About three months before her original wedding date, Camilla Luddington discovered her dream venue had been burned down in the California wildfires.
“I had a house that I had actually kept pictures of for two years before we were planning on getting married,” the actress, who plays Dr. Jo Wilson on the long-running ABC drama Grey’s Anatomy , tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, on stands now. “When we finally came up with a date, we decided to try and do it on hiatus this year at this house. We were more than halfway through organizing it and had the vendors and everything. Our amazing wedding planner [Karen Waldron] had done a bunch of events there. We found out in March that the house had been destroyed by the fires. They didn’t know how much damage had been done. It took a while. We ended up really scrambling. Karen was really amazing.”
She adds: “I cried in the car. I was just so excited. It was a place I had saved for such a long time. When you start decorating and start doing the tastings, you start picturing your wedding a certain way, and then it all gets thrown out the window. But I think it was all meant to be.”
On Saturday, Luddington and her longtime boyfriend Matthew Alan — who stars in the upcoming season of Hulu’s Castle Rock — tied the knot in front of 70 of their closest friends (including former Grey’s costar Jessica Capshaw!) and family members at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Hotel in Santa Barbara, California. And the back-up venue was still special for the bride.
“Matt and I actually have history at Bacara,” Luddington says. “It was one of our first trips together as a couple. We had a little history there. We didn’t know if it was the right place for us, but then we went up there and as soon as we walked in, we were like, ‘This is it.'”
As for the highlight of the ceremony?
“Seeing him for the first time was amazing, we both just couldn’t stop staring at each other and smiling,” she says. “Our best friend, Shawn Aly, was our officiant, which made the actual ceremony part so intimate and memorable because he was able to actually speak about seeing our relationship first hand and make it personal to us.”
“I remember wondering if I’d be too emotional to get through my vows, but in the actual moment I was feeling so much euphoria, I think I practically yelled them,” she adds.
Their wedding planner, Karen Waldron of Ampersand Entertainment, says “the couple wanted romantic elegance with lots of natural elements, set against crisp white walls mixed with wood tables, hanging rattan light fixtures, an abundance of white and green floral, that kept it beautifully classic and fresh.”
- For more on Camilla Luddington’s wedding, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands now
She adds that “touches of gold accents were mixed into the tables for just that splash of glam.”
The actors have been dating sine 2018 and share daughter Hayden Alan, now 2 years old. In 2017, the actress revealed to her followers that she and Alan had welcomed their baby girl into the world.
“We have a new great love in our lives… our sweet baby girl…Hayden,” the new mom captioned a black-and-white clip of the pair with the newborn.