Gerry Turner Marries Theresa Nist – The Hollywood Reporter
Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist made Bachelor Nation history as the first-ever Golden Bachelor couple to get married.
The pair, who met and got engaged on ABC’s inaugural season of the senior-aged spinoff, wed in a televised ceremony on Thursday. The event, dubbed The Golden Wedding, aired just over one month following the conclusion to their hit Golden Bachelor season.
“I’ve learned you are the woman I can’t live without,” said a teary-eyed Turner during his vows. “I promise that if you’re my partner in life, I will make you the happiest woman on Earth.”
“I love your heart and your soul. I love your smiles and your laughter,” vowed an emotional Nist. “I promise to be your calm in a storm, to comfort you when you’re sad, to laugh with you when you’re happy and to stick with you throughout it all. But most of all, to have fun for the rest of the days that we have left on this Earth.”
Turner and Nist mark the ninth TV wedding for the franchise. It’s been nearly a decade since a franchise couple wed on TV, with The Bachelor star Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici last exchanging vows in 2014.
“We’re going to do it as quickly as we can because, at our age, we don’t have a lot of time to waste,” Turner explained of their decision following the finale. “As quickly as we can put together a wedding plan, we’re getting married.”
Turner, 72, and Nist, 70, are both widows who bonded over their shared grief while sparking up a romance on The Golden Bachelor. Turner, described by ABC as a retired restaurateur from Indiana, lost his wife of 43 years, Toni, in 2017 following a bacterial infection. Nist lost her husband of 42 years, Billy, who died from kidney failure.
A piece published by The Hollywood Reporter one day before the finale, however, questioned the show’s narrative of Turner not having dated since the death of his wife when a woman, who requested anonymity, identified herself as Turner’s ex-girlfriend and said they dated for more than two years. When asked about the story during post-finale press, Turner acknowledged “there’s just enough truth in [the article],” but brushed it off as not fitting “with all of the positive things that are going on in my life right now.”
Turner was not asked about the story by show host Jesse Palmer during the post-finale After the Final Rose live show, nor did the article come up during The Golden Wedding special. Palmer, meanwhile, said he would leave the wedding if his wife, Emely Fardo, who is pregnant with their first child, goes into labor. (He made it to the end, but announced he was swiftly exiting.)
Turner was still confronted with plenty of exes, however, at the Bachelor Nation star-studded affair. Among the eliminated Golden Bachelor castmates was Leslie Fhima, Turner’s runner-up and the frontrunner pick for a first-ever Golden Bachelorette season, should one be made official by ABC.
“We’re really hopeful that this continues to expand. People are really liking the stories that we’re telling, and so I’m really interested to see,” executive producer Jason Ehrlich recently told THR. “It will be different; it will be almost like doing it for the first time all over again with The Golden Bachelorette. What is it going to be like with 20-some older men living in the Bachelor Mansion? We don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it will be different and interesting. And that’s what makes me want to watch.”
The Golden Bachelor proved to be a ratings hit for the franchise, with the finale earning a franchise-best performance since the 2021 finale of Matt James’ season of The Bachelor. In addition to renewed viewership, the age-positive, wholesome charm of the series was a refreshing boost to the long-running reality competition, as both Gerry and his 22 contestants set out to find their second and third chances at love in the third act of their lives.
During The Golden Wedding, Turner described his and Nist’s relationships with the other Golden Bachelorettes from their season as a “family.” One of those contestants, Susan Noles, even officiated the wedding.
Also in attendance were franchise favorites like Trista and Ryan Sutter and Jason and Molly Mesnick, the first two Bachelor Nation couples to have televised weddings; season 20 Bachelor Ben Higgins; the most recent season 20 Bachelorette, Charity Lawson; and the next Bachelor, Joey Graziadei, who will lead the 28th season that premieres Jan. 22.
The California affair, which took place at La Quinta Resorts & Club in Palm Springs, was planned by celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss.
And, in the spirit of the franchise, the wedding was complete with a live proposal, as former contestants Brayden Bowers (season 20 of The Bachelorette, season nine of Bachelor in Paradise) and Christina Mandrell (season 27 of The Bachelor) got engaged.
First appeared on www.hollywoodreporter.com