"I do have a real wedding dress for our 2021 big wedding, which I can't wait to wear but for this, we just kept it simple," MacKenzie Porter tells PEOPLE

By Sarah Michaud and Karen Mizoguchi
July 27, 2020 03:35 PM
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MacKenzie Porter secretly got married!

PEOPLE exclusively confirms the Canadian country singer, 30, and her fiancé Jake Etheridge recently eloped in Nashville.

"We really loved the idea of having a super small, intimate gathering with just our immediate families, where we didn't have any added stress or distractions and it could really just be about us taking vows and starting our new little family," Porter tells PEOPLE.

"Since all of our plans were postponed because of COVID-19, we decided this would be the perfect time to wed and then throw our big party bash next summer. We can't wait to celebrate with all our family and friends," says the star, who already picked out a "real wedding dress" for their big 2021 ceremony.

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Bree Fish

The groom and bride, who wore an ivory cocktail dress from House of CB and a veil borrowed from her best friend, said "I Do" at dusk during a "stunning but super simple" ceremony on the rooftop of their home with only 12 people in attendance, including a pastor from their local church.

"Both Jake and I had our siblings, parents and grandmas there! These are the closest people in our lives and because they live in different countries they had actually never met each other. We all spent the weekend together and then tied the knot after a few days of hanging. It was literally perfect," the newlywed raves of the "super personalized" nuptials.

And the extra special touch to the family affair: the wedding cake was made by Porter's sister Kelsey.

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Bree Fish

Though it was not a big celebration, Porter says "it was most important to us to be able to spend time with our family after the ceremony," explaining that there was "no extra stress" as it was "simply about us getting married and starting a life together."

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Along with officially becoming Mr. and Mrs., Porter says one of her favorite moments from her wedding was the couple's families coming together for the first time and getting to know one another.

"We all woke up that morning and made breakfast together. Jake's family is Southern so they made grits and liver pudding (which was surprisingly good) to show my family their breakfast traditions. My family made some Canadian style brekkie," she recalls.

In addition to celebrating her union, Porter recently celebrated another milestone: earning three Canadian Country Music Association nominations.