Asked to sketch out her perfect vows, Hailey Bieber (then still using her given surname of Baldwin) had an answer at the ready.
"I just picture lights strung everywhere," she mused to The Cut during a September 2018 breakfast celebrating her role as an ambassador for bareMinerals. "I think having it in the woods would be so beautiful."
The then-21-year-old had already dispatched a wedding planner to start scouting locations, preferably near her home base on the West Coast, and she remained unbothered by any opinions that she might be too young to commit to this type of forever with fiancé Justin Bieber just a few months after they'd reconciled their teenage romance.
"My sister was 24 when she got married," she noted of Alaia Baldwin's 2017 vows, and dad Stephen Baldwin and graphic designer mom Kennya Deodato "also got married when they were young, too. I see no reason to wait. When you know it's right, it's right."
And so mere hours later, she decided to take her own advice, turning up at a New York City courthouse for the sort of no-frills affair that was nothing at all as she'd described and yet completely, 100 percent right.
"Justin and Hailey told friends and family they were going to get paperwork and inquire about a marriage license but decided to tie the knot right at the courthouse," a source told E! News at the time. "No one knew about their plan. They thought it would be better that way so no one would try and talk them out of it. They wanted it to be a special moment just between the two of them."
After all, they'd long been aligned on their life goals. In the years before their friendship turned romantic in 2016 and then again two years later, "We had talked about wanting to be married young and having a family young and building a life," she confessed in Elle's April issue. "Even before we knew we wanted to be with each other."
Besides, there's always a chance for a reprisal.
And when the model wed her pop star love for the second time on Sept. 30, 2019, she got her dream of trees dripping with lavender flowers, twinkly lights aplenty and an intimate, supportive group of loved ones eager to watch the newlyweds say those all important words once more—this time after battling through more than 12 months of matrimony that Hailey candidly revealed to Vogue were "really effing hard."
Having already had that just-for-them moment, "They can't wait to say their vows in front of their family and friends," a source told E! News ahead of the 2019 ceremony. "It will be a different experience to have their pastor there and everyone close to them. They both feel it is important to have a religious ceremony before God. After a year, their love has grown even more."
Now, continued the source, "They understand what it takes to be married and what goes into it. Their vows are extremely meaningful."
Then there was that other detail. "They are also very excited to have a celebration and party with family and friends," noted the source. "They've never had everyone together in one place so they are excited about that."
And so when the likes of Usher, Joan Smalls, Justine Skye, Jaden Smith and some five members of the Kardashian-Jenner crew (Kris Jenner, boyfriend Corey Gamble, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner and daughter Stormi) descended onto the Montage Palmetto Bluff, a picturesque resort in South Carolina's lowcountry, the Biebers were ready.
Guests were shepherded by water taxi to the Sept. 29 rehearsal dinner along the shoreline, a source told E! News at the time. There, they were greeted by "very chic and white" décor, noted the source, lit candles and yards and yards of string lights.
Once everyone was assembled, continued the source, Hailey (in a custom Vivienne Westwood couture mini and Jimmy Choo heels) and her groom (who yelled into the breeze, "I'm married! Almost") arrived on their own boat. "Everyone cheered for them and they looked really happy to see everyone," the source said. "Hailey and Justin both could not stop smiling."
Such was the theme of the night, the couple sporting perma-grins as they snapped photos with family, raised cocktails and greeted loved ones. And once the official rehearsal dinner party came to a close, the water taxis arrived to take guests to the afterparty.
Back at the resort's comfort food lounge Cole's, where planner Mindy Weiss had the wood tables and chairs removed to make room for her own meticulously chosen pieces, the group alternated between dancing, karaoke, bowling and lounging atop pillows spread across the lawn to catch a screening of The Notebook.
"The night went pretty late," noted an insider. "Cocktails were served and there was an after-hours menu where they had fast food such as fried chicken, french fries and sliders."
As for the bride, "Hailey was dancing in a circle with her girlfriends at the end of the night and looked really happy and was having a lot of fun."
In other words, not even the slightest chill to her feet.
"They aren't nervous," a source told E! News ahead of the big day. "They are so comfortable and have never been more sure about anything. It's really just a celebration of their love in front of family and friends. They've been waiting for this day for a long time, and they are just excited it's finally here. They are both very relaxed and not stressed at all."
So who cares if Justin got a bit tripped up by the formal language of their vows?
In the idyllic Somerset Chapel, filled with arches of greenery and white flowers, their family and friends watched Hailey, in her lace mermaid gown designed by Off-White's Virgil Abloh and veil embroidered with the words "TILL DEATH DO US PART", promise to do just that.
"Everything happened the exact way it was supposed to, I really believe that," Hailey shared later in their YouTube docu-series, Seasons. "Even all the little mishaps that might've happened and us stumbling over our words, whatever it was, I think that it was so meant to be." (For the record: They nailed that first kiss.)
While the newlyweds hung back at the chapel for photos and touch-ups (Hailey had two outfit changes throughout the reception: A light ivory bias-cut silk charmeuse Vera Wang and a Ralph and Russo halter), their guests were greeted with glasses of champagne to tide them over as they made their way to the ballroom, filled with several open bars and gold Swarovski crystal-studded bottles of Moët champagne at each table.
Flickering candlelight and Spanish moss everywhere, the room was "like an enchanted forest," described one guest, "with candles in crystal holders, white twinkle lights and purple lavender flowers hanging from the trees above."
Most importantly, though, said the source, "It was truly a party."
While both Usher and Justin himself took a turn at the mic (introducing a new song, "That's What Love Is," the singer joked, "Everybody come to the dance floor. And if you don't, I will judge you"), DJ Tay James did most of the heavy lifting, spinning a mix of hip-hop, '90s throwbacks and, of course, Justin's greatest hits.
"It was just so special," raved Hailey in their YouTube series. "Everybody just danced their faces off!"
But for the bride, who engaged in the standard bouquet toss, cake cutting and even a round of the hora, the highlight of the night may have been when Justin's manager suggested he recreate an old concert tradition of serenading one lucky lady with "One Less Lonely Girl."
The pulled-up-on-stage moment left her, "like, giddy," admitted Hailey. "It was so silly and cute."
In the years since, they've been two less lonely Biebers, the pair settling down into their $25 million seven-bedroom spread in L.A.'s Beverly Park neighborhood and sharing their plans to fill each one of those rooms. "I am going to have as many as Hailey is wishing to push out," Justin told Ellen DeGeneres in December of their plans for children. "I'd love to have myself a little tribe."
While he told GQ this past May he feels it's his calling "just to get married and have babies and do that whole thing," he's reveling in this time they're enjoying as a family of two.
"We're just creating these moments for us as a couple, as a family, that we're building these memories," he explained. "And it's beautiful that we have that to look forward to. Before, I didn't have that to look forward to in my life. My home life was unstable. Like, my home life was not existing. I didn't have a significant other. I didn't have someone to love. I didn't have someone to pour into. But now I have that."