It may all have been hush-hush, but the April 4 wedding of Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z was celebrated with a close circle of 40 friends and family members who gathered at the groom’s extravagant New York penthouse, PEOPLE reveals in its latest cover story, on sale Friday.

“It was a very emotional wedding – lots of crying – and really very spiritual,” says a guest. The vows were a streamlined affair, with no maid of honor and no best man.

The bride, 26, wore a voluminous white gown, while the groom, 38, suited up in a black tux. “Beyoncé,” says a source, “looked beautiful.” Then it was time to party.

Inside Jay-Z’s newly renovated 13,500-sq.-ft. apartment, where a white tent was erected in the basketball-court-size living room, “it looked like a palace,” says florist Amy Vongpitaka, who had 70,000 white dendrobium orchids flown in from Thailand. Adds another source: “It was just beautiful. Gorgeous. Opulent.”

(For the complete story on the wedding, including what the new couple did at their reception, the significance of their wedding date and pal Russell Simmons’s reaction, pick up the new PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday)

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