In the early 1990s, Tommy Pilling met the girl of his dreams. Her name was Maryanne, and like him, she had Down syndrome.
The two dated for 18 months, then Tommy decided he wanted to pop the question. He approached Maryanne’s mom, Linda, to ask for her blessing. He presented her with the toy ring he’d gotten from a vending machine.
Linda was thrilled and immediately said yes, but wanted Tommy to be able to properly propose to her daughter, so she brought him to the ring store.
When Tommy asked Maryanne to marry her, she didn’t hesitate to agree. He and Maryanne knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.
When they got engaged, though, they were hit with tons of criticism, as they were thought to be the first couple with Down syndrome to get married.
Despite the criticism, Maryanne and Tommy did indeed get married at a beautiful church in the U.K. in 1995.
[H/T: Daily Mail]
In an interview with Daily Mail, Maryanne’s sister Lindi spoke about the couple.
She said, “The day Maryanne met Tommy, she came home with the biggest smile on her face. She couldn’t stop talking about him and asked if he could come for dinner.”
When mom Linda brought Tommy to buy the ring, however, people were very critical of both her and Tommy.
Lindi explained, “She received a lot of flak at the time for letting them get married, but she insisted it was their decision.”
She continued: “Maryanne had dreamed about a big white wedding since she was a little girl, and that’s exactly what she had. It was a beautiful day.”
The pictures of their wedding prove just that. It looks like it was a very special day for not only Maryanne and Tommy, but also their families.
Maryanne wore a stunning white ball gown and a tiara. She truly looked like a princess.
Her groom wore a white button-down with a tie and a bright-blue vest.
The two look absolutely in love on their wedding day, clearly thrilled to be tying the knot.
Now, 22 years later, Maryanne and Tommy are still happily married.
Everyone who criticized them for getting married should kick themselves — these two have a better marriage than most people can hope for.
Lindi was so inspired by her sister and brother-in-law that she decided to set up a Facebook page for them.
She’s shared current photos of the couple, as well as pictures from throughout their 22 years of marriage.
Since the Facebook page was set up, people from all over the world have wished the happy couple all the best.
One person wrote, “You are a beautiful couple <3 many more years together.”
Another said, “I don’t normally write on pages but I’ve just read your story and would like to say you are both an inspiration to everyone. Love comes in all forms and yours should be celebrated not criticised and judged. Wishing you both many more happy years together in the future xx.”
This incredible couple not only proves that true love still exists, but that it comes in all shapes and sizes.
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