Katie Lee and her husband Ryan Biegel went on separate hikes with their friends and family members on the morning of their Sept. 1 wedding day—and that’s when she started to worry that a storm might impede on their outdoor nuptials on the Amalfi Coast.
“There were thunder clouds, and it started raining as soon as we finished our hikes,” Lee, 36, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “And I was kind of freaked out because our wedding was outside.”
Luckily, “Midway through the day, it stopped raining and it cleared up,” the Food Network star says.
After getting ready with her friends, Lee made her way to the dock at Lo Scoglio da Tommaso where she and Biegel, a TV producer, tied the knot.
“I got so choked up,” Lee says of seeing Biegel for the first time at their wedding. “I looked out at him and I could feel my eyes well up with tears. I just took a moment and stood there and looked at him and soaked it in. I was just so happy.”
The Beach Bites host, wearing a Danielle Frankel gown and vintage jewelry, then walked down the aisle to Fleetwood Mac’s “Gypsy.” Biegel’s brother Kevin, a comedy writer, officiated the intimate ceremony.
“He was so funny and witty, but also serious and gave us pieces of advice,” Lee recalls. “It was incredible. The ceremony was my favorite.”
After Biegel, 37, kissed the bride, he and Lee, joined by their 40 guests (including designer Nate Berkus and their wedding planner and pal Marcy Blum), celebrated with a night of dancing, homegrown cuisine and fresh Limoncello cocktails. “We wanted a big feast because we both love to eat so much,” Lee reveals. “It was like one big dinner party.”
The pair started with shrimp, octopus and marinated anchovies, followed by a course of fresh pasta and then chateaubriand and grilled prawns — and French fries! — as the main course, plus local wines. For dessert, they opted for a traditional Amalfi Coast lemon sponge cake called delizia al limone.
“They say no carb left behind — that’s been the theme of the weekend!” Lee jokes.
A DJ provided the music with support of a saxophone player and a drummer. The newlyweds selected Aretha Franklin‘s version of “You Send Me” for their first dance because of their love of Nancy Meyers movies. (The track was used in 2006’s The Holiday.)
But the moment that stood out to Lee was when Madonna‘s “Like a Prayer” blared over the dance floor.
“Everybody, including all of the staff here, was on the dance floor singing and dancing,” The Kitchen co-host says. “It was so hot and humid from the rain earlier in the day, everyone just kind of let loose and didn’t care how sweaty they got. It was one of those moments that you always remember in your life.”
As the night wound down, Lo Scoglio’s owner surprised the happy couple, who’d gotten engaged in March, with another big bowl of their favorite pasta with zucchini and took a dip in the ocean.
“Everybody ate pasta and then we all put on our swimsuits and jumped in the ocean at 1:00 in the morning,” Lee says. “It was really, really fun!”
- For more on Katie Lee, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday
Overall, Lee calls the night a dream come true.
“It felt so celebratory and special,” she gushes. “It was more than I ever could have imagined it to be.”