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Meredith Baxter Marries Nancy Locke

Meredith Baxter and Nancy Locke

Beck Starr/Wireimage

updated 12/06/2013 AT 6:00 PM ET

originally published 12/08/2013 AT 8:00 PM ET

Family Ties star Meredith Baxter has tied the knot!

Baxter, 66, and her longtime partner, contractor Nancy Locke, were married in an intimate ceremony on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.

Close friends and family – including Baxter’s five children – looked on as the couple exchanged handwritten vows.

Music played a central theme in the celebration. A friend sang and played guitar during the ceremony and at the reception, Locke’s band took the stage. Locke and Baxter even took lessons to prepare for their first dance as a married couple.

The pair have been dating for seven years; in 2009, Baxter, came out as a lesbian.

Happy bride Baxter tells PEOPLE: “Now I understand why marriage caught on!”

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