Jennie Garth and Dave Abrams' Whirlwind Love Story: 'It Just Felt Right'

From a blind date to the altar in eight months, the newlyweds share how they fell hard – and fast

Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty

When Jennie Garth‘s mommy-friend asked if she’d go on a blind double date with her, her boyfriend and his buddy Dave Abrams, the actress thought, ‘Sure, why not?’ I thought, ‘I’ll just go for dating practice,’ ” Garth tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“I looked him up online, and he shared a name with a real beefcake-y male stripper, and I was like, ‘Oh no!’ But luckily it wasn’t him.”

Meanwhile, Abrams assumed he didn’t really stand a chance. “I didn’t think I had a shot,” says Abrams, 34. “But I went.”

It’s a good thing, too. The couple hit it off that first night – and neither ever looked back.

“After we left the restaurant and were at the valet, I gave her a hug and said, ‘Well, can I call you?’ and she’s like, ‘Nope, but you can follow me,’ ” says Abrams. “I thought, ‘On Instagram?!’ She goes, ‘No, just follow me.’ ”

Abrams hopped in his car and the two landed at a local café where they talked into the night over drinks. Recalls Garth, 43, “He made me laugh so much!”

RELATED VIDEO: Just Try Not to Cry Watching Jennie Garth’s Gorgeous Wedding Video

Since that first date on Dec. 2, 2014, the couple hasn’t spent more than three consecutive days apart.

“We fast-tracked,” says Garth, who introduced Abrams to her three girls – Luca, 18, Lola, 12, and Fiona, 8 – almost immediately. “It was a big decision on my part, but I said I really like this guy and he really likes me and if we think we have a future together, I need to introduce him to my life as soon as possible.”

“I threw him in 100 percent,” she says.

Abrams didn’t balk: “I’m sure people are like, ‘You guys are insane,’ but when it hits you like that, you know,” says the Virginia-raised actor, who proposed on March 30.

From the beginning, says Garth: “It just felt right.”

RELATED VIDEO: Go Inside Jennie Garth’s Beautiful DIY Wedding

For Jennie and Dave’s exclusive wedding album and even more details from their big day, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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