Jason Koenig
July 04, 2015 08:00 PM

Cue the fireworks – this couple is ready for love!

The Plain White T’s Tim Lopez tied the knot with Jenna Reeves in front of family and friends in an intimate ceremony at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum on Saturday evening, his rep confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.

The pair, who were matched in 2012 on NBC’s reality dating show Ready for Love, tell PEOPLE the show’s early cancellation was a blessing in disguise for their budding romance.

“For our relationship, thankfully, the show failed,” the guitarist, 34, says. “I’m sure there are a lot of people who had a lot of money tied up in that thing, but for us, there might have been a little bit more pressure and a lot more eyes on us if it had continued and become something like The Bachelor.”

Tim Lopez and Jenna Reeves
Jason Koenig

Lopez admits that connection between him and Reeves – also based in Austin, Texas – was immediate, but that taking things slow post-show was key.

“I knew I was going to pick Jenna pretty much from the beginning. [Filming the show,] you get a lot of time sitting alone thinking and creating this relationship in your mind. By the end of it, you’re like, ‘I love this girl.’ But really, you’ve known her for a day,” Lopez, whose band released their latest record, American Nights, in March, explains.

“Getting back to reality for us meant going back to Austin and starting a very normal dating relationship. We tried to experience things together. I met and hung out with her family. We took it really slow and waited a long time before we moved in together and got engaged.”

Best day of my life! #tandjsbigday2015 @jkoephoto beautiful photo @lafeteweddings

A post shared by Tim Lopez (@tombropez) on

After two and a half years of dating, Lopez decided to get down on one knee (well, two knees, but we’ll get to that).

“I wanted to do something that was just us,” Lopez says of his decision to propose with a custom-designed Bryant & Sons ring while watching the sunrise on a quiet beach.

“He said, ‘Do you want to get married?’ It became real as he was pulling the ring out of his pocket. He was on two knees because we were sitting on the ground,” Reeves, 26, recalls with a laugh. “I had gotten on two knees too because I didn’t know what to do!”

I've never known love and happiness like this. I am elated to announce that Tim and I are engaged!!!

A post shared by Jenna Reeves Lopez (@jenna.a.lopez) on

Since their December engagement, wedding planning has been smooth sailing – thanks to Lopez’s mom Colette and sister Kaitlin, who run La Fete Weddings.

“It was such a blessing because I didn’t even know where to start,” Reeves, who ended up choosing a neutral palette with blue accents, admits.

Adds Lopez, “My mom and sister were just really excited to work with Jenna on putting this whole thing together. I feel like that term ‘bridezilla’ gets thrown around and Jenna has been so pleasant this entire time.”

@tombropez and @jenna_reeves restoring my hope in reality TV:) #tandjsbigday2015

A post shared by Jason Koenig (@jkoephoto) on

The couple decided to keep their special day low-key, bringing a little bit of Austin home to Lopez’s native Santa Barbara with food trucks adding a “hipster element” to the “Tex meets West” theme. Their first dance? “Baby I’m Yours.”

Still, there may be tears. “I’m a pretty emotional guy when it comes to big moments like that,” the “Rhythm of Love” singer tells PEOPLE. “It’ll be tough to hold back once I see her. I’m sure she’s going to look fantastic.”

Jokes Reeves, “I’m far more emotional. If he cries, it’s going to get into ugly cry mode.”

And yes, their Ready for Love costars are joining in on the fun. Fellow show bachelors Ben Patton and Ernesto Arguello (who dated producer Eva Longoria after the show) and contestant Hailey Austin Clark are among the guests. Though Longoria was not in attendance, she sent her congrats to the pair.

Since the Plain White T’s are currently touring with Rob Thomas, Lopez and his new Mrs. will be spending their first week of marriage on the road. However, that won’t stop this happy couple from honeymooning for the day at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Says Lopez, “We’re definitely planning on having kids very soon, trying to build a new house in Austin and getting after it!”

RELATED: Inside Tim Lopez of the Plain White T’s Motorcycle Bachelor Party Roadtrip

Happy #4thofjulywedding @tombropez and @jenna_reeves, wedding design by @lafeteweddings

A post shared by Jason Koenig (@jkoephoto) on

Jenna Reeves and Tim Lopez
Courtesy Universal Studio Hollywood

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