Brooke Hogan's nuptials were under wraps for 1 1/2 years ... and just days after we broke the happy news, she's telling us why she waited so long to reveal she's a married woman.

We got Brooke on "TMZ Live" Tuesday ... where she says she delayed announcing her marriage to ice hockey player Steven Oleksy on June 8, 2022, 'cause she was never a big fame person -- despite her family's reality TV background and her music career.

Florida-based Brooke adds it's been easy for them to keep it a secret as they're not parading up and down the streets of Hollywood -- noting if celebs truly wanted to keep things a secret, they could easily take measures to do so.

On a deeper note, Brooke tells us she's been through so much heartbreak in her life ... that she didn't want to let the claws of fame sink their teeth into something that was so untouched and pure.

She says she wanted to ensure she was with the right person and marrying her soulmate.

She says she asked her family and friends to respect their decision to keep it hush-hush -- and they happily obliged.

We broke the news of her marriage first ... with a stunning first-look image of the pair shortly after being pronounced husband and wife.

They met through mutual friends ... and it was just the 2 of them during their wedding ceremony in Orlando, FL. Steven's fam finally celebrated with them during a reception party last month.

Meanwhile, Steven made an appearance at the end of our interview with Brooke ... and the pair couldn't look more in love, even if they tried.

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