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Former Miss America Marries Girlfriend, Pageant Sends Best Wishes

“I feel overjoyed to have found someone to share life’s adventures," says Miss America 2005 Deidre Downs Gunn.

A former Miss America has tied the knot with her girlfriend, and the Miss America pageant couldn't be happier for the couple.

Deidre Downs Gunn, a Miss Alabama who won the crown in 2005, married attorney Abbott Jones Saturday at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Down Gunns, 37, wasn't out while she competed: The first openly gay Miss America contestant came in 2016, in the form of Miss Missouri Erin O'Flaherty.

Downs Gunn first attended the University of Virginia on a volleyball scholarship before transferring to Samford University in Birmingham, funding her education through the more than $100,000 in scholarships she earned in the pageant world. Only the third Miss Alabama to ever win the coveted crown, she wowed the judges with her rendition of "I'm afraid This Must be Love."

"It was surreal to stand on stage, on national television, and have my name called as Miss America and to walk the runway as they played, 'There She Is, Miss America.'" she said in 2014. "It is still surreal."

When her reign was over, Downs Gunn began studying medicine at the University of Alabama and is now a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist specializing in reproductive endocrinology at UAB in Birmingham.

She and Abbott tied the knot before 200 loved ones at the Birmingham Museum of Art, with a theme of modern Southern romance. Her 8-year-old son from a previous marriage not only gave his mother away but acted as her best man.

“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.”

Knowing both Downs Gunn and her son love Legos, Jones proposed by recreating the couple’s first date with the colorful bricks, adding a Lego ring box and two Lego figurines—a brunette and a redhead—to symbolize the two of them.

The Miss America Organization tweeted its congratulations on Monday, wishing the ladies "all the happiness in the world!"