When singer/actor Nick Jonas proposed to Indian superstar Priyanka Chopra this past summer, the two knew their wedding had to be a meld of their cultures, religions and families.
“Every girl dreams of being a princess on her wedding day,” Chopra, 36, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s cover story. “But I never had a plan about what I wanted it to be.”
The singer, 26, suggested they dream big and opt for not one, but two ceremonies in India to celebrate their different backgrounds. “It melted my heart,” adds the Quantico actress. “Being able to have two big weddings, in India, with our closest family and friends was unbelievably special.”
For more exclusive details and photos from Jonas and Chopra’s epic wedding weekend, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.
Hosting an epic wedding weekend for 225 guests including Jonas’s brothers Kevin (with wife Danielle), Joe (with fiancée, actress Sophie Turner) and Frankie along with Chopra’s brother Siddharth — all planned by Sandeep Khosla and Aditya Motwane, respective founder-owners of Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla and Motwane Entertainment & Weddings — the couple held court for four days at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur.
On Dec. 1, the day after Chopra and Jonas had a Mehendi ceremony, where they were both adorned with henna tattoos, and a Sangeet that night in which both families performed elaborate musical numbers with choreography and costumes, the bride and groom were married in a Western ceremony on the palace’s lawn.
As a string quartet played, Chopra, wearing a hand-beaded and embroidered Ralph Lauren gown with a stunning 75-foot long veil, was escorted down the aisle by her mother Madhu (her father Ashok died of cancer in 2013).
“It was all tears. All tears,” says the actress, who carried a bouquet of tuberoses (her favorite flower) designed by Jenya Flowers (NYC), which created the floral arrangements for the entire wedding party. “I could not hold it in. I think I was nervous and scared. But as soon as the curtains opened, and I saw his face it was just like everything settled and I knew I was making the best decision of my life.”
As for Jonas, “the emotions were running high during the ceremonies, I think especially during the Western wedding for me,” he says. “You know you think your whole life about that moment. Honestly, I could not have imagined it would be as perfect as it was. It was highly emotional.”
After the two exchanged vows again in a lavish Hindu wedding on Sunday, they concluded the weekend with a Bidaai, a bridal ritual where Chopra’s family blessed her new life with Jonas.
“I love that our wedding was a religious mash-up,” says the actress. “We took beautiful traditions that we both grew up with and personalized them in a way that made sense for us. It’s been incredible to find the commonalities between our beliefs and figuring out how to blend them in a respectful and meaningful way.”