updated 10/19/2012 AT 3:35 PM ET
•originally published 10/19/2012 AT 4:20 PM ET
The actress married Charlie Bigelow on Saturday in Carmel, Calif., Donovan confirms to PEOPLE.
“After meeting three years ago in Sayulita, Mexico while vacationing with friends, we are thrilled to report that we were married on Oct. 13,” the couple tell PEOPLE exclusively. “We credit Charlie’s friend Owen for waving Elisa in from the beach in what would be the moment that changed our lives.”
The bride, 41, wore an Elizabeth Fillmore dress and Jimmy Choo shoes while the groom, 36, donned a Burberry tux for the sunny outdoor ceremony on the Vineyard Lawn at The Carmel Valley Ranch.
Donovan, whose brother Marc walked her down the aisle, admits she “cried through” the wedding, drying her tears with her “something old” – a hankie belonging to her late father. Featuring a reading of work by Rumi, the ceremony was capped off by a sharing of wine, from which Bigelow took an extra swig.
Among their 150 guests: True Blood’s Sam Trammell and his longtime love Missy Yager, Bruce Ferber, executive producer of Donovan’s sitcom Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and one very special little lady – the couple’s infant daughter, Scarlett Avery.
The post-ceremony clubhouse reception “was elegant and warm,” Donovan tells PEOPLE, decorated with calla lilies, ivory roses and lilacs, as well as moss branches in glass bowls with votives. The dinner menu featured locally grown vegetables and organic meats, paired with wine from Jordan Vineyard & Winery, provided by friend John Jordan as a gift to the couple.
Rather than a cake, Donovan and Bigelow served an assortment of desserts, including French macaroons, mini cupcakes, warm cookies and milk and creme brûlée.
The evening’s entertainment came courtesy of actresses Cerina Vincent and Annika Marks, who “gave a phenomenal speech that had everyone in stitches laughing,” Donovan says. “It was a dueling speech, a la Bridesmaids.”
The couple took to the dance floor for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. to the tune of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” – a choice of Bigelow’s, who told his wife that it “would be perfect in theme, tone and vibe – and he was absolutely right,” Donovan says.
“We had hoped to take a dance lesson beforehand, but it turns out planning a wedding with a 5-month-old doesn’t leave you lots of extra time, so it never happened,” explains Donovan. “Since I’m a big salsa dancer I whispered, ‘Let me lead…’ to Charlie as we started and we went for it.”
The final reception highlight for the actress? Watching Bigelow, who works in finance, and his mother break it down to “Bust a Move.”
The next installment of Donovan’s franchise, The Dog Who Saved the Holidays, will premiere this fall on ABC Family.