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LeAnn Rimes was overwhelmed with emotion when she saw her wedding dress for the first time. “When I opened it, I started crying,” she tells PEOPLE. “The dress was stunning.” The handmade Reem Acra gown — which features all-over pearls in a range of sizes and white paillettes on nude silk chiffon — was inspired by another Reem Acra dress that the country star had worn to the 2011 Grammy Awards. “I was definitely a little bit of a sexier bride, but it was still beautiful and sweet,” says Rimes, who describes her dress as “a little bit Old Hollywood and bohemian.” She accessorized with sparkling jewels and Alexander McQueen snakeskin peep-toe heels with an ankle strap. And in keeping with the wedding‘s locale — the backyard of a friend’s home overlooking a Malibu beach — Rimes asked longtime hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins and makeup artist Troy Surratt to create a “beautiful and simple” look that didn’t compete with her dress. Says the newlywed of her wedding style: “I could not have been happier.” For all the details — and more exclusive photos from Rimes and Eddie Cibrian’s intimate wedding — check out the new issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday. —Marisa Laudadio
Courtesy Reem Acra