updated 04/12/2012 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/12/2012 AT 1:00 PM ET
Ricki Lake kept her wedding a secret from most everyone – except her two dogs.
The newlywed talk show host, 43, who eloped with Christian Evans, 40, in a beachside California ceremony Sunday, included her furry kids – goldendoodle Jeffie and English bulldog Pacha – in her wedding party.
“It was a beautiful moment I will never forget,” Lake tells PEOPLE. “I wasn’t anxious or nervous. I was really relaxed and excited.” Plus, she adds, “We have our dogs here and we have this beautiful setting.”
Luckily, Lake had “daughter” Jeffie with her to calm some jitters before the big day. “I was working on [my vows] and suddenly felt really exhausted because … my heart has just been racing,” she says. “I got up early and took my dog for a walk. It’s absolutely gorgeous here this weekend.”
For Ricki Lake’s exclusive wedding album and more details about her secret ceremony, pick up the newest issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.
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