The newlywed couple gives PEOPLE a peek into their sweet romance

By Gabrielle Olya
Updated December 20, 2014 07:00 AM
Credit: Kat Harris & Lindsey Shea

It’s been a whirlwind romance for Lauren Scruggs and Jason Kennedy, who wed Friday in her hometown of Dallas.

The two were originally introduced through Giuliana Rancic, who had interviewed Scruggs, 26, for E! News after her amazing recovery from an airplane propeller accident that left her without an arm and an eye.

Scruggs and Kennedy, 33, bonded over their common Christian faith and a love of hiking.

“It was such a fun hike,” Scruggs told PEOPLE of their first outing together. “We had the best conversation. It was funny, because Giuliana was saying, ‘I feel like you two would be so good together.’ And [after meeting him], I thought, ‘I think you might be right.’ ”

The couple were first spotted together during a romantic trip to Villa del Palmar on the Islands of Loreto, Mexico in August 2013, where a source told PEOPLE that they “spent a fun and relaxing few days at the resort’s Sabila Spa, getting his and hers massages.”

The former model and the E! News cohost dated long-distance, with Scruggs based in Dallas and Kennedy based in L.A. However, the back and forth trips didn’t seem to faze Kennedy.

“We see each other pretty frequently,” he said in September 2013. “It’s going great. She’s amazing.”

The pair got engaged in May of this year, when Kennedy popped the question while visiting Scruggs in Texas.

In front of a few close friends and relatives, Kennedy brought Scruggs out onto a balcony so that she could look out onto the field below, where he had arranged candles spelling out, “Will you marry me?”

“It’s a blur but I can’t stop smiling,” Kennedy told E! of the proposal. “She told me I couldn’t surprise her, but I got her good. This is the best night of my life.”

Before tying the knot, Scruggs and Kennedy enjoyed a relaxing Mexican “pre-honeymoon” in October at Riviera Maya’s Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita, where the couple was joined by Lauren’s twin sister and her husband.

After a seven-month engagement, the two wed in an event planned by Todd Fiscus with Todd Events at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, Texas, in front of family and friends.

“Jason has completely changed my life, and I could not be more thankful for who he is and how he loves me. I can’t wait to spend forever with him,” said Scruggs.

Added Kennedy: “God has blessed me with somebody I’ve been waiting for my whole life. Lauren changed everything for me and I can’t believe I get to spend the rest of my life with her.”

For more on Lauren and Jason’s romantic wedding, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday. And The Kennedy Wedding: Jason and Lauren Get Married will air on Dec. 22 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on E!