updated 07/02/2004 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 07/06/2004 AT 7:00 PM ET
It’s official: He’s single no more.
Bob Guiney, the former Bachelor who stopped short of proposing to Estella Gardinier on the ABC reality show’s finale last fall, finally took the plunge, marrying All My Children star Rebecca Budig in a surprise ceremony on Saturday at his family’s vacation cabin in Long Lake, Mich.
The wedding was a casual affair. “They were married outdoors by the lake,” Budig’s mother, Mary, tells PEOPLE. “It was low-key – just family and friends.”
The event began at 11:30 a.m. in front of some 50 guests. Rebecca wore a two-piece dress made of white cotton with light blue trim and appliqued flowers that had been designed by a pal of hers.
During the 20-minute ceremony, the bride and groom exchanged vows they had written. “I know the word obey wasn’t in (them),” Mary Budig says. “It brought some tears to our eyes.”
Afterward, everyone ate BBQ chicken and ribs, potato salad and tossed greens – then hit the beach for some jet skiing.
Guiney, 33, had proposed to Budig, 30, in May after a five-month relationship, with a 2-carat ring he helped design. “She happened to need an accessory for the (Daytime) Emmys the next day, and I happened to have the perfect accessory,” he told PEOPLE at the time.
The pair first met in January 2003, while taping a segment for Bachelor XYZ, a recap of the reality series for ABC Family hosted by Budig. Guiney had just been passed over by Trista Rehn on The Bachelorette. “He was funny, witty, wonderful, but I didn’t think anything of it because I had a boyfriend,” Budig told PEOPLE. The couple began dating that November, after Guiney and Gardinier split, and Budig also found herself single.
As for the fears about returning to the altar that kept the divorced Guiney from proposing to Gardinier on The Bachelor, he said he had no hesitation with Budig: “I wanted her to feel how committed I am to our relationship. We just have an absolute blast together. We are best friends on top of everything else.”