Love is love is love. On Saturday, April 14th, former Miss America winner Deidre Downs Gunn and her girlfriend, attorney and writer Abbott Jones, exchanged vows before 200 of their closest family and friends in a romantic southern wedding at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama.
“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 told People. “I feel overjoyed to have found someone to share life’s adventures. 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.”
Downs Gunn, 37, is an obstetrician-gynecologist specializing in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. The couple fittingly used the hashtag “DrAndMrsAmerica” in a nod to her past and current accomplishments.
She previously competed—and won—the pageant in 2005; on Saturday, Downs Gunn donned a different type of dress for her walk down the aisle: a form-fitting gown with lace detailing by LianCarlo. Jones, meanwhile, opted for a Sareh Nouri ball gown with an oversized bow in the back.
The couple also had one very special guest featured during their ceremony: Downs Gunn’s 8-year-old son, who not only escorted his mom down the aisle, but also stood in as her best man.
Following the ceremony, People reports, the newlyweds and their friends and family noshed on their favorite Southern foods, including mini chicken and waffles, fried okra, fried green tomatoes and buttermilk biscuits.
In keeping with the romantic Southern theme, both the ceremony and the reception spaces were filled with white fabric, neutral pastel flowers and plenty of candlelight.
Downs Gunn and Jones first met back in February 2017 after connecting online. According to the former pageant queen, she knew she loved Jones “the minute” they met in person for sushi and drinks. Jones felt same way by the end of their first date.
By the holidays, Downs Gunn was ready to propose. She got down on one figurative knee on Christmas Day, right after the couple had finished watching Jones’ favorite Dr. Who Christmas special.
Jones told People that she had to seek Downs Gunn’s son’s approval before she then counter-proposed to her love. His response? “Cool.” Jones’ proposal involved an intricate Lego setup (both Downs Gunn and her son love the building blocks), complete with a Lego ring box and two figurines representing the happy couple.
“We both want to live our intention, chase our passions and do good in the world,” Jones told People. “Deidre is more pure of heart and sensible. I’m more the risk taker, so we balance each other out.”