Chicago White Sox’s Andrew Vaughn had his biggest win of all this weekend.
With more than 120 of their closest friends and family in attendance, the baseball player and Lexi Hickman, a University of Mississippi alum, said “I do” on Saturday at Hummingbird Nest Ranch in California, PEOPLE confirms exclusively.
“Marriage means commitment, trusting, giving and being willing to change. Andrew embodies all of these traits, and I can’t wait to start our forever,” Hickman said ahead of the ceremony. Added Vaughn: “Marriage is the bond of two people who mean the world to each other and want to grow as one through life.”
The newlyweds — who exchanged traditional vows — first met in 2018 after being set up by mutual friends, but “neither one of us were interested at the time,” recalls the bride.
“He was in college at Berkeley and I was at Ole Miss. It just seemed unrealistic,” says Hickman. But they began texting — and soon Vaughn and Hickman were “talking every day,” she recalls.
As fate would have it, Hickman and Vaughn, both 24, ended up in Atlanta at the same time — she was visiting friends and he had a game — and the couple went on their first dinner date during the trip.
“From there, we pretty much knew we wanted to be together,” says Hickman, who accepted Vaughn’s proposal on Christmas Day in 2021.
For the big day (captured by photographer Jenny Quicksall), the bride — who walked down the aisle to “Turning Page” by Sleeping At Last — slipped into a “simple and elegant” gown featuring “beautiful white beading” by designer Netta BenShabu.
She finished off her bridal look with simple jewels by Christopher & Myranda Fine Diamonds — including her oval diamond engagement ring and matching eternity wedding band.
The couple chose to showcase Vaughn’s career for their wedding decor, creating a custom baseball-themed display and custom bar signs.
They also leaned into their California venue, choosing locally sourced florals from Poppy Design Co. for an “overgrown garden vibe.”
Meanwhile, their reception was inspired by Hickman’s “Old Hollywood meets fall elegance”-style dress.
“We paid homage to the season by keeping everything moody with a fall palate, textured velvets and vibe-setting lighting,” says the couple.
Their custom drinks — a Spiced Honey Old Fashioned for the groom and a Pink Grapefruit Martini for the bride — also reflected their theme.
While their pup Olive was unable to attend the festivities, they paid homage to her by creating custom napkins featuring her face.
“I’m most looking forward to the ceremony and officially becoming his wife,” said Hickman. “But also being fortunate enough to get to celebrate this special day with all of our closest family and friends.”
Indeed, “having friends and family surrounding us on our wedding day is the part I look forward to the most,” added her now-husband. “Besides actually being married to Lexi!”