Surprise! 5SOS's Michael Clifford and Crystal Leigh Married in a Secret Ceremony a Year Ago: 'So Special'

The couple celebrated their first wedding anniversary on Tuesday

Michael Clifford Wedding
Michael Clifford and Crystal Leigh. Photo: Nardia and Dan Niles/ Foolishly Rushing In

Michael Clifford and Crystal Leigh are looking forward to forever.

The 5 Seconds of Summer member and his longtime love are celebrating their first wedding anniversary on Tuesday following the secret ceremony they held last year, PEOPLE can exclusively reveal.

Clifford, 26, popped the question to the former talent manager, 32, in January 2019 — and the original plan was to wed on Jan. 11, 2021, their fifth dating anniversary. The couple planned to hold the wedding in Bali, but instead decided to postpone to a later date when it's safer for friends and family to travel due to COVID-19.

Nonetheless, the couple decided to get creative to "preserve their original wedding date."

Michael Clifford Wedding
Michael Clifford and Crystal Leigh. Nardia and Dan Niles/ Foolishly Rushing In

RELATED: Michael Clifford and Crystal Leigh's Sweet Romance in Pictures

The couple hosted a "secret save the date gathering," and signed the legal documents with only their wedding party present at their new home. The gathering, planned by Fawn Events, featured a long dinner table with twinkly lights hanging above and florals by Lovestruck Blooms. The couple's officiant was The Summer Set lead vocalist Brian Dales — one of the couple's closest friends — who also wrote an original song for the pair.

Among the guests were of course 5SOS bandmates Luke Hemmings, Calum Hood and Ashton Irwin, who recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary as a band and released their single "2011." The band is currently gearing up for their 2022 North American and European tour, set to kick off in Dublin, Ireland in April.

Michael Clifford Wedding
The atmosphere. Nardia and Dan Niles/ Foolishly Rushing In
Michael Clifford Wedding
The florals. Nardia and Dan Niles/ Foolishly Rushing In

During their intimate gathering, guests enjoyed a "mix of Southern food mixed with some Australian food" by La Tabela for dinner.

"It was definitely a random assortment of meat pies and vegan fried chicken. Turns out they go together pretty nicely," Clifford joked to PEOPLE.

Leigh wore two dresses by Galia Lahav — the same designer behind her wedding dress for the official ceremony — for the festivities. She accessorized with a Maria Elena Headpiece and her engagement ring, which Clifford had engraved with the phrase "Love Loving You." Meanwhile, the musician wore a tuxedo by Yves Saint Laurent.

Michael Clifford Wedding
The atmosphere. Nardia and Dan Niles/ Foolishly Rushing In
Michael Clifford Wedding
Michael Clifford and Crystal Leigh. Nardia and Dan Niles/ Foolishly Rushing In

The gathering was a memorable one for the couple, though they reassure fans that they're saving many of their important moments for the official ceremony — including reciting their wedding vows.

"I really wanted to save all of the traditional special wedding moments for our actual ceremony so I'm able to enjoy them with my mom," Leigh said. "We're actually both only children, so we want to make sure all of our parents get to experience every aspect of our wedding since they only get to do it once! No pressure."

Clifford, on the other hand, shared he "may or may not have written Crystal a song that I'm planning on playing her at our real wedding." But for the January reception, guests enjoyed songs from a collaborative Spotify playlist contributed to by the wedding party — that Clifford admitted he "snuck some Nickelback" on to.

Michael Clifford Wedding
Michael Clifford. Nardia and Dan Niles/ Foolishly Rushing In
Michael Clifford Wedding
Michael Clifford and Crystal Leigh. Nardia and Dan Niles/ Foolishly Rushing In

At the end of the day, it was about bringing their loved ones together for the special day.

"We were most excited to be near our friends all together for the first time in a while due to COVID," the couple told PEOPLE. "To be officially married, even in secret, was so special for us too — officially Mr. and Mrs."

A notable moment from the evening, the couple remembered, was when Hemmings' fiancée, Sierra Deaton, gifted Leigh a framed picture of her late father so that "he could be there." Hemmings and Deaton also performed a duet of "Can't Help Falling in Love" for the newlyweds.

Michael Clifford Wedding
Nardia and Dan Niles/ Foolishly Rushing In

Clifford and Leigh also recalled a moment that lightened the mood.

"We had built a small stage in our backyard with no idea if anyone was even going to use it, and Crystal's maid of honor Abbey decided to get on stage and deliver a speech that was totally unplanned after Calum had given one," Clifford said. "She had a few wines by that point, so it was pretty hilarious!"

Michael Clifford Wedding
Crystal Leigh and her bridal party. Nardia and Dan Niles/ Foolishly Rushing In
Michael Clifford Wedding
Michael Clifford and his groomsmen. Nardia and Dan Niles/ Foolishly Rushing In

Their honeymoon was postponed to a later date, but the couple did find an unconventional way to soak in the moment in the middle of home renovations.

"Our honeymoon was amazing. We said we wanted no construction workers at our house for three days. We got about a day of silence," Clifford joked.

Michael Clifford Wedding
Michael Clifford and Crystal Leigh. Nardia and Dan Niles/ Foolishly Rushing In

Leigh added, "We just hope to honeymoon in Bali with all of our friends and family after the real wedding."

As for what the bride is most excited about when it comes to marriage? Getting to "actually walk down the aisle" and "cake!"

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