10/19/2012 at 08:00 AM EDT
It's official! After five years
of dating, Justin Timberlake
and Jessica Biel
are husband and wife.
"It's great to be married, the ceremony was beautiful and it was so special to be surrounded by our family and friends," the couple told PEOPLE in an exclusive statement Friday.
Timberlake, 31, and Biel, 30, kept mum about the nuptials – they were even vague to guests, keeping the location in southern Italy a complete secret until the last minute – but PEOPLE will have all the details of the wedding, including exclusive photos, in next week's issue out Wednesday.
Engaged since December
, when Timberlake proposed in Big Sky Montana with a custom-designed ring
, the couple have been inseparable.
Most recently, Timberlake showed support for his leading lady earlier this month when she was honored at Variety
's Power of Women event for her work with Charity: Water.
The actor-musician said recently of his bride, "She's a really, really, really special person."
The happy couple started celebrating
earlier this week along with close friends and family.
On Thursday, they hosted a party where guests hung out around open fires and dined on fresh-made cheese, local olives and wine. The night before, the group headed to a beach for a party complete with fireworks and live music.
Pick up next week's issue of PEOPLE for all the glamorous details and their complete wedding album!