"We didn't want to put our life on hold any longer," the bride tells PEOPLE exclusively

By Jodi Guglielmi
March 16, 2021 11:10 AM
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The Challenge stars Jenna Compono and Zach Nichols are married — and PEOPLE has the exclusive details. The two tied the knot in a private, "mini" ceremony on March 13 in Michigan.

The couple, who got engaged in 2019 and are expecting their first child together, decided to move forward with an intimate ceremony after having to postpone their wedding due to COVID-19.

"Our plan was to get married in February and have a baby immediately after. Due to COVID and having to reschedule our wedding to a year away, we decided to do things backward," Compono, 28, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "Realistically, we don't know how the world is going to be next year, so our wedding isn't even promised. We didn't want to put our life on hold any longer for something that isn't promised."

Jenna Compono and Zach Nichols Wedding
Credit: Brittany Brockie Photography @brittanybrockiephotography
Jenna Compono and Zach Nichols Wedding
Credit: Brittany Brockie Photography @brittanybrockiephotography

Compono and Nichols, 33, exchanged vows in front of their immediate family before heading to a small dinner reception.

"It was really special to have both my family and Zach's family there. Especially my dad, who hasn't been on a plane in over 20 years," says the bride. "Although we wished we could have had our big wedding this year, it definitely was more memorable and intimate celebrating with our close family first, and everyone else later on."

Compono wore a simple white Show Me Your Mumu gown for the special occasion, paired with "gorgeous, sparkly shoes" from Bella Belle Shoes and an Ariel Taub clutch. Nichols, meanwhile, kept his look classic in a sleek black suit.

Jenna Compono and Zach Nichols Wedding
Credit: Brittany Brockie Photography @brittanybrockiephotography

The two still plan on having a larger ceremony and reception to celebrate with their friends and extended family in April 2022.

"Our wedding planner Kristin and I are continuing to plan our wedding next year, which will be considered a vow renewal," says Compono, adding that they will celebrate future anniversaries on their April wedding date.

Jenna Compono and Zach Nichols Wedding
Credit: Brittany Brockie Photography @brittanybrockiephotography

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Compono and Nichols announced that they are expecting their first baby together last month, saying they were eager to "start the next chapter of our lives."

"Happy Valentine's Day! Zach & I are expecting our first baby. After our wedding was postponed, we decided to start the next chapter of our lives," Compono wrote on Instagram at the time. "It really wasn't a hard decision for us, we were both super excited and ready."

"Luckily, we were fortunate enough to get pregnant on our first try and have had zero complications regarding my first trimester," she added. "We are truly blessed and we can't wait to meet our little one in August."

The pair, who are also The Real World alums, met while making MTV's Battle of the Exes II back in 2014.