Maryanne and Tommy Pilling are the first couple with Down Syndrome to get married in the United Kingdom. Recently, the couple shared adorable pictures of themselves over the years to celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary. The pictures that they shared can warm the coldest of hearts and show how blissful marriage can be.
Love At First Sight
Maryanne and Tommy met for the first time in 1991 at a daycare center. After dating for 18 months, Tommy asked Maryanne to marry him. The happy couple tied the knot in a church in Essex. Maryanne recounts her wedding by telling The Independent, “My wedding was the best day of my life. I was shocked when Tommy proposed, but I didn’t have to think twice about saying yes.” Maryanne and Tommy still share a close friendship, and Maryanne says they “never argue.”
Celebrating Their Anniversary
Maryanne and Tommy celebrated their anniversary in the cutest way: they re-enacted their first dance to a song from Dirty Dancing. When they danced, they danced with eyes only on each other. Those who came to celebrate their anniversary with them watched Maryanne and Tommy dance with admiration for the couple and their strong bond and love.
Some people approached their marriage with skepticism and urged Maryanne and Tommy not to get married. Since both of them suffer from Down Syndrome, people doubted their ability to function, not only as a couple, but also as independent people. Some of these doubts are caused by the stigma surrounding the idea of marriage for people with special needs. These doubts just make Maryanne and Tommy’s 24-year anniversary even more special. After their wedding, they moved out of their homes and started living independently together.
Just A Little Help
Maryanne’s sister, Lindi Newman, did move next door with her family to offer any help when the happy couple needed it. Maryanne and Tommy are grateful to Maryanne’s mother who supported their decision to get married and portrayed faith in them among the doubts of their family and friends. Many of their family and friends did not believe that there was a need for the couple to get married. However, the couple was determined to get married despite the doubts from the people in their lives and decided to defy the odds against them from society. Maryanne’s mother maintains that the decision was made exclusively by the couple.
An Inspirational Couple
Newman describes Maryanne and Tommy’s wedding as “a beautiful day,” and you can tell that she still sees the beauty in their relationship. Newman says, “When they walk down the street holding hands they make a statement but in a good way…we also get so many lovely messages from people who are inspired by their story.” Newman adds, “People worried about their children or grandchildren with Down Syndrome get hope from Maryanne and Tommy’s story, hope that their children can also fall in love and live happily ever after.”
Newman runs Maryanne and Tommy’s Facebook page dedicated to their relationship, and their Facebook page has over 50,000 likes. The couple shared pictures of their daily lives. Newman recently posted the cutest pictures of the Pillings spending time in Disneyland. Their Facebook page is filled with happy photos and messages from other Facebook users telling the couple how they are an inspiration for people everywhere, whether or not they have a disability. Maryanne and Tommy’s story has not just been told on their Facebook page. Their inspirational story has been featured in articles since 2017 as their story continues to warm the hearts of people around the world.
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