It’s official! “The Golden Bachelor” couple Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist are married. The pair, who got engaged on the November finale, tied the knot on Thursday evening at La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, Calif. The wedding, officiated by contestant Susan Noles, aired live on ABC.
“We have that same, deep love of family. We have so much love to share and now so many more people to share it with,” Nist, 70, said in her vows. “I promise to be your calm in a storm, to comfort you when you’re sad, laugh with you when you’re happy and to stick with you throughout it all — but most of all, to have fun and to enjoy for the rest of the time we have left on this Earth … I love you with all of my heart and I cannot wait to be your wife.”
Tearing up, the 72-year-old groom began his vows: “When I think of all the decisions we made here to be in this position tonight, I know the hand of God and the winds of fate have ordained this moment. From our first sip of chocolate shake to the last taste of Costa Rican coffee, I have learned that you are the woman I can’t live without. I learned that you make me calm with the touch of your hand. I’ve learned you make me laugh with the easy comfort of a long-lost friend. I’ve learned you are a strong and independent woman — and your strength gives me joy. I’ve learned that you make me a better person, a better man because of your sensitivity and soft voice.”
“You are the love that came silently and without warning. You were authentic. Theresa, you have my heart, and I have yours,” Turner finished.
“Gerry and I met when I stepped out of the limo and screamed, ‘Gerry, I’m gonna marry you!’ Turns out, I was right!” Noles said at the beginning of the ceremony, drawing some laughs from the crowd. “If five years ago, someone told me that I was going to be at the ‘Golden Bachelor’ wedding and he wasn’t picking me, I would have said, ‘Yeah, that sounds about right.’ But never have I ever married a couple that I watched fall so deeply in love.”
Nist’s son Tommy walked her down the aisle, her six grandsons served as junior groomsmen and the ring bearer; and her son-in-law served as a groomsman. Her daughter, Jen, was her maid of honor while her daughter-in-law, Amanda, was a bridesmaid, along with Turner’s daughters, Angie and Jenny. Turner’s two granddaughters served as junior bridesmaids and his son-in-law, Rob, was his best man.
Many women from “The Golden Bachelor” attended the ceremony, including runner-up Leslie Fhima, and contestants Joan Vassos, Kathy Swarts, Ellen Goltzer, April Lynn Kirkwood, Nancy Hulkower and Natascha Hardee.
The celebration kicked off early on the red carpet as Brayden Bowers and his fellow “Bachelor in Paradise” co-star Christina Mandrell got engaged ahead of the wedding ceremony on the telecast.
Bachelor Nation was also strongly represented with attendees Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon, Mari Pepin and Kenny Braasch, Raven Gates and Adam Gottschalk, Dean Unglert and Caelynn Miller-Keyes, Michelle Young and Jack Leius, Rachel Recchia, Desiree Hartsock and Chris Siegfried, Trista and Ryan Sutter, Jason and Molly Mesnick, Ben Higgins and Wells Adams.
The first season of “The Golden Bachelor” filmed over the course of four weeks in August, with the duo getting engaged on Aug. 31. While they’ve only been together for four months — and known each other for five — the pair didn’t want to wait to say “I do,” and they felt it was important to have their wedding be filmed.
“We had to think about it and it really wasn’t the original plan to do that, but when we really thought hard about it, we said, there are so many people who have been affected by this show,” Nist said on a recent panel, moderated by Variety. “We wanted to bring them along with the culmination of it and bring them into it and really still try to make it this very intimate experience, but then bring them into this intimate experience. We don’t feel like we want to just drop all these people who are so affected by the show.”
And many people were affected; the season finale reached more than 6 million viewers — the biggest audience of any “Bachelor” franchise episode since Peter Weber’s season in March 2020.