The couple said “I do” on Valentine’s Day in a small outdoor ceremony. The reception was held in a ’50s diner. “It’s unique,” Kiper tells PEOPLE. “But I wanted to do something different. I’m wearing a red dress because that’s good luck.”
For Kiper, 36, love came unexpectedly in late 2014. “We actually met online,” Kiper tells PEOPLE, “but after we started dating, we did a photo shoot together.”
The couple got engaged over the holidays. “He put the ring on the Christmas tree,” says Kiper. “We didn’t set a date immediately. It wasn’t until January that I decided we should have a Valentine’s Day wedding. I just thought that it was coming up, so we should just do it!”
One thing Kiper didn’t want: a big production. “I just wanted to get it done with our friends around,” she says. “I didn’t want drama. I wanted it to be simple. So no one knew about it except for the people who were invited.”
A New Baby
But that’s not all the news that Kiper, an actress who appeared on Gilmore Girls, has to share. She and Critelli have a 3-month-old baby girl, Punky Jean Critelli.
And where did she come up with the unusual name? “Punky is from Punky Brewster, even though that wasn’t her real name. Her name was Penelope. And Jean is from [Marilyn Monroe’s given name] Norma Jean.”
For Kiper, it was time to have a child. “I was in love and told him I wanted a baby,” she says. “So we consummated that last Valentine’s Day. That’s when we started trying, and I think we may have nailed it the first time!”
Punky was born on Nov. 17, 2015, and there are no immediate plans to give her a brother or sister.
“I always envisioned having one little girl,” says Kiper. “So I’m very happy with where things are. If we get an accident baby – no, a blessing baby – that would be great. But I’ve gotten exactly what I’ve always wanted, so I’m not going to push my luck!”