Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth‘s love story has officially reached a new chapter.
As is no surprise to fans at this point, the longtime couple confirmed they tied the knot ahead of the holidays on Dec. 23., nearly a decade after first meeting as co-stars in The Last Song in 2009.
While the two have been sparking secret wedding speculation in recent years, particularly after the 28-year-old Australian actor was spotted out last year wearing a band on his left hand ring finger. “He wears that ring as more of a ‘promise’ to Miley, but they are not officially married,” a source assured in August 2017. “The only thing that is missing is the legal piece of paper. The pair is not focused on planning a wedding at this time. They are more focused on making their love as strong as possible.”
The rather private pair, who rekindled their on and off romance—and engagement—nearly three years after their 2013 breakup, continued to keep fans guessing as recently as just earlier this month when Cyrus dodged a question from Andy Cohen about their future nuptials.
When asked whether they talk about marriage, Cyrus told Cohen on SiriusXM channel Radio Andy, “I’m very kind of just like in this space of like working, so not too much and he’s got a new moving coming out, so we’ve got a lot going on.”
As we now know, a secret wedding was among the things that were “going on.”
Despite the private couple’s efforts to keep the event to themselves, there were a few signs that pointed to a wedding looming in the not-so-distant future. To start, the new Mr. and Mrs. recently faced devastating loss when their beloved Malibu home burned down during the recent California wildfires.
“I am one of the lucky ones. My animals and LOVE OF MY LIFE made it out safely and that’s all that matters right now. My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family and friends stand strong. I am grateful for all I have left,” she tweeted at the time.
Meanwhile, a source told E! News the tragedy further united the couple. The “trauma of losing their belongings” has brought them “closer together, even though they’re not physically together,” the source explained. Although the couple is “still in shock,” the source added, “they’ve been leaning on each other for support and constantly telling each other how grateful they are for each other.”
Cyrus further raised eyebrows about an impending milestone when she was coy about his current label during an interview with Howard Stern.
“This is your boyfriend? Fiancé?” the host asked, to which Cyrus replied, “Kind of.”
“Ish…I call him my survival partner now,” Cyrus explained. “He thinks it’s not romantic, but I learned that it is. It is why you pair up with someone is for survival. And he was so incredible, he got all the animals out in his truck. He put two pigs in crates, which I tell you is so hard,” she elaborated, referencing the fire at their home.
On the logistical end, the Williamson County Clerk’s office in Tennessee confirmed to E! News that the pair obtained a marriage license on December 18, just days before what would ultimately be their wedding day.
And what a fitting day it was, considering they could close out 2018 as husband and wife and head into their 10th year together since their fateful first meeting.