Dancing Under the Stars: Julianne Hough's Perfect Wedding to Brooks Laich – 'We Never Stopped Looking at Each Other'
DWTS judge and actress Julianne Hough married NHL star Brooks Laich in a romantic outdoor Idaho wedding. Subscribe now for exclusive photos inside the gorgeous celebration — only in PEOPLE!
It was a night of “perfection” for Julianne Hough.
The Dancing with the Stars judge married NHL star Brooks Laich on July 8 in a romantic, outdoor wedding on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where Hough spent summer holidays growing up. “When I introduced Brooks to the lake, he fell in love with this special spot, and we knew this was where we wanted to raise our family and grow old together,” Hough, 28, tells PEOPLE in this week’s exclusive cover story. “It just felt right to be married here.”
Designed by event planner Troy Williams of Simply Troy Lifestyle + Events, the wedding weekend was a celebration of love and nature — both of which were essential to the bride and groom. “It was really important to me that we had our ceremony outdoors,” says Laich, 34, who wore a Brooks Brothers tuxedo. “Julianne and I are very adventurous and free, and wanted the setting to be in nature.”
More than 2,000 blooms were used to create the floral arrangements, all designed by Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht of Wild Bloom, including 100 flower boxes and at least 200 garden roses in the reception centerpieces. After the wedding, Hough and Laich donated all the flowers to The Full Bloom, a non-profit organization that repurposes gently used flowers into bouquets for patients in area hospitals, hospice care and other facilities.
- For all the intimate details inside Hough and Laich’s gorgeous Idaho nuptials — including exclusive wedding photos — pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
During the ceremony, Hough, who wore a custom strapless sweetheart Marchesa gown, and Laich said traditional vows and exchanged Lorraine Schwartz-designed rings. “Brooks and I kept eye contact the entire ceremony,” she says. “We never stopped looking at each other.” Her favorite moment was “kissing each other for the first time as husband and wife as the confetti cannons exploded around us,” Hough adds. “I couldn’t stop crying all weekend and most people [thought] I would have cried during the entire ceremony, but instead I was just so excited and ready to celebrate!”
RELATED VIDEO: Wedding Details! Going Inside Julianne Hough & Brooks Laich’s Elegant Idaho Reception
Afterwards at their reception, Hough was surprised by her bridesmaids and girlfriends with a choreographed dance number to Sia’s song, “The Greatest,” a favorite from Hough’s recent tour with her brother, Derek. The bride surprised her groom as well — with timed fireworks over the lake during their first dance to OneRepublic’s “All This Time” (to which she also walked down the aisle).
- Watch People Weddings: Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich, available now, on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device.
Guests were given turn-down gifts each night, put together from the bride and groom by Gifts for the Good Life, which included a Happy Spritz facial mist, Sugarfina Bubbly Bears with a J&B monogrammed label, and a make-your-own margarita set with Casamigos Tequila or make-your-own lemonade kit, among other goodies.
Hough and Laich announced their engagement in August 2015 after dating for a year and a half. Their wedding weekend was “perfection,” she says. “I don’t think I ever really necessarily dreamed about my wedding as a kid. But I know I will always cherish and remember it for the rest of my life.”