Backstreet Boy Nick Carter wed Lauren Kitt on Saturday, a source confirms to PEOPLE – and it’s something the groom himself thought wouldn’t happen.
“I said I’d never get married,” the 34-year-old told PEOPLE last year, but he made it official with a Southern California wedding to his fiancée, a fitness expert and actress. “Go big or go home,” he jokes.
The couple were married at sunset on a bluff overlooking the ocean at the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara. Exchanging handwritten vows in front of over 100 guests, Carter, who wore a custom tux by Anthony Franco Designs, and Kitt, in a strapless gown, kissed several times after being pronounced husband and wife.
The celebration then moved into a ballroom for dinner and dancing late into the night.
Brother Misses Wedding
Little brother Aaron Carter, 26, was unable to make the nuptials – but not for lack of trying, his rep tells PEOPLE.
“Aaron signed a contract to appear at the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in D.C. before Nick’s wedding date was announced,” Steve Honig says. “[We] realized there was a problem and figured out he could perform and get him to Santa Barbara so he would be there for the last two hours of the reception.”
Unfortunately, the younger Carter’s plane was grounded due to mechanical problems.
“Tickets were purchased and the plan was in place. It was a major operation to get him there in time,” adds Honig. “Aaron didn’t blow anything off and would have been there – it’s a real bummer for him. He feels bad he missed the wedding.”
The newlyweds, who got engaged in February 2013, held a rehearsal dinner on Friday night.
Carter’s bandmate A.J. McLean posted on Instagram Friday that he was getting ready to head to the rehearsal dinner for “the wedding that most of [you] thought would never happen, but I’m so happy it is finally!”
Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough also attended the pre-wedding bash.
In fact, in an interview with PEOPLE last year, Carter said that it was Dorough who helped him get up the nerve to propose to Kitt. “I asked Howie [for advice]. I was like, ‘I love her, and I don’t want to lose her.’ And he was like, ‘Just do it!’ ”
Carter popped the question with an enormous, 7-carat pear-shaped diamond in the Florida Keys, after sailing Kitt to a nearby island. Things didn’t totally go according to plan. “The boat was barely running. It died, like, four times,” he said.
They finally made it to the island and climbed a hill, where Carter surprised Kitt.
“I got down on my knees and did that whole hoopla,” he said. “She was like, ‘Are you serious?’ And started crying. Now we call it Engagement Island.”
• Reporting by LIZ McNEIL, JENNIFER GARCIA and CATHERINE KAST