Don Lemon Marries Longtime Partner Tim Malone

The longtime CNN anchor and real estate broker tied the knot on April 6.

Don Lemon and Tim Malone are married! The former CNN anchor tied the knot with his longtime partner Tim Malone on April 6 in New York City at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in midtown Manhattan in front of 140 of their closest friends and family. 

The ceremony, officiated by United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, came at the end of a five-year engagement for the couple. The real estate broker told PEOPLE that it was important for them to have a full-blown wedding even if it meant a longer engagement. "We wanted to make a public statement," Malone said, "and we wanted to involve our loved ones. We obviously could have easily gone to city hall. We could have used COVID as a perfect excuse to do something really quiet. But I think this is also a message. For I don't know what percent of our guests, on both sides, but for a lot of them it's going to be their first gay wedding."

Malone and Lemon incorporated tradition throughout their ceremony, including in with their choice of location. As Malone was raised Catholic and Lemon's family is Baptist, the news anchor said he knew he wanted a religious service. "I wanted to get married in the church. So Tim made that happen," Lemon shared.

In attendance were music executive and producer Clive Davis, The View's Joy Behar, Sara Haines, Ana Navarro-Cárdenas and Sunny Hostin, former Today show anchor Matt Lauer and his girlfriend Shamin Abas, Real Housewives of New York City star Luann de Lesseps, Sex and the City and Emily in Paris creator Darren Star, Tamron Hall and Alec and Hilaria Baldwin. From CNN, Kate Bolduan, Erin Burnett and Dana Bash were in attendance.

Looking at their wedding day, Lemon admitted he "never thought that I would get married." He explained, "The legal part of it is a big deal because I didn't think it could happen. And for so many years of my growing up and hiding things, I never thought it could happen legally. But when you consider all the rights that people are trying to take away, I wanted to make sure that we get this done right."

For the newlyweds, marriage is "a confirmation of our love and our commitment to each other," Lemon said, noting that "it's also about celebrating our relationship, and our relationship with the people who are most important to us in our lives."