Kellie Pickler wed her long-time songwriter boyfriend, Kyle Jacobs, on New Year's Day in a private ceremony on the coast of the Caribbean Sea, and now she's showing a picture from the big day. The wedding came as a surprise to many of Pickler's friends and fans, as the couple had been working hard at putting together a glamorous Nashville wedding later this year. But Pickler admits they were getting lost in the process of it all.

"When two people get married, it's not about the glamor," Pickler tells PEOPLE. "It's about the bride and groom and God."

That was when the two decided to elope in a heavenly spot in Antigua, where they married as the sun set over the Caribbean Sea.

"We didn't have anything but us and God and our minister," Pickler says of the ceremony. "I can't think of a word that can quite describe how perfect it was."

For more of the wedding day scoop, including exclusive photos, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE magazine hitting stands on Friday, Jan. 14.