Having enjoyed success on both the football and the baseball fields, Tim Tebow is one of America’s most famous sportsmen. But little is known about the woman he walked down the aisle with in January 2020. Yet as a former beauty queen, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has had quite the eventful career herself.
Tebow and Nel-Peters tied the knot in Cape Town, in the bride’s homeland of South African. The half-hour ceremony took place at sunset on an exclusive, secluded estate, with no fewer than 260 of their family and friends in attendance. Nel-Peters wore a gown that had been custom-made by David’s Bridal, while Tebow sported an Antar Levar-designed tuxedo.
The happy couple wrote their own vows, something which Tebow told People magazine on the eve of the ceremony that he was particularly proud of. He said, “I want the vows to be perfect. I’m leaving in the traditional things like ’till death do us part,’ but I’m also adding some of my own things to it.”
Both the bride and groom were also keen to incorporate their respective cultural traditions into proceedings. Nel-Peters told People, “We’re both very traditional. We wanted to look back at the wedding and see that it was intimate, elegant and traditional. We definitely wanted it to be something that we could look back on and know that nothing was dated. We want to remember this day for the rest of our lives.”
Further proving that he’s an old romantic at heart, Tebow added, “I’ve been looking forward to three things. The first moment I see her in her wedding dress, the first kiss and the first dance together as man and wife. It’s such a special night.” In fact, the New York Mets star couldn’t stop gushing about his bride-to-be the night before the wedding.
Tebow continued, “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. It was 100 percent worth the wait.”
Although Tebow is undoubtedly the more famous half of the couple, Nel-Peters’ career has been just as interesting. She first came to attention in 2017 when she pipped the likes of Jamaica’s Davina Bennett and Colombia’s Laura González to the Miss Universe crown. Nel-Peters earned the honor representing South Africa at the age of just 22.
But Nel-Peters is far more than just a pretty face. In fact, shortly before her Miss Universe victory, she had graduated from South Africa’s North-West University with a business management degree. And Nel-Peters has since gone on to use both her academic background and her new-found high profile for the greater good.
In 2017 Nel-Peters launched a worldwide initiative designed to give women self-defense skills. The future Mrs Tebow had been inspired to set up Unbreakable after a terrifying incident in South Africa that occurred just before her Miss Universe victory. Nel-Peters was robbed during a carjacking but she managed to escape unharmed after hitting one of the assailants’ throats.
Nel-Peters once recalled the traumatic incident in an interview printed in The Sun. She said, “I had at least three guns pointed at me. I climbed out of the car but they told me to climb back in because I was coming with them. He was dazed and pushed me into the car. I forced my way out and ran as fast as I could into traffic to get help.”
In an interview with website Business Insider, Nel-Peters explained her main goals for the initiative. She said, “I’d love to turn Unbreakable into a foundation and work with safe havens to bring our empowerment workshops to the women they serve.” Interestingly, Nel-Peters’ philanthropic mindset also helped her to success at the Miss Universe contest.
Indeed, Nel-Peters won over the judges with a stirring speech about wage equality. She said, “In some places, women get paid 57 percent of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours and I do not believe that this is right. I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world.”
Not only was Nel-Peters awarded the honor of Miss Universe but she was financially rewarded, too. Indeed, she was gifted with both a lavish apartment in the Big Apple and a year’s salary after being crowned the winner of the world’s biggest beauty contest. However, proving she believed in paying it forward, Nel-Peters revealed that she would be using her platform to help continue the fight against HIV.
Nel-Peters has also supported Night to Shine, an annual event which allows people with special needs to enjoy the experience of prom night. The charity works closely with her husband’s eponymous non-profit organization. And in a twist of fate, it was through The Tim Tebow Foundation that Nel-Peters met the love of her life.
Along with her family, Nel-Peters had been asked to attend the Night to Shine 2018 event by Tebow’s charity. The baseball star told Today, “Her sister has special needs, so we invited them to Night to Shine in South Africa. We kind of met and started talking through that and haven’t stopped.”
Tebow himself has experience of dealing with a family member that have special care requirements. In 2016 his father Bob learned that he had Parkinson’s disease. The devastating news inspired his multi-talented son to write This Is the Day, a book which encourages readers to pursue their dreams and ambitions.
And Nel-Peters appeared to get the fatherly seal of approval pretty quickly. Tebow revealed on Today that the couple had already met each other’s parents after going public with their relationship on Instagram. In fact, during their wedding celebrations nearly 18 months later, Bob Tebow told everyone just how much he liked his son’s other half.
In his father’s speech at the wedding rehearsal dinner, Bob Tebow recalled the moment he was first introduced to his future daughter-in-law. He said, “I was up in New York to see Timmy play baseball for the Mets organisation. We were sitting on his bed, I think we were watching something on TV and talking a little, and he got a telephone call, or I’m not sure if he called Demi, I don’t remember which way it went.”
Bob continued, “He [Tim] went over to the other side [of the room], and he was sitting there FaceTiming with Demi. And after a few minutes, he said, ‘Dad, come here. I want you to meet somebody.’ I stood there, and I met Demi on the phone, and I watched the two of them talk.” Bob was so struck by their chemistry that he then joked that he was ready to fly to South Africa for a wedding.
Tim Tebow also discussed how instant his spark with Nel-Peters was during a 2019 interview with The Christian Post. Referring to his then-upcoming marriage ceremony, the ex-quarterback said, “You know what’s crazy is we both kinda knew the first or second time we hung out.” So how exactly did Tebow pop the question?
Well, according to People, Tebow asked Nel-Peters for her hand in marriage at his Jacksonville farm. The pair enjoyed a sunset walk before heading to an arbor that the footballer had specially installed for the occasion. Tebow has also made a bench with an engraving of the date of their first meeting for the occasion.
After discussing their relationship for several minutes, Tebow eventually plucked up the courage to get down on one knee. He reportedly said, “Demi Leigh Nel-Peters, I love you. Demi Leigh Nel-Peters, will you marry me?” Luckily for the New York Met, the object of his affections said yes.
However, Tebow wasn’t done with the romantic declarations. While placing the solitaire 7.25-carat engagement ring on Nel-Peters’ finger, the sportsman uttered, “This ring is internally flawless. Just like you.” Matthew Mole, a singer from South Africa, then emerged from a nearby bay hale to sing his ballad, “The Wedding Song,” one of the couple’s favorite tunes.
Furthermore, Tebow had invited many of Nel-Peters’ nearest and dearest from South Africa to watch the proposal from afar. Despite the audience, the former NFL star told People he wasn’t anxious about popping the question. He said, “I was excited. I wanted everything to be perfect and to go smoothly. But I wasn’t nervous to actually ask her.”
Only a year earlier a seemingly downcast Tebow had told People how tired he was of being a bachelor. He said, “I’m looking, but I just can’t seem to find anyone. I don’t want to be single; I’m ready to settle down and start a family. I want to have kids. I have so many things I want. No one will be happier than me when I finally find the right person.”
However, following his engagement, Tebow told People that the wait was worth it. Referring to his bride-to-be, the former Denver Bronco said, “She’s just perfect for me. I’m really blessed to have her by my side for the rest of my life.” But despite falling head over heels, Tebow was determined to stick to his no sex before marriage rule.
Indeed, Tebow has never been afraid to talk about his commitment to celibacy. And in an interview with The Christian Post, he revealed that his fiancée also wanted to wait until their wedding night to consummate their relationship. The New York Met said, “It’s just a choice that we made, that we both wanted to do that together and we’ll try to make it as special as possible.”
The pair might have had an equal say on their wedding night. But Tebow joked that when it came to the wedding day, he was more than happy to give Nel-Peters free rein. Shortly before the ceremony, he told Good Morning America, “We have some really unique moments that will be a part of it. But honestly, I just mostly say ‘Yes, babe.’”
Tebow also told the morning show about the couple’s wedding gift registry, which included a number of kitchen appliances including espresso machine and open fire grill. He explained, “One thing Demi and I like to do is host people. Family, friends, team members… so even though we had a few must-haves, we really wanted a bunch of products for cooking and entertaining.”
However, Tebow was also keen to state that material things were by no means at the top of the couple’s wedding list priority. He said, “The most important part of the wedding to us is that our closest family and friends have the best time celebrating as we embark on our next chapter together. We are so fortunate to have so many people coming to the ceremony and reception.”
The newlyweds were more than happy to share various pictures from the big day on social media. Nel-Peters, who’d changed her Instagram bio name to Demi-Leigh Tebow by this point, even posted a clip from their professionally made wedding day video. She captioned the loved-up footage with the hashtag, #tyingthetebow.
So what have the Tebows been up to since their picture perfect wedding day? Well, firstly they enjoyed a honeymoon at the Maldives’ luxury resort of Soneva Jani. The one-time Miss Universe captioned a romantic pic of the pair on vacation, “Here’s to endless sunsets with you,” followed by a love heart emoji.
The Tebows have certainly been spending a lot of time together since their nuptials, too, as they told host Jason Kennedy of E! News on an Instagram live chat. “It’s been like a prolonged honeymoon,” Tebow revealed. Luckily, the pair appear to have enjoyed being with each other on a 24/7 basis.
Indeed, the new Mrs. Tebow added, “It’s been good. People ask us how married life’s been. Well, we’ve been in quarantine for most of it!” After revealing that the couple have been sharing each other’s company more than ever before, she then joked, “I still like him a lot. I think I like him more now.”
Of course, the couple were also kept busy by three new additions to their household. Shortly after tying the knot, the newlyweds decided to adopt three puppies, all no older than eight weeks. And perhaps inevitably, the pooches now have a shared Instagram account under the name of The Tebow Pack.
The Tebow Pack includes Paris the Dalmatian, Chunk the Bernese mountain dog and Kobe the golden retriever. The trio became the first pets in the baseball star’s household since the passing of his beloved pooch Bronco in 2019. In a touching Instagram video he’d previously described his longtime canine companion as “the sweetest boy ever.”
As well as showing off their new pets, the newlyweds have continued to give fans a glimpse into their married life on their own Instagram account. In one particularly romantic post, Mrs. Tebow uploaded a pic of the pair enjoying a Florida sunset. She captioned it, “Moon, mountain, sunset, sea but still he’s looking at me.”
However, the Tebows have continued to pursue their philanthropic endeavors, too. On his 33rd birthday, the New York Mets star launched an initiative dubbed Rescue Team designed to combat human trafficking. In a video imploring his fellow Christians to learn more, he said, “God says they’re created in His image. Trafficking says they’re an object created for my pleasure.”
Tebow also took to Twitter to thank those who had already got involved in the fight. He wrote, “Yesterday was an amazing 33rd birthday, thank you for all the wishes. But it wasn’t just the wishes that made it a great day, it was so many people joining the mission… the rescue mission we’re on for as many trafficking victims as possible.”
“So many stepped up and I’m just so humbled and grateful and want to say thank you,” Tebow concluded. “Just because this birthday is over, doesn’t mean the mission is over. But now we move forward with thousands more to help rescue more boys and girls… and I can’t wait to see what God does next.”