“They had planned to get married in Malibu over the holidays when all of their families were together. After their Malibu house didn’t make the fire, they have been living at Miley’s Tennessee house,” a source close to the singer, 26 — who shared touching photos from their Dec. 23 nuptials on Wednesday — tells PEOPLE exclusively.
Cyrus was heartbroken by the loss of their Malibu home, but recently told Ryan Seacrest she’s in “a really good kind of healing place now.” Hemsworth, 28, previously shared a striking photo of their burned-down house that showed the letters “L-O-V-E” left in the ashes.
“That’s literally and physically all that’s left, so I felt that that was really poetic. You can always rebuild a physical structure, but that love that can’t be destroyed is always there and always stays strong,” Cyrus told Seacrest. “That’s been something that gave me a lot of light at a dark time.”
When the couple — who first met on set of The Last Song and broke off a previous engagement in 2013 — reconciled two years ago, they spent much of their time together in Malibu. The upscale beachy city even inspired Cyrus’ love song “Malibu,” which gives a peek at her reunion with Hemsworth.
“They were secretly dating again for months before anyone found out,” says another insider. “Liam is very protective of Miley and she feels safest with him. Malibu was their sanctuary and is very special to them. They fell in love again there and were both devastated to lose their home.”
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Looking forward to their future, Cyrus is choosing to remain positive and focus on everything she still has in her life.
“Miley and Liam are both strong people and focused on helping others less fortunate than they are. Miley knows she will have a new Malibu home eventually and feels very grateful about that,” says the Cyrus source. “Now she and Liam will look for a Malibu house as newlyweds. They can’t wait to live there again.”