The groom did all the planning “because I thought, if this wedding was going to happen, I had to get involved,” Molner jokes to PEOPLE. Couric wasn’t shy about letting her groom see her beaded, embroidered Chantilly-lace Carmen Marc Valvo gown before the ceremony. And when it came time to walk down the aisle on Saturday, the pair bucked tradition and simply strolled in together, while a string quartet played “Till There Was You.”
“We didn’t want to be too traditional,” the bride explains, two days after the intimate affair, which featured a non-religious ceremony in the backyard of her East Hampton home. “It was so nice to celebrate such a happy occasion, because we’ve been through a lot in our lives.”
Couric lost her first husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer in 1998, so finding love again with Molner, 51, a finance executive, was especially sweet. “We’re just so happy we found each other,” says Yahoo!’s global news anchor, 57.
The pair celebrated that fact into the night. Guests sipped champagne, rosé and lemon-drop martinis, then dined on a seasonal American feast by Bridgehampton’s Topping Rose House that included mizuna salad with snap peas, dandelion agnolotti, lamb shank with polenta, and monkfish. For dessert, the couple cut into a three-tier lemon-strawberry wedding cake, served with lemon-thyme and garden-strawberry sorbets.
“The party was so beautiful and private and special,” says Couric, who honored her late father, sister and husband in her toast and shared Friedrich Nietzsche’s thoughts on marriage. “I said, ‘It’s not a lack of love but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages,’ ” she recalls. “But with John, I found a great husband and a perfect friend.”
For much more about Couric’s backyard wedding – including more exclusive images – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday