Why Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani Wed in His Backyard Chapel: 'Family Was at the Center' Says Source
"Having the wedding at home was a way for their families — and Gwen — to be as comfortable as possible," a source close to the couple tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story
On July 3 the country star, 45, and No Doubt rocker, 51, said "I do" in a backyard chapel on Shelton's Tishomingo, Oklahoma, ranch surrounded by an intimate group of 40 family members and close friends, including longtime pal Carson Daly.
"They purposely kept the wedding simple," a source close to the couple tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story. "They didn't want a circus. In the end, they just wanted to have this moment with their loved ones."
"They're a very family-oriented couple, and that's exactly what the wedding was about," adds the source. "Family was at the center of everything."
Friends say the simple wedding was the perfect representation of the life Shelton and Stefani have built over the past six years. Despite their differing musical styles and upbringings, Shelton and Stefani — he the country crooner from Oklahoma and she the rock star from California — have deeply similar values.
"Their shared faith is very important," says the source. "Having the wedding at home was a way for their families — and Gwen — to be as comfortable as possible. Blake wanted the day to be perfect for Gwen. His love for her is so deep."
Over the years Oklahoma has become a respite for Stefani and her sons Kingston, 15, Zuma, 12, and Apollo, 7, from the hustle and bustle of their lives in Los Angeles, where she and Shelton moved into a new home earlier this year.
With so many happy memories at the ranch, says the source, "they thought it was the perfect place for their wedding."
RELATED GALLERY: Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton's Wedding Photos
At their wedding reception, which was also held on the ranch, Stefani and Shelton giddily cut into an ornate, five-tier wedding cake adorned with white frosting and a traditional bride-and-groom cake topper.
As the festivities rolled late into the night, Shelton and Stefani — who changed out of her silk and tulle Vera Wang wedding gown and into a strapless minidress featuring hand-pieced silk and crystal-and-sequin embroidery by the designer — danced to a playlist by DJ Lucy Wrubel that featured hits by their famous pals, including Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5.
"They've been really excited leading up to the big day," says the source. "Blake and Gwen were just so happy and looking forward to celebrating their relationship with their families."
Later in the night, a small group headed to Shelton's second home in the area, on the shore of Lake Texoma in Kingston, Oklahoma, to continue the celebrations. The night ended with an elaborate fireworks show.
"They already felt like husband and wife long before the wedding and have been operating as life partners," adds the source. "This day was a formality that was important to the whole family."
Stefani and Shelton's worlds changed forever when they met in 2014 while working together on the coaches' panel of The Voice's seventh season. They were both married at the time, and "there wasn't even much of a friendship that first season," Shelton told PEOPLE last February.
But as they leaned on each other during their respective divorces a year later, a friendship blossomed — followed by an unexpected romance. (Stefani announced her split from Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale in 2015 after 20 years together just weeks after Shelton and country singer Miranda Lambert finalized their divorce following four years of marriage.)
"Blake and Gwen met and fell in love during a time when they both were [going through difficulties]," says a music source. "They bonded during The Voice, and it grew from there."
As the couple's love blossomed, so did Shelton's relationship with Stefani's three sons, whom she shares with Rossdale, 55.
"Blake loves the kids and had no problem adjusting to a new role as an extra dad," says the music source. Adds another industry insider: "They each put the other first and appreciate each other. They are seamless as a family."
RELATED VIDEO: Blake Shelton Calls Meeting Fiancée Gwen Stefani the 'Greatest Thing' to Happen to Him on The Voice
At the end of the day, friends say Shelton and Stefani have found kindred spirits in one another.
"They're both very trusting of each other and are very, very close," says the source close to the couple. "It's so hard to achieve that as celebrities in the spotlight, but they really have. They're going to have a wonderful future together."
For all the details on Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani's dream wedding, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.
- Vanderpump Rules Sneak Peek: Tom & Tom Nervous to Tell Lisa Vanderpump About Their New Bar
- Jenna Bush Hager Tells Story Behind Heartbreaking Letter from Daughter at Camp: 'It's All Okay'
- Lena Dunham Marries Luis Felber
- Army Wives' Elle McLemore and Celebrity Tennis Coach Josh Levinson Are Married: 'A Whimsical Fairytale'