updated 09/13/2009 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/13/2009 AT 10:00 AM ET
Brad Arnold – lead singer of platinum-selling rock band 3 Doors Down, famous for hits “Away From the Sun” and “Kryptonite” – tied the knot with horseback rider Jennifer Sanderford, PEOPLE has confirmed. The couple wed in their hometown of Escatawpa, Miss., Saturday.
“My baby is a sweet girl,” says Arnold. “I couldn’t be more happy. I thank god everyday that I get to spend the rest of my life with her.”
Using black and white for the colors in their “simple but pretty” 120 guest ceremony, Arnold says the bride opted against reciting vows. “We were going to write our own vows and she said, ‘That’s not fair, you’re a writer. Please don’t make me say anything.’ I said, ‘Baby, you at least have to say I do.’”
Childhood friends, the couple reconnected on a blind date after Arnold split from his first wife in 2006. “From that day on we haven’t spent two months apart in the past three years. She is the girl I love to be around.”
Proposing at Kate’s Cove in Mississippi on a rainy day in November 2008, Arnold says he sang his bride a song where the last line was “Will you please be my wife?”
“Both of us were crying like little babies,” he recalls.
Though the singer did not take to the mic at the reception, which was held about 20 miles from the church, Arnold says music still played a key part in their big day and he made sure the deejay played the tune “Meet Me in Montana,” which they both love.
After the wedding, the couple are taking off to Kauai, Hawaii, for their honeymoon to “Ride a zip line, find a waterfall to jump off of and go horseback riding.”
3 Doors Down will start work on a new record in the coming months. “I feel like the name of the record should be ‘standing in the sun’ now,” says Arnold. “I couldn’t ask for anything more in my life.”