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Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson’s walk down the aisle! Ashlee Simpson and her mom, Tina, dancing at the reception! A full view of the stunning reception tent!
In PEOPLE’s exclusive video, get an inside and intimate peek at Simpson’s “magical” July 5 wedding at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California.
At around the one-minute mark, Simpson’s father, Joe, introduces “Mr. and Mrs. Eric Johnson” to the 275 guests gathered. Then watch the happy newlyweds make their way down the aisle to the score from the 1998 film adaptation of Great Expectations.
The sweetest moment of all? Simpson kisses her husband’s hand as they share a loving glance.
For the reception, celebrity event planner Mindy Weiss worked with the bride to create a party space inspired by the Great Expectations movie as well. “She really wanted to have that feeling in the movie when they’re dancing,” says Weiss of the film featuring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke.
“There were so many flowers,” Weiss, who enlisted Mark’s Garden for the event, tells PEOPLE. “There was green amaranthus just hanging from branches that were over the tables. It looked like a beautiful ballroom in the middle of a forest.”
And from the looks of it, the dance floor was full with guests such as Donald Faison and Cacee Cobb tearing it up to the live band.
“We had a huge band,” says Simpson. “Everyone was having the time of her lives.”
For all the details about the wedding – including Simpson’s exclusive wedding album – pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now
As the bride, Jessica Simpson wasn’t the only one to get “something new” for her July 5 wedding to Eric Johnson. The groom also received a gift to complement his custom grey John Varvatos tuxedo.
“I gave him Neil Lane vintage cufflinks,” says Simpson, who gifted an art deco-inspired pair made of black enamel and diamonds.
“She was really keen on them with his white shirt,” says Lane, who also designed their wedding bands. “It was a lovely gesture.”
And Johnson returned the sweet gift, choosing a personal gesture for his present to her.
“Since last year, right after Ace was born, he had been collecting all these pictures and he just made this incredible book that’s the sweetest thing I could ask for,” says Simpson. Plus “he has something up his sleeve.”
“I have a gift coming she doesn’t know about yet,” adds Johnson. (The suspense!)
Since her custom Carolina Herrera wedding gown had lots of breathtaking embellishment (and was plenty attention-getting on its own), Jessica Simpson decided to stick to understated classics when it came to her bridal jewelry.
“My dress had a lot of tulle so I didn’t want anything to get caught,” says Simpson, who worked with longtime stylist and bridesmaid Nicole Chavez to put together her wedding day look. “I just wanted simple.”
The bride’s something old was her 1910 Tiffany & Co. engagement ring from designer Neil Lane, so it made sense that she turned to the celeb-loved jewelry designer to create custom wedding bands for her July 5 nuptials to Eric Johnson.
Lane designed the couple’s custom bands, inspired by Simpson’s ruby engagement sparkler, about a month before the big day. “That was a challenge because her ring is so distinct. It’s beautiful, elegant and different,” says Lane. “She has pear shaped diamonds in her ring but she didn’t want something matchy-matchy. And again she’s a Texas girl so we didn’t do a little band. She wanted her bling!”
The final results: a wedding band made of yellow and rose gold that holds about 5 carats of marquise and round diamonds, plus one happy bride. “I love my engagement ring and my wedding band so much.”
As for Johnson? “He wanted a special band too!” says Lane. After looking though the jeweler’s archives, the couple found an Art Deco-inspired ring that had a ruby in it that recalls his bride’s engagement ring. “To have a ruby that is complementary to his is quite profound. He loved that,” says Lane.
The new accessory is going to take some getting used to. The day after the wedding “we were just sitting and eating and I started to get choked up seeing Eric with a wedding band on,” says Simpson. “We feel complete.”
Lane also created the subtle but stunning 12-carat diamond drop earrings Simpson wore for her big day. “They were looking for sparkle on her ears. The earrings have a bit of gold but you don’t really see the gold line. It sort of disappeared and the diamond was floating.”
“I thought a simple drop diamond would be nice,” adds Simpson. “And that was my ‘something borrowed.’”
Jessica and Eric weding details: the 6-Layer Wedding Cake
Forget flour and butter: The perfect wedding cake starts with pen and paper, if Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson’s incredible 6-tier confection is any indication.
Joan Spitler of Joanie and Leigh’s Cakes in Bel Air shared exclusive details with PEOPLE of the towering cake she and her team created for the couple’s July 5 nuptials, including a look at the sketch that started the bakery’s design process.
The cake was covered in a burnished gold fondant “to tie in with [Jessica’s] dress detail,” she tells PEOPLE. “And then the flowers are sort of in that unkempt, garden feel of the wedding.”
A layer of fluffy Italian meringue buttercream also covered the cake, which featured alternating layers of coconut cake with a coconut cream filling and vanilla cake with mixed berries and cream — flavors chosen after Spitler sent the bride and groom five tiny cakes to test at home.
“Jessica likes really delicious, traditional sort of American-style cakes,” Spitler says. And just in case six layers weren’t enough for the occasion, “we made a lot of extra, because it’s so delicious.”
The bakers (formerly known as the Cake Divas) collaborated with Simpson’s celebrity event planner, Mindy Weiss, and Los Angeles florist Mark’s Garden, who created a 2-foot stand for the cake.
“We worked with Mindy a lot so that everything would tie in with the whole look and décor of the room,” Spitler says, adding that the whole process took “probably about a month.”
Here come the bridesmaids, all dressed in … well, every designer you can imagine!
For Jessica Simpson‘s romantic July 5 wedding to Eric Johnson, the bride pulled out all the stops to outfit her — wait for it — 12 bridesmaids. And that’s not including her two maids of honor: her mom, Tina and her sister, Ashlee.
“I didn’t really have a theme per se, but I did know I wanted it to look ethereal,” says Simpson, 34, who also wanted to tie in some glitz and glam on her big day. The look was “a little bit angelic, but of course with rhinestones!”
To accomplish that, the bride leaned on her longtime friend and stylist Nicole Chavez, who also outfitted Eric Johnson and the groomsmen in John Varvatos.
“I’m a bridesmaid and I’m styling this entire production,” says Chavez in an exclusive PEOPLE video taken during the bridesmaids’ dress fittings. “I really took into consideration, first, their body, what I knew that they would love, the colors and then we started sourcing different dresses for each one.”
“I personally can’t have all of my girls in the same dress,” says Simpson, who enlisted designers such as Marchesa, Jason Wu and Temperley, Carmen Marc Valvo and, of course, Carolina Herrera, for her bridal party.
Chavez shared the same vision of “making sure each girl is individualized and styled like they would style themselves.” Check out the video above to see how that played out, and make sure to pick up this week’s PEOPLE magazine for the final results!