Carson Boatman and Julana Dizon tied the knot Friday in Des Moines, Iowa

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Carson Boatman and Julana's Wedding
Carson Boatman and Julana Dizon
| Credit: Jennifer Weinman Photography

Days of Our Lives actor Carson Boatman is officially a married man. 

Boatman, 27, wed model Julana Dizon on Friday, July 23, at a ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa, near where he grew up.

"We're ecstatic," Boatman tells PEOPLE exclusively of his nuptials. "We couldn't be happier. It's been a long year and so we're excited to kind of get it behind us and top it off with us tying the knot."

You can see the soap opera actor portray an aged Johnny DiMera on Days starting this August.

The happy couple first met in 2016 in Los Angeles, when their mutual gym trainer played "matchmaker" and set them up for a dinner date. "And the rest is history," Boatman says.

Carson Boatman and Julana's Wedding
Carson Boatman and Julana Dizon
| Credit: Jennifer Weinman Photography

On July 3rd, 2020, Boatman, who is also a country singer, popped the question by writing an original song that concluded with him asking Dizon to marry him.

"It came a lot sooner than I expected, so I was really surprised," Dizon recalls of the romantic proposal.

At Friday's ceremony, Boatman and Dizon made a point to also include their pets, with one of their dogs serving as the ring bearer and the other as a flower girl.

"It's kind of a whole little bit," Boatman explains. "The pastor is going to go to my brother, who's my best man, for the rings. And then my brother's going to say, 'Oh, no. I don't have the rings. I don't know where the rings are.' And then the pastor's going to go, 'Does anybody have the rings?'"

He continues, "And then this AC/DC song is going to come on and the suspense will build for a few seconds and then these sliding barn doors will open and Willie, our dog, is going to run down the aisle to me with the rings and then we'll leash him up and he'll sit there with us for the rest of the ceremony." 

Aside from the theatrical moment at their ceremony, Boatman and Dizon add that their reception had a "very summery" feel with a touch of country western, with Dizon and her bridesmaids all donning cowboy boots.

As for what they're looking forward to now that they have tied the knot, the newlyweds say they can't wait to simply experience life together.

"I'm just so excited to be like, 'This is my husband,'" Dizon says. "My husband! The thing I've looked forward to my whole life is one day getting married and then eventually later down the line start a family. Literally anything in life that comes after getting married, I'm just excited to do with him."

"These last five years with Julana have honestly been the best years that I've had so far," adds Boatman. "I love spending every day with her and I'm just looking forward to spending the rest of my days with her. Just doing life with Julana is what I'm looking forward to."

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In addition to his nuptials, Boatman is currently preparing for the release of his latest film, Runt, which hits theaters Oct. 1 and starts streaming Oct. 19. 

He stars as Hank in the upcoming film, which was also the late Cameron Boyce's final acting project before his death in July 2019.