Erin Foster is still on cloud nine after her glamorous Nashville wedding to businessman Simon Tikhman on New Year’s Eve.
“We honestly really love being married — it’s fantastic,” Erin, 37, tells PEOPLE at the Booze with Bev event in Venice, Calif. on Thursday night. “I’m really happy with the way that I looked and the way the venue looked. I’m really happy with the ceremony. Honestly, it was my perfect wedding and I really think people had so much fun.”
The star’s older sister and business partner Sara Foster, who joined her at the event, says, “We’re so happy for Erin.” While Sara says she didn’t give a toast during the wedding reception (“I fully panicked!”), there were plenty of other friends and family members who gave touching speeches that Erin loved.
“The rehearsal we had 17 speeches or something crazy. It was Simon’s fault. It was a lot. Simon had like 14 people speaking. I had five people speak on my behalf. Honestly they were all really great,” Erin says.
But Sara says Simon’s dad gave a toast that was truly unforgettable. “It was just so unexpected. You expect our dad [David Foster] to be funny and comedic, but Simon’s dad, you just don’t expect it,” she says. “He was so funny. He just brought the house down making people laugh so hard and people just didn’t see it coming.”
Now that the wedding is over, Erin and Simon are taking the time to enjoy newlywed life — which she says doesn’t feel much different than their relationship before.
“I think it’s different for everyone because some people say they don’t feel any difference. It depends how long you’ve been together and what your relationship was like before. Simon and I have only been together a year and a half altogether, so it moved so fast that all of a sudden we’re like, ‘Holy s—, we’re married,'” she says. “It feels really nice and it feels safe and cozy that I have a husband. Like I have a person keeping me safe from the world, you know?”
She adds that she and Simon weren’t sad that “the best day of [their] lives” was over after the wedding, because they are even more excited to continue building their life together as husband and wife.
“I think as women, your whole life is built around your wedding day, and you really should focus much more on the marriage that’s going to come after it,” Erin says. “So, Simon and I have been paying attention to the kind of relationship that we have and the marriage we’re gonna have, and that’s so much more important than a wedding.”
She adds: “And so when the wedding was over, we weren’t depressed that the best day of our lives was over. We were so excited that we were starting. That’s probably the better place to be coming from.”
Erin and Simon were surrounded by close family and friends at their New Year’s Eve nuptials, including the bride’s stepmother, Katharine McPhee, and mother, Rebecca Dyer. Other celebrity friends were on hand as well, including Kate Hudson and Rachel Zoe.
For the occasion, the bride- and groom-to-be both wore white. Erin’s strapless lace dress featured a plunging neckline, puffy sleeves, a high slit and a ruffled bodice. She styled it with a belt and brown suede fringe shoes. Simon wore a simple white suit and matching button-down, adding a bolo tie, cowboy hat and cowboy boots.
The couple first began dating in August 2018 after meeting through mutual friends and got engaged one year later.
Just one month later, Erin and Simon had already gotten underway with planning their wedding. “It stresses me out so much that my fiancé was like, ‘You know what? We’re going to start so we can get this over with fast because I don’t want you spending the next year of your life stressing over these things — it’s just not worth it,’” Erin told PEOPLE in September 2019. “We just want to be married, and we’re just excited about that. We started right away to get the ball rolling.”
— with reporting by Abby Stern