Jesse Lee Yantz and Randy Houser
11/07/2011 at 10:00 AM EST
Newlywed Randy Houser, who tied the knot with
Jessa Lee Yantz in September, says more has changed than just his marital status.
"I think it's been my wife that's been the biggest blessing for me," he tells the latest issue of PEOPLE Country. "It's someone that's just sort of changed my life and made me a better person, and made me want to be a better person – and that's a big blessing to me, because there's been times where I didn't care about much."
The pair, who married in an intimate and "beautiful" ceremony in the Dominican Republic, were engaged
after less than a year of dating. Houser says taking that step brought him some peace.
"The coolest thing about it is it takes all the questions and all the variables out of the relationship," he says. "It's like you're committed at that point and you don't question anything anymore, 'Are we going to be together?' It's a commitment and it's it's kind of a done deal and that takes a lot of stress out of any relationship."
The ACM nominee, whose chart-toppers include "Boots On" and "Anything Goes," also gushes about his new wife, a fellow singer-songwriter.
"She's beautiful, smart, talented, very very kind-hearted," he says. "And the biggest thing is just that we connected on a level that I've never really connected with anyone before."
And as for their wedding, he reveals they wrote their own vows, had only 28 guests, and that it all went "very smooth."
"I always heard all about the jitters and all the things that people go through right before people get married on their wedding day, and neither one of us really had any of that," he says, adding, "I think that I felt like the luckiest man in the world [when] Jessa was saying her vows to me and telling me all the little things that I meant to her, and it just melted me. You think a big old tough country boy and this sweet little princess here telling you what you mean to her, and it will just melt you."
Reporting by DANIELLE ANDERSONFor more on Houser and what 25 other country stars including Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert, are thankful for, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE Country. And for free country music downloads, go to People.com/free