But when it came to making things official, they tapped someone rather more experienced.
Their officiant of choice: retired California judge John Ouderkirk, who presided over the Aug. 23 non-denominational civil ceremony at the family’s French estate, Château Miraval.
The judge currently handles conflict-resolution cases for private firms. But he made headlines in 1993 while presiding over the hot-button trial of two black men accused of trying to murder white truck driver Reginald Denny during 1992’s riots in South Central Los Angeles.
A former Marine and Santa Monica, California, police officer, Ouderkirk oversaw the ceremony, while Jolie, 39, and Pitt, 50, had previously secured a marriage license in California.
For Brad and Angelina’s complete wedding album, all the details of their big day and more of the couple’s interview, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Wednesday.