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Derek Hough on Julianne’s Wedding: I Witnessed My Baby Sister Marry the Man of Her Dreams

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DWTS judge and actress Julianne Hough married NHL star Brooks Laich in a romantic outdoor Idaho wedding. Subscribe now for exclusive photos inside the gorgeous celebration — only in PEOPLE!

DWTS star Derek Hough thought he knew what to expect when it came to his sister Julianne‘s wedding to NHL star Brooks Laich. “I was with Julianne on tour while she was planning everything, and it truly exceeded my expectations,” Derek tells PEOPLE exclusively for this week’s cover story. “It was beyond anything I could have imagined.”

© Julianne and Brooks Laich.  All rights reserved. Photographed by Sarah Falugo    

The intimate, outdoor wedding on July 8 on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where the Houghs spent summer holidays growing up, was “a timeless, magical, romantic experience that was truly perfect in every way,” Derek says. “There is so much sentimental history on that lake that having an experience which celebrates love created an electric and palpable energy that was felt every minute of every day we were there.” 

  • For all the intimate details inside Hough and Laich’s gorgeous Idaho nuptials — including exclusive wedding photos — pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday 

The weekend celebration, designed by event planner Troy Williams of Simply Troy Lifestyle + Events, “transported everyone to a different era,” adds Derek, 32. “It captured everyone’s hearts and filled them with more love than we could have hoped for. Everything from the hot beautiful weather during the fun lake activities to the welcome and rehearsal dinners where we danced with friends and family all night long, to the most perfect ceremony I have ever seen where I witnessed my baby sister marry the man of her dreams.” 

 

Married in front of more than 200 guests in the fields of Coeur d’Alene, Julianne, 28, and Laich, 34, journeyed by boat to their reception after the ceremony. “Seeing my sister ride in on this ridiculous two-seater James Bond looking StanCraft boat while her veil blew in the wind was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen,” Derek recalls. “When she and her new husband rolled up to the dock in that one of a kind boat, we all cheered. And then we danced the night away under the stars with the best firework display I have ever seen timed to perfection with the music of their first dance.”

Julianne also danced with her father, Bruce, to the song “Daddy’s Little Girl,” which she and her older sister Marabeth wrote (along with Patrick Davis) for her dad 10 years ago. “I could write a novel about how amazing this wedding was,” Derek adds. “It was timeless. Magical. Perfect.”