it magical," Jewel told PEOPLE the following day.
Held at The Cove Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, the very private affair included just two guests: Jewel's former keyboard player Jason Freese, who officiated (the couple found out he had been ordained online) and his wife Amy.
At sunset, as Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" played from their private cabana, Jewel, 34, (in Monique Lhuillier) met her groom (in jeans and cowboy boots) in the sand to recite their handwritten vows. "I said that I'll try to make our lives the best piece of art I've ever done," she said.
Murray, 38, secretly proposed to the singer on her birthday, May 23, and the couple decided to elope since "we feel that's what marriage is – just me and her," he said. After their "I dos" the newlyweds called their families to break their happy news and enjoyed a surprise fireworks display from the resort. "It felt," said the groom, "like we were the only ones in the world."
Perhaps not for long: Jewel told PEOPLE that she and Murray are "ready to start a family." In fact, her new husband added, "We're going to start working on that tonight!"
For more wedding details and photos, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE