“It was very emotional,” guest Urban Meyer, Tebow’s football coach from the University of Florida, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “To watch the two of them begin their life together was just beautiful. It was the perfect day.”
The former NFL quarterback, 32, and the Miss Universe 2017 said “I do” in an intimate sunset ceremony at La Paris Estate in Cape Town, South Africa on Monday. During the 30-minute ceremony, they exchanged emotional vows that they had written for each other.
And according to the guests, the vows weren’t the only thing that was perfect. While the previous days were damp and cold, the wedding day was sunny and warm.
“It was a beautiful day,” says Meyer. “Perfect weather for an outdoor wedding.”
Shortly before sunset, approximately 260 guests were seated on a secluded lawn surrounded by tall hedges at the resort. Nel-Peters, 24, walked down the aisle in a custom-made gown from David’s Bridal accented by diamond and pearl earrings from Marion Rehwinkel Jewelery.
The ceremony included elements from both American and South African cultures and traditions.
“We’re both very traditional,” Nel-Peters tells PEOPLE. “We wanted to look back at the wedding and see that it was intimate, elegant, and traditional.”
Tebow met Nel-Peters in 2018 at his annual Night to Shine event, a series of simultaneous worldwide proms for men and women with special needs. Nel-Peters attended one of the proms with her younger sister Franje, who had cerebellar agenesis (Franje died last May).
His connection with Nel-Peters “was instant,” says Tebow. “I knew that she was a very special person. And after the initial attraction, we realized that we both share the same faith, which was so important to me.”
Nel-Peters tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, “Tim is my biggest support system. In the two years we’ve known each other, we’ve found such a deep love.”
For Monday’s festivities, Tebow wore a tuxedo designed by Gert Johan Coetzee. His groomsmen wore suits by Indochino. David’s Bridal provided the bridesmaids’ dresses, which were white and off-the-shoulder.
The menu for the reception included both American and South African cuisine, including steak, mussels, assorted cheeses and pasta.
Tebow tells PEOPLE, “I’ve been waiting my entire life for someone special, who I can spend the rest of my life with. I was waiting for the right person to come along. And now I’m marrying Demi. I can’t wait to see what our future holds. All of my dreams have come true. She was 100 percent worth the wait.”
For more about Tim Tebow and Demi-Leigh Nel-Peter’s wedding, including never-before-seen photos of the ceremony and reception, pick up this week’s PEOPLE, on news stands Friday.