"I'm sure many people expected a produced dance, but we wanted to keep it genuine and real," Jenna Johnson says of her first dance with now-husband Val Chmerkovskiy
After walking into their wedding reception as husband and wife on Saturday, the newlywed couple enjoyed a slow (not rehearsed!) dance to “La Vie En Rose” in front of 200 of their closest friends and family members.
“All I wanted to do was slow dance with my husband,” Johnson, 25, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I’m sure many people expected a produced dance, but we wanted to keep it genuine and real.”
“All we wanted to do was take it all in and see each other,” adds Chmerkovskiy, 33. “We didn’t do any choreographed performance as many were probably hoping, but I did sneak in a little violin solo for her in there. I wanted to surprise Jenna and add a little touch of the violin as a metaphor for how I will serenade my love for the rest of her life. And her family never saw or heard me play, so bonus points for me.”
But Johnson and her dad, Curt, had a surprise of their own in store for Chmerkovskiy. The father and daughter performed a little dance, set to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”
“My dad nailed it,” says Johnson. “The look on Val’s face was absolutely priceless.”
On Saturday, the pair tied the knot in a romantic ceremony overlooking the ocean at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palo Verdes, California.
The couple, who got engaged in June 2018, said their “I do’s” underneath a beautiful chuppah decorated with tibet roses, ranunculus, astilbe, lisianthus, garden roses and peonies, all in whites and ivories.
“I want a classic, pure white look, with some greenery,” Johnson previously told PEOPLE of the floral arrangements, designed by Shawna Yamamoto Floral & Event Design. For their big day, Chmerkovskiy and Johnson were surrounded by a lush garden filled with white ivory, dashes of greenery, candles of varying heights and modern gold touches.
Walking down the aisle to a string quartet, Johnson wore a classic, long-sleeved Vera Wang gown with a slight mermaid silhouette and topped it with a custom-made crystal headpiece and a long veil, designed by Bridal Styles Boutique, for the ceremony. (She changed into a timeless white dress designed by Kleinfeld for the reception.)
Meanwhile, the groom wore a custom-made black velvet tuxedo designed by Brooks Brothers.
Chmerkovskiy and Johnson read their own vows and “incorporated a few meaningful traditions” that celebrated both of their families’ cultures, she said. The pair exchanged matching rose gold wedding bands from Jacob & Co.
- Watch the full episode of People Weddings: Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson, streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.
In June, Chmerkovskiy proposed to Johnson in Venice, Italy, where he got down on one knee and popped the question with a diamond sparkler. Chmerkovskiy previously worked with Jacob Arabo of Jacob & Co to design Johnson’s rectangular cushion-cut diamond ring and secretly kept it in his backpack during the trip so Johnson couldn’t find it.
WATCH: Dancing with the Stars’ Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson Are Engaged!
As for his decision to propose in the Italian city, Chmerkovskiy told PEOPLE that he’s known since he was a teenager that one day he would get down on one knee there.
“When I was 17, I visited Venice for the first time and thought it was the most romantic place in the world. I promised myself then that the next time I would come back to Venice was to propose to the woman I’d want to spend the rest of my life with,” Chmerkovskiy told PEOPLE in an exclusive statement. “Fifteen years later I kept my word. It was perfect.”
Chmerkovskiy added of Johnson, “My life has changed because of [her,] and I find myself to be the best version of myself that I’ve ever been. She’s awesome.”