Wedding vows

“I couldn’t believe how much this hit me”

When Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani said “yes” in a chapel on their Oklahoma property on July 3, every detail has been carefully and thoughtfully planned. Stefani said yes to a Vera Wang dress and completed her look with a hand-embroidered veil with their names and the names of Stefani’s sons, Kingston James, 15, Zuma Nesta Rock, 13, and Apollo Bowie, 7. .

Shelton, 45, paired his signature blue jeans with a tuxedo jacket, waistcoat and bow tie. Then they celebrated with a richly detailed, tiered wedding cake, dancing, and then topped off the evening with fireworks.

However, Shelton said, nothing meant more to him than Stefani’s wishes. The couple knew they were writing their vows because Carson Daly, who officiated the ceremony, asked them. Shelton stunned Stefani, 52, with a song, “We Can Reach the Stars,” which he wrote for her with Nashville hit songwriter Craig Wiseman. However, Stefani’s words took his breath away, he said.

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gwen stefani, blake shelton

Jeremy Bustos Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton

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“She took it really hard, took it to heart and talked about it all the time,” Shelton said. “She said to me, ‘Oh my God, I’m still working on it. “”

When she read them to him at their ceremony, he understood why.

“What struck me was that she talked about my [late] my brother and my dad like she almost knew them, ”Shelton explains. “She didn’t sound like it looked like that, but that was how she spoke of them. She said she wished they were there and what kind of men she thinks they must have been. Dude, that hit me. Like, I couldn’t believe how much this hit me. I felt like at this point I was kind of callused. Guess I’m not because it absolutely killed me. It’s even hard to remember what else she said. I will never forget that feeling.

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Shelton took the wording of his vows just as seriously. He chose to write her a song because he said it was the last thing she expected.

“For me, writing songs is sometimes going to the dentist,” admits Shelton. So the fact that I did that, I think it was a complete shock to her. “

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton pose onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton pose onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani

The writing process for “We Can Reach the Stars” was straightforward. Shelton contacted Wiseman because he knew he needed help. The singer was driving to work at The voice and used the time to explain his ideas to Wiseman. He knew he wanted his ode to Stefani to sound like a ’90s country and shared his take on crochet. He heard Wiseman fumbling with his phone; then the songwriter began to strum his guitar.

“He was coming up with some of the most important things, which was amazing for me to hear,” Shelton said. “I was like, ‘Dude, wait till I get there so we can talk about it.’ But at the same time, I didn’t want him to stop. “

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Halfway through the writing process, Shelton knew the song was exactly what he wanted Stefani to sing about at their wedding.

“Everything turned out exactly as it was supposed to happen,” Shelton said. “It’s just like ‘Wow, we did it. I have a song about my wife.’ It was so exciting for me. “

After the wedding, an intimate ceremony that included just 40 of the couple’s closest friends and family, Stefani carefully packed her gown to preserve Wang’s delicate work. A pew signed by their wedding guests is in their family chapel as a personal reminder of their special day. But Shelton was so proud of his song for Stefani, he had to share it – and she approved. He posted “We Can Reach the Stars” on streaming services earlier this month.

Stefani commented on social media that it was “the greatest gift I have ever received”.

For more on Blake Shelton, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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