It's only been a few weeks since Michael Ray and Carly Pearce tied the knot in an intimate Nashville ceremony, so for Ray not much – and yet everything – has changed. The Florida native knew from his first date with Pearce that he wanted to marry her, so being able to call Pearce his wife is something he was looking forward to for over a year.
"It's been awesome," Ray told PopCulture.com. "Not much has really changed. We were already living together. I joked and said, 'The one thing that's really changed is her last name.' There is a deeper connection and a deeper love that you do automatically have afterwards. Everybody told me that but it's one of those things that you don't understand unless you feel it. And I definitely felt it. You just naturally go to this next level, which is pretty cool."
Pearce chose an unconventional wedding dress, which Ray didn't see until she walked down the aisle. While the "Her World or Mine" singer thought he would be in tears at that moment, he surprisingly got most of them out of the way ahead of time.
"I bawled my eyes out before I walked in, which I think was a blessing because I kind of just got it all out and it was just really cool," Ray recalled. "It was like a slow-motion moment for me. I was like, 'This is really happening.' You spend so long anticipating it, and she looked so beautiful. And seeing her dad with her – I'm a big family guy and seeing both families finally together, and everybody meeting new members of families, it was just really cool.
"Luckily, though, I think I got all the crying out at once while I was walking," he added. "I mean, it was ugly crying. It was deep. But then I think I was good the rest of the ceremony."
Ray and Pearce married while they both had a brief respite off the road, but the honeymoon will have to wait. Ray is currently headlining the CMT on Tour, while Pearce is out on her own tour. The couple plan to honeymoon in December, when both are off for the holidays.
Pearce and Ray will likely walk the red carpet together at the 2019 CMA Awards, where Pearce is nominated for one trophy, for New Artist of the Year. The ceremony will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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