Will Forte is Married! Inside His Surprise Wedding to Wife Olivia Modling

The SNL alum married fiancé Olivia Modling on July 31 in a surprise ceremony

will forte and olivia modling wedding
Photo: Blue rose studios

Will Forte recently became new dad to 10-month-old daughter Zoe, but he's also got another new title: husband!

The Saturday Night Live alum, 51, married his fiancé Olivia Modling on July 31 in a surprise ceremony, PEOPLE can exclusively announce.

"We were in New Mexico, making MacGruber," Forte tells PEOPLE in this week's issue of the upcoming comedy series, based on his MacGyver parody character from SNL, which premieres Dec. 16 on Peacock.

"We had gotten engaged right before the first COVID lockdown. And so when we were just starting to talk to planners, people were having to shut down their weddings. At the time, we said, 'We're in no rush. We can figure it out later.' So then COVID goes by and we're quarantining for a long time. And then the baby is this wonderful news. We find out we're having a kid. And so we were in no rush, but every once in a while we would think about, 'Let's just do it.'"

But just weeks before a planned visit from family earlier this summer, Forte and Modling decided they had waited long enough and started planning their surprise nuptials.

"We realized, 'Oh, all the people that we would want to be here are going to be here,'" says Forte. "Most of them, because a lot of my closest friends work on MacGruber with me. They were already in Albuquerque, so we just decided very last minute, 'Let's just have this wedding, surprise my parents.' They didn't even know until they pulled into the parking lot. And we just had this really fun, delightful wedding, pretty small, in the back of Jorma Taccone's house." (Taccone is one of the three main MacGruber creators.)

"It was just a delightful day," says Forte. "My parents were totally surprised. It was so stressful, the two weeks where we were planning. I can't imagine having a year or more to stew over wedding plans."

Forte says he's enjoying married life — especially being able to call Modling his "wife."

"It's fun to say, 'Wife,'" he says. "I've never worn any jewelry in my life and it's fun to wear a wedding ring. It already felt like we were married before. It doesn't feel a lot different, but it's still fun and exciting to say, 'Wife.' She's great. I needed to find somebody who was a very patient person and she's the most patient, understanding woman in the world. I'm feeling very happy and very lucky these days."

MacGruber premieres Dec. 16 on Peacock.

For more from Will Forte, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.

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