Deidre Downs Gunn, known best as the 2005 Miss America pageant winner, has just married her same-sex partner in a Southern wedding.
At the Birmingham Museum of Art on Saturday, the 37-year old pageant winner married attorney and writer Abbott Jones. According to People, the couple aptly chose “modern Southern romance” as the theme of the wedding, infusing Southern tradition with a big dose of gay.
Downs Gunn, who married Andrew Gunn in 2008 but later divorced, is now a doctoran obstetrician-gynecologist, to be exact. She won the Miss Alabama competition in 2004, then upped the ante the following year when she swept the Miss America pageant.
“I feel overjoyed to have found someone to share life’s adventures,” Downs Gunn said. “The wedding was beautiful and special, but it was really just the beginning of our life together. I’m so lucky to have a wife who fills even small, everyday moments with great joy.”
About 200 guests attended the ceremony and the following reception, which included southern delights, like chicken and waffles, fried okra, fried green tomatoesgayand buttermilk biscuits. Rev. Jennifer Sanders, an openly lesbian minister, officiated the same-sex wedding.
“It was a beautiful wedding,” the minister said. “They are a wonderful, happy couple. It was a joy to perform the ceremony.”
The new couple wrote in an official statement, “When we turned to recess down the aisle after the ceremony and really took notice of all of the family and friends who had gathered to celebrate our marriage, we felt so blessed to be surrounded by so much love and support.”
Downs Gunn and Jones reportedly met online in early 2017, meeting for drinks and sushi for a first date. By the end of the year, the doctor was ready to take it to the next level, and proposed on Christmas day. People reports that Jones completed the proposal by asking Downs Gunn’s 8-year old son for permission, and he said it was “cool.” Her son also served as the best man and gave his mother away.
The Miss America Organization gave the couple their blessings, tweeting, “Congratulations to Miss America 2005 @deidredowns! Wishing you and @abbottjones all the happiness in the world!”
— Miss America Org (@MissAmericaOrg) April 16, 2018
“Saying our vows in front of our family and friends and making that commitment to the love of my life was the most meaningful part of the day for me,” Downs Gunn gushed.
The newlyweds departed for a honeymoon in Ireland Sunday.