CNN's Alex Marquardt Weds Amanda McClements in 'Dreamy' Mallorca Wedding: 'A Magical Joyous Moment'

Marquardt and his bride Amanda McClements wed on Sept. 9 in a small laidback wedding off the coast of Spain

Amanda McClements , Alexander Marquardt
Photo: Violeta Minnick Photography

CNN National Security Correspondent Alex Marquardt is married!

The award-winning journalist exchanged vows with fiancée Amanda McClements in Mallorca, one of Spain's Balearic Islands, on Sept. 9, PEOPLE can exclusively confirm.

Marquardt's sister Dana and McClements' close friend JP led the ceremony.

"At one point as Alex read his vows, JP and Dana both burst into tears simultaneously which had everyone laughing and crying and it was just this magical joyous moment we'll never forget," McClements tells PEOPLE. "And luckily our photographer caught it, ugly crying and all."

Amanda McClements , Alexander Marquardt
Violeta Minnick Photography

The couple exchanged "I do's" at the Marquardt family's 400-year-old estate in the middle of an olive grove.

The bride and groom walked in together, under a trellis of pink trumpet vine, to an acoustic version of "Harvest Moon." The song was played by McClements' brother, Walt McClements (a musician in the band Weyes Blood) and Marquardt's father, Robert.

The bride wore an elegant gown with a triangle shaped cutout in the middle and patterns running up and down the fabric. She also held a bouquet of caper vines. The groom opted for an olive green suit.

Amanda McClements , Alexander Marquardt
Violeta Minnick Photography

After a hectic year — Marquardt covered the war in Ukraine around the clock from the front lines —the couple said they wanted the celebration with their closest family and friends to feel cozy and laid back.

They ultimately chose the Mediterranean island as their venue because of their history. The pair got engaged on an uninhabited island in Greece, one of their favorite places to visit since meeting on the Raya dating app in 2018.

Amanda McClements , Alexander Marquardt
Violeta Minnick Photography

They incorporated the Mediterranean lifestyle in their wedding, having wedding guests be treated to a tour and lesson about soil microbiomes from Marquardt's father leading up to the event.

After the ceremony, the couple also took various photos, happily walking hand-in-hand among the groves during sunset. The guests were moved to a garden for dinner, sitting at a series of tables under sparkling lights strung from the trees — a detail likely from McClements, who has grown a line of home décor and plant boutiques after taking a turn as a former journalist and food writer.

The couple wined and dined under a curated meal by chef Andreas Aberg, which featured local fish and lamb from the island.

"As we sat down for an amazing dinner in the garden, the most extraordinary sunset lit up the sky in front of us while the super bright Harvest Moon rose up over the olive grove behind us," says the couple.

Amanda McClements , Alexander Marquardt
Violeta Minnick Photography

After four days of celebrations, the newlyweds took a ferry over to Formentera — another dreamy island off Spain's coast — for the start of their honeymoon and happily ever after.

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Now, as they settle into married life, the pair say they are enjoying every minute of being husband and wife.

"While our day-to-day hasn't changed dramatically, the conversations about the long-term — where we want to be, what we want to do — are deeper as a really true sense of partnership becomes more profound."

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