Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts sealed their love in an intimate California ceremony on Aug. 29

By Christina Dugan
September 09, 2020 03:12 PM
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Niecy Nash and new wife Jessica Betts could not be more in sync!

In this week's issue of PEOPLE, the Claws actress, 50, is reliving the sweet moment her now-wife popped the question during a romantic evening at home — and how she surprised Betts with the same question in a memorable and "non-traditional" double-proposal.

"You know how you have those days where your significant other can just do things that drive you crazy? I feel like I was driving [Jessica] crazy all day," says Nash, who divorced her second husband Jay Tucker in March. "So it didn't make sense to me that she turned around at the end of the night, and we were sitting in the jacuzzi, and I got up and I went upstairs and she came up and she was like, 'You know what? You've been getting on my nerves all day. But if anybody is going to get on my nerves, I want it to be you.' Then she said, 'You are absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me. Marry me, Cora.' That's her nickname for me, is Cora." (Carol Denise Ensley is Nash's given name.)

  • For more about Niecy Nash's love story and wedding, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

"So I say 'yes,' and she puts the ring on my finger, we go downstairs, hang out a little more in the pool and the jacuzzi and then she goes, 'Well, what happens now? When do I get a ring? What do we do next? I don't know how all this goes. I've never been married before.' And I was like, 'Well, we're non-traditional people. Hold on one second.' I went upstairs and then I came back down because I had a ring for her. And then I asked her to marry me. So we both proposed to each other the same night, which is weird but fun."

Jessica Betts and Niecy Nash
| Credit: Robert Ector for REP Publishing

On Aug. 31, the couple announced on their respective Instagram accounts that they had said "I do."

"Mrs. Carol Denise Betts 💍 @jessicabettsmusic #LoveWins🌈 📸 @robertector," Nash captioned a photo of herself and Betts walking hand-in-hand down the aisle.

"I got a whole Wife 👽💍 @niecynash1 #Bettsofbothworlds #LoveWins," Betts wrote.

While the announcement came as a surprise to fans, Nash says she's never felt happier.

"[My marriage] has absolutely nothing to do with gender and it has everything to do with her soul," Nash tells PEOPLE of Betts. "She is the most beautiful soul I have ever met in my life."

"I was not suppressing my sexuality my whole life," she adds of the her decision to marry Betts. "I love who I love. At one point in my life, I married twice and I love those people. And today I love this person. I've done everything I wanted to do on my own terms and my own way. So my choice now in a partner has nothing to do with who I've always been. It's a matter of who I am in this moment."

"I don’t feel like my marriage is my coming out of anywhere, but rather a going into myself and being honest about who I love," she shares. "And I’m not limiting myself on what that love is supposed to look like.”

Jessica Betts and Niecy Nash
| Credit: Robert Ector for REP Publishing

The pair tied the knot in front of 24 of their closest friends and family at their home in Ventura County, California, on Aug. 29.

The "rustic chic" affair, planned by William P. Miller, included a delicious culinary experience created by Chef Will Jones, custom face masks with the phrasing "#LoveWins," personal hand sanitizers, and plenty of dancing.

Still fully in wedded bliss, Nash says she's looking forward to what's to come.

"I’ve got my feet up, I’m looking at the ocean and I’ve got the greatest love of my life in my peripheral," says Nash, who took a mini-moon to Santa Barbara after the wedding. "I couldn’t be happier.”