When newlywed and reigning Miss Maine USA Juliana Morehouse competes Friday in this year’s Miss USA pageant, she will be doing what no other contestant has done before. It’s all thanks to a change in the rules made last year that allows married women to be part of the competition.

“I was relieved and I was excited, because it was like finally these two things that I really want aren’t competing with each other anymore. I could have both,” Morehouse tells Yahoo Entertainment. “And that was a really gratifying feeling for me.”

Morehouse was engaged but, as as she says contestants regularly do, she was putting the wedding off until after the Miss Maine pageant. Because if she won eligibility for Miss USA, she wanted to continue on. So she was planning for the nuptials, but with the understanding that everything would be postponed if she won.

When she heard that her pageant dreams could come true even after she walked down the aisle, she and fiancé Taylor Reed Locklear, whom she’d dated since she was 17, became husband and wife. She wore a light-up tiara and her sash at the April reception.

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