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Colton Dixon on Saving Sex for Marriage: 'It Was Not Easy' – But It Was 'More Meaningful to Wait'

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When Colton Dixon and his new wife Annie arrived at the Polynesian resort where they stayed for their honeymoon, they remembered something that made it feel even more like paradise.

“It was kind of strange: we checked into the room and realized, ‘We actually get to go to sleep side by side! This is so cool!'” Colton, who married the former Annie Coggeshall on Jan. 8 in Nashville, tells PEOPLE. “Anywhere we’ve traveled before, we’ve always gotten two hotel rooms. We wanted to remain pure in that area.”

The fact that they were Mr. and Mrs. – and finally sharing a bed – took a while to sink in. “There were a lot of moments of – ‘Oh, you’re not going back to your room. That means we’re married!'” says the singer, 24. “It made it really special for us.”

Dixon, who got his break on the eleventh season of American Idol before releasing two studio albums that topped the Christian music charts, says that he and Annie, 27, both believed waiting was the right decision.

RELATED: PEOPLE Exclusive: Colton Dixon’s Honeymoon Album

“It was not easy!” he says with a laugh. “But I believe sex was designed for marriage and I knew it would be more meaningful to wait. That was something I grew up thinking and feeling, and I believe the Bible backs it up as well.”

Adds Annie, “It wasn’t because someone was telling me this is what you should do. Deep down in my heart it felt like it was the right thing. And we’re really glad we did. We know God’s hand is on our marriage.”