Forget the trappings of show business. All Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams needed for the perfect wedding were a tiny old brick church, a pastor they just met, a pair of silver bands and each other.
“She was thrilled to be getting married. She was giddy but not in a childish way. She was obviously so happy,” Pastor Steve Schulte, who married the couple this week at Whitefield Chapel at Bethesda Home for Boys on the outskirts of Savannah, Ga., tells PEOPLE exclusively.
The couple, who just got engaged last month, arranged for a last-minute ceremony, with one of their reps calling Schulte just the day before, saying a judge wasn’t available and asking if the pastor could officiate. “I thought it was either somebody famous or somebody really bad,” says Schulte, who agreed to the job, bringing along only a friend, wedding planner Chad Baker – and that was because they had another wedding event later in the day.
A little after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, a black town car pulled up to the church on the breathtakingly beautiful grounds with blooming azaleas, dogwood trees, giant old live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. Out stepped Moore and Adams and two other men.
The couple dressed down: Moore, 24, wore a cream-colored, lacy tea-length dress and flat sandals, and Adams, 34, had on tight skinny jeans, a T-shirt with sport coat and sneakers. Schulte greeted them, and even when he heard their names, he didn’t know who they were.
Only Moore, Adams and Schulte went inside the brick chapel with stained-glass windows and about a dozen wooden pews and a center aisle. (Baker stayed out in Schulte’s car.)
In the eight-minute ceremony, the couple held hands and faced each other as they exchanged silver rings purchased from a local jeweler. Tears welled in Moore’s eyes and her voice quivered as she took Adams to be her husband.
The Couple Kiss
“I now pronounce you husband and wife,” Schulte said, and the couple kissed. After the pastor congratulated them, he shook Adams’s hand and hugged Moore.
As the couple walked out of the church, Adams turned and took Moore’s face in both of his hands and gave her another kiss. They then walked to a little footbridge near the chapel where they hugged and kissed.
“It was so romantic. It was awesome,” says Baker. “I just can’t stress how happy they seemed.”
• 2007: Mandy dishes on her teen idol past
• 2002: Mandy makes PEOPLE’s Most Beautiful list!
• Photos: Surprise! We’re Married
• Get the inside scoop on more celeb weddings!