Jillian Michaels Marries Fiancée DeShanna Marie Minuto in Private African Ceremony

“Finding you... my person... and eloping in Africa together has been one of the most magical and transformative chapters of my life,” Michaels tells PEOPLE of her new wife

Jillian Michaels Marries Fiancee DeShanna Marie Minuto courtesy Jillian Michaels
Photo: courtesy Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels is officially married!

The fitness trainer, 48, tied the knot with fiancée DeShanna Marie Minuto in a private ceremony in Namibia, PEOPLE can announce exclusively.

The couple got married on July 11 at a Miami courthouse before traveling to the southern African country for an intimate ceremony and honeymoon.

"Deshanna Marie Michaels — it's an honor and an adventure saying I do to you. Finding you... my person... and eloping in Africa together has been one of the most magical and transformative chapters of my life," Michaels tells PEOPLE she said to her new wife.

"A special thank you to Susan Neva at Alluring Africa, the team at Wilderness Safari, and the Himba people for helping us commemorate our union in style," The Fitness App by Jillian Michaels creator adds. "We will treasure these experiences for the rest of our lives."

Michaels and Minuto, 37, now plan to have their official wedding celebration on June 23, 2023, in Venice, Italy.

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Michaels and Minuto announced their engagement in November 2021.

"DeShanna is 'all the things' — beautiful, smart, funny, creative, quirky, passionate ... I could run down the list of adjectives. Those characteristics obviously attract you to someone. But it's the quality of their character that makes you think 'Thank God for this person laying next to me' every night when you fall asleep," Michaels told PEOPLE at the time.

"It's easy to stay together when everything is going great, but when real life sets in and things get messy, challenging, scary, and even downright ugly — that's when the truth reveals itself. And this woman has revealed herself to be strong beyond measure, wise beyond her years, and loving beyond my wildest dreams. I am so grateful to officially call her mine," she continued.

The Keeping It Real: Conversations with Jillian Michael host popped the question with a 7-carat emerald cut diamond featuring two single carat, trapezoid diamonds on each side. The stunning ring was crafted by a family friend and specialty jeweler at H&H Jewels in Miami.

The former Biggest Loser trainer and Minuto have been dating since 2018.

Michaels previously opened up about her relationship, telling PEOPLE Now that she and her then-fiancée work out together. While Minuto was once a college athlete, even Michaels' workouts proved tough for her, the trainer said.

"What's interesting about DeShanna is she was like, a D1 athlete — some crazy great athlete … and is very fit, very lean, and was like, 'Okay, I'm going to start working out,'" Michaels said. "And so I was like, 'Alright babe.' "

"I gave her a little routine and she was like, 'I can't walk, I've been zombified, I hate you,' and then, over a couple of weeks … she's like, I just ran my mile in seven minutes and 15 seconds," Michaels added.

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