NASCAR‘s Kurt Busch tied the knot with polo player and model Ashley Van Metre (whom he fittingly met at a race!) during an intimate sunset ceremony in St. Barts on January 7. Guests who gathered for the reception, scheduled one week later in Palm Beach at The Breakers resort, were surprised with a performance by Steven Tyler and Loving Mary, the Aerosmith frontman’s new band based in Nashville.
“Our wedding was just perfect,” Busch, 38, tells PEOPLE. “Ashley and I chose our favorite island, providing the perfect beach setting and surrounded with our closest loved ones. Eden Rock in St. Bart stands alone as our favorite place to visit, and we wanted to share our slice of paradise found with everybody.
“We were able to blend a simple beach ceremony with a grand event. Not one detail was missed and the evening truly defined the both of us.”
“It was love at first sight,” adds Van Metre. “There was a feeling between us that neither of us had ever felt before or even knew existed. I told him I would have married him if he had just given me a Ring Pop!”
Kurt, a 27-time race winner, says anticipation was at an “all-time high,” so he shared a romantic reveal with Ashley before her walk down the aisle.
“It gave me some time to get a bit of the crying out of the way!” Busch says.
The fun didn’t cease after the island weekend. A celebration party at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, included surprise entertainment from rocker Steven Tyler and his band, along with a 14-piece band and DJ.
For Ashley, who as a young girl dreamed of getting married at Disney World, the wedding was “truly a fairytale.”
“I was still able to have my Cinderella arrival with the carriage and white horses we brought to The Breakers,” she gushes. “They shut down the main drive of the hotel just for us. It was so special!”
Has the couple started thinking about starting a family?
“I can’t wait to raise children with Ashley and start the next chapter in my life,” Kurt shares. “I know having a child together will be as wonderful as everything has been so far.“