05/02/2011 at 01:00 AM EDT
LOST 161 LBS. TOTAL!
When Samantha Faulder imagined getting married to her high school sweetheart Brooks Houser, she had one fear: "I didn't want to be a chubby bride," she says. "I wanted to look flawless." After five months competing on the CW reality weight-loss show Shedding for the Wedding, the bride got her wish. The Ohio-based duo, both 23, lost a total of 161 lbs. and won the wedding of their dreams, complete with a Winnie Couture gown that was custom-made for Faulder's new body. "I felt amazing," says Faulder, who was 63 lbs. slimmer when she walked down the aisle on the show's April 13 finale in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. At the eco-friendly reception that followed, the pair's family members and fellow Shedding contestants toasted the newlyweds, and Faulder and Houser shared their first dance to Ella Fitzgerald's "Always." The bride and groom then indulged in porcini mushroom ravioli and short ribs for dinner. But once they returned home, Faulder, a student, and Houser, an auto-parts supervisor, quickly returned to 90-min. workouts four days a week and a disciplined diet. "She is not allowed to touch pasta!" says Houser, who lost 98 lbs. "It's our new lifestyle."