Surprise: Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie are Married! Secret Elopement 'Was Beautiful,' He Says

"Love just has a way of surprising you," says the actor, who eloped with his bride to Santa Barbara

Surprise! Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie are now husband and wife.

The couple, who got engaged last October, eloped to Santa Barbara and were married at a seaside resort on June 2. "It was beautiful," Quaid tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week's issue.

Having planned for a wedding in April in Hawaii and a second reception for family and friends in Nashville, the two had to postpone the celebration once the COVID-19 pandemic struck. On June 2, with only their pastor as witness, Quaid, 66, and Savoie, 27, exchanged traditional vows and Bulgari rings.

"Just looking into her eyes, she was the most stunning bride," says Quaid, who opted for a Hugo Boss suit.

dennis quaid and laura savoie wedding
Dennis Quaid Laura Savoie. Elizabeth Messina

Wearing a Chosen By One Day gown and carrying a bouquet of roses and calla lilies designed by S.R. Hogue & Co. florist, Savoie, a doctoral student, was moved by their officiant's message "of what it really means to bring your lives together," she says. "To put another person before yourself."

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Quaid — who currently hosts the podcast The Dennissance through Audio Up, a company he co-founded — and Savoie met at a business event before they began dating in May 2019. "It was love at first sight," says the actor, who has been previously married three times.

Originally from St. Louis, Savoie attended Pepperdine University, where she was class valedictorian, and went on to get a master's degree in accountancy at the University of Notre Dame. "I just love who she is as a person," adds Quaid. "Her character, her intelligence, of course, her beauty. And her point of view of the world."

Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie
Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie. Terry Wyatt/Getty

Savoie insists she has "never met someone who is so in love with life. It's like nothing can bring him down," she says. "Just getting to do life with someone who lives that way is inspiring for me. It changes my perspective and it brings so much joy to every day."

For more exclusive photos from the couple's wedding, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.

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