updated 10/21/2011 AT 4:10 PM ET
•originally published 10/22/2011 AT 5:50 PM ET
Beside an altar candle lit in her mother’s memory, Cate Edwards married her college sweetheart, Trevor Upham, on Saturday.
The couple then welcomed friends and family into the sprawling Edwards home in Chapel Hill, N.C., where – just 10 months earlier – they deeply grieved Elizabeth Edwards’s death from breast cancer.
Cate’s father, John, hosted Saturday evening’s reception on the lawn, with a musical trio entertaining during cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. After dinner, a rock-and-roll dance band hired by Trevor, 30, who used to book party bands when he and Cate were at Princeton University together, took the stage.
“We want this to be really happy and joyous and that’s what my mother would want,” Cate, 29, told PEOPLE in the days before the 4 p.m. wedding ceremony at United Methodist Church.
“There are a lot of sort of small ways that she’s infused into the day” – including a favorite Maya Angelou poem read during the service and the arrangement of altar candles lit in memory of Cate’s late brother, Wade, and Trevor’s deceased grandparents. “Mom’s candle is the big one in the middle,” Cate explained.