The Reklaws' Jenna Walker Marries Fiancé Ryan Watson on Beach Where They Met as Kids: 'Love of My Life'

·5 min read
Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson   Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.
Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.

Brandon Taylor Ryan Watson and Jenna Walker

The Reklaws' Jenna Walker has gotten her happily ever after!

The singer, one-half of the Canadian country duo, tied the knot with fiancé Ryan Watson on Friday in a beachfront ceremony near her family's cottage in Southampton, Ontario.

"He is the love of my life," she says. "I've known it forever."

Jenna, 31, and Ryan, 33, said "I do" with 175 of their closest family members and friends on hand, including Jenna's bandmate and brother Stuart, who served as one of Ryan's eight groomsmen.

Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson   Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.
Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.

Brandon Taylor Ryan Watson and Jenna Walker

The couple — who were engaged in July after about six years of dating — chose the waterfront setting because of its significance to them: not only do both of their families have cottages in the area, but it's the same beach where they spent their childhood summers, and the same beach where they first met two decades ago.

"[I] remember feeling speechless, and in awe of the fact that I had never met him," Jenna says of being introduced to her future husband for the first time. "But I remember being mesmerized and crushing on him from the start. I'm pretty sure I blacked out. I had the biggest crush on him from that day on."

Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson   Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.
Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.

Brandon Taylor Ryan Watson and Jenna Walker

The "11 Beers" singer walked down the aisle in a Grace Loves Lace wedding dress, and incorporated a "something blue" into her outfit with her garter.

A local officiant married the pair using vows they wrote themselves, and they also recruited Jenna's manager Shannon McNevan to say a few words.

"We have been through so much together that I think it's important," she says of choosing to personalize their vows.

Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson   Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.
Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.

Brandon Taylor Todd Walker escorts daughter Jenna Walker

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour with drinks and hors d'oeuvres before a local catering company called Men with Knives stepped in with buffet-style brisket, barbecue, chicken salad and grilled vegetables. For dessert, the couple turned to Offshore Bakery, their favorite local spot, as guests danced to tunes from a live cover band called the Dave Murphy Band.

"I'm so excited to see Ryan try to keep it together," Jenna said ahead of the ceremony. "He is a pretty stoic man, so to see him get emotional is rare, but I don't think he stands a chance when he sees everyone walk down the aisle."

Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson   Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.
Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.

Brandon Taylor The wedding party

The big day was a long time coming for the couple, who first met through Ryan's sisters, who were childhood friends of Jenna's.

"I think we have always known. I remember his sisters saying all the time when we were growing up that it would be so cool for one of their friends to marry their brother, and I remember feeling like, 'Oh my gosh, it has to be me!" Jenna recalls. "There were a lot of times we were dating other people but I think we always had a thing for each other. And with time and patience, we knew that we didn't want anyone else but each other."

Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson   Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.
Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.

Brandon Taylor Family portrait

Though Jenna knew as early as 9 years old that Ryan was the one, getting together took time. Ryan was a professional hockey player whose job took him all over, while Jenna had moved to Nashville to pursue her dream of becoming a musician, and was touring with Stuart as The Reklaws.

Their long-term crushes only blossomed into a relationship about six or seven years ago, when both returned to Southampton for a family dinner, and Jenna's mom Florence started a game of hide and seek.

Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson   Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.
Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.

Brandon Taylor Jenna Walker gets ready with her sisters Virginia, Georgia and Carly

As they hid behind the couch together, Jenna and Ryan shared their first kiss, and the rest was history, with a romantic proposal at Alberta's Lake Louise coming last July.

"I think that part of Ryan was waiting for our lives to slow down a bit," Jenna says of getting engaged. "But dating a touring artist, you learn quickly that it never slows down. It only gets crazier, and once he realized that, the decision was easy."

She adds: "When he got down on one knee, he said, 'I know this life is going to be crazy, but I want to do it with you.'"

Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson   Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.
Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.

Brandon Taylor The bridal party

Making their wedding day even more special is the fact that it fell on the same day The Reklaws released their new single, "Hay Is for Horses."

"I think 'Hay Is for Horses' is an explanation of how good love can be easy, like it just makes sense," says Jenna. "It's how I feel about Ryan. He has come into my crazy world and just fit. It's a simple love song, and I think it suits our story."

The singer credits their "continued support and push" for one another with keeping their relationship strong, as well as their desire to see the other achieve their goals.

"Ryan has always been supportive and patient with this music career of mine," she says. "He has stood in the crowd for years, and he continues to."

Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson   Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.
Bride Jenna Walker, Groom Ryan Watson Full credit line – Brandon Taylor.

Brandon Taylor Jenna Walker and Ryan Watson

While they'd like to eventually spend their honeymoon in Hawaii, the trip will likely have to wait until 2023, as they're all booked until then.

"Something about it feels safe, like we are on a team and we have to figure this whole life thing out together," she says of married life. "I'm so glad that I get Ryan on my team."