The Hollyoaks actress, who had been engaged for three years, married the property developer at a Merseyside ceremony in May.
The Carmel McQueen star told Now magazine: "I thought we might giggle through our vows. I didn't expect tears."
The 27-year-old, also a glamour model, added: 'When I walked in and saw Ian standing there, I was just overcome."
However, Merna admitted that the long time the couple took between their 2009 engagement and recent marriage put a strain on their relationship.
"I think we put ourselves to the test by waiting four years to get married," she added. "When something is right, you just know."
Gemma Merna was recently left stunned by the sudden death of her father in late June.